COVID-19 Vaccine Answers From the UMKC Health Sciences Deans
UMKC is one of the fortunate few universities in the U.S. to have its health professions schools clustered on one campus, and its medical, nursing, pharmacy and dental faculty and students have been on the front lines fighting this pandemic since the beginning.
This Q & A round table with the UMKC Health Sciences Campus deans will be updated often with the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine, its effects, distribution and developments.
Mary Anne Jackson, dean of the School of Medicine; Russ Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy and interim dean of the School of Dentistry; and Joy Roberts, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, are involved in leading vaccination efforts for our campus and Kansas City area communities.
After you get the vaccine, should you still follow social distancing guidelines? Should you still quarantine if you’re exposed to someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19?
Jackson: Yes, you should still mask and socially distance. The CDC just came out with new guidelines on quarantining. You do not need to if it’s been two weeks or longer after your second dose.
Currently, there are two companies that have two-dose vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer. How are they being distributed?
Jackson: States are distributing, and there is no clarity on how many doses each site is given. It is in a tiered system, with frontline workers receiving in the first tier. (Here are the tiered vaccination distribution plans for Missouri and Kansas).
Roberts: Distribution of the vaccine from the federal government to the states has been a tremendous challenge. Once the supply is large enough and is rapidly distributed to the states, the benefit to Americans will be clearly visible.
Melchert: We are preparing and beginning to plan how we might more broadly impact our communities and especially those in Phase 1A, Phase 1B Tier 1 and Tier 2 who are currently eligible. Teaming with our regional and state partners to leverage our assets with theirs is essential to efficiently reach those who are eligible to receive the vaccine. To that end, we need to get vaccine and we are trying. It is really difficult right now with the short supply and high demand. However, I suppose the high demand is a good thing because the more folks who get vaccinated, the more likely we are to achieve “community immunity.”
How should people sign up for the vaccine?
Jackson: The best strategy is to register in multiple places, with your county, and with your primary-care physician on their websites (In Missouri, here are the Jackson, Clay and Platte county sites; in Kansas, here are the Johnson and Wyandotte county sites).
What is getting the vaccine like?
Roberts: The vaccine injection was done by the very skilled registered nurses at Truman Medical Center. The injection was not any more painful than any other shot, however the muscle was later sore for about 8 hours. After that, there were no issues. Our partners at TMC are operating a very well organized vaccination clinic providing expert nursing care and safety measures.
How effective is the vaccine?
Jackson: Both the Moderna and Pfizer have high rates of effectiveness, including against the UK B117 variant (a newer mutation believed to be more infectious) and has some coverage against the more mutated South African strain. It cannot give the infection, none of the vaccines contain live virus. It won’t change your DNA – it uses small amounts of messenger RNA that guides your body to make the antibodies, then breaks down; it cannot enter your DNA. It won’t cause infertility; there is no link to miscarriages or infertility. Still, those who are pregnant should consult with their physician.
How has UMKC helped the community with the vaccine?
Melchert: The School of Pharmacy has an army of student pharmacists and faculty pharmacists who are certified and very experienced with providing vaccinations, including the wonderful work they do every year to provide influenza vaccines for the UMKC community. Many of our students and faculty are also participating with many of our partner organizations in Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and around the state. Dr. Cameron Lindsey and her team are partnering with the Medical Research Corp of Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Dental Society, the Missouri Dental Association, KC CARE Health Center and others to offer a clinic in February for local area health practitioners, especially dental practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and emergency medical technicians and others in Phase 1A who have not otherwise had an opportunity to get vaccinated. Keeping our health care providers protected will increase capacity to serve those needing services.
Roberts: The School of Nursing and Health Studies has students and faculty who are educated and skilled vaccinators, ready to assist in the immunization effort as soon as mass vaccination sites have enough vaccine available. Our students have had the option to volunteer as COVID testers and as vaccinators at various sites in the metro area, including at the UMKC Student Health Center.
Jackson: Besides being vaccinators, we provide information about the vaccine at forums. The School of Medicine hosted “COVID Vaccine: Fact or Fiction,” a virtual community-wide forum with school faculty and alumni physicians on Feb. 4.
Tell us about the latest developments with the vaccine.
Jackson: Upon approval, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a good safety and effectiveness profile, a single dosage and no cold chain issues (they don’t require the ultra-cold storage like the current vaccines do), which makes this vaccine a potential game changer if we can get a large supply.
Give us your final thoughts about the vaccine.
Roberts: The COVID 19 pandemic has been a colossal challenge to the United States. The rapid creation of a safe, effective vaccine is nothing short of miraculous. This vaccine needs to be distributed as quickly as possible to all Americans, utilizing every trained vaccinator from registered nurses to pharmacists to physicians, while at the same time being shared globally. It will take immunizing the global population to end this pandemic.
Jackson: There are no restrictions on who can receive. The oldest and those with immune-compromising conditions may not have immune response that is as good as those who are younger and healthier, but there is no downside to the vaccine.
Melchert: The vaccine is a huge step for us to combat COVID. The more informed we can be about the safety of the vaccine, the more people can benefit from the protection it provides. However, keeping each other safe, even with the vaccine, includes continuing to be vigilant with wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and remaining at home when you have symptoms.
Original Story: https://www.umkc.edu/news/posts/2021/january/covid-19-vaccine-answers-from-the-umkc-health-sciences-deans.html
Hospital Hill Run Announces Official 2021 Charity Partner in Children’s Mercy
Hospital Hill Run is proud to announce Children’s Mercy as its 2021 official charity partner. Runners will have the option to fundraise in 2021 to raise awareness and funds for the I love Children’s Mercy Fund, which provides advanced medical treatments, compassionate care and world-class research to kids across the region.
“As we approach our 48th year in June, we’re excited to announce the launch of a Hospital Hill Run fundraiser for Children’s Mercy,” said Lisa Drake, Race Director of the Hospital Hill Run. “Runners can now fundraise to earn prizes and create and join teams while participating in our Half Marathon, 10k or 5k.”
A portion of every race entry, along with 100% of funds raised through the Hospital Hill Run fundraiser, will go directly to Children’s Mercy to fuel research and care for children and their families.
Promoting health and wellness through physical activity while giving back to the community is core to Hospital Hill Run’s mission.
“As two long-standing fixtures within our community, we are thrilled to partner with Children’s Mercy, who stands with us in our focus on health and wellness and makes such an incredible impact for children within our community.”
“With our race born out of the hospital community in 1974, it is only fitting to come back to our roots and focus our charitable efforts on Children’s Mercy, located on our racecourse on Hospital Hill,” said Drake.
To view more information about the fundraising options, visit hospitalhillrun.com or follow @hospitalhillrun on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
For more information, contact Lisa Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Hospital Hill Run
What began in 1974 with 99 athletes paying a $1 fee to run a 6.8-mile course starting and ending in Crown Center, has evolved into an annual Kansas City running Tradition that regularly hosts thousands of athletes from all over the country. Hospital Hill Run was recognized in 2020 by the Pitch Magazine as the reader’s choice award winner for best-organized footrace in Kansas City, MO. The 48th annual Hospital is set for June 5, 2021, featuring 5k, 10k, and half-marathon distances.
For more information regarding Hospital Hill Run, go to www.hospitalhillrun.com.
About Children’s Mercy
Founded in 1897, Children’s Mercy is a leading independent children’s health organization dedicated to holistic care, translational research, educating caregivers and breakthrough innovation to create a world of well-being for all children. With not-for-profit hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, and numerous specialty clinics in both states, Children’s Mercy provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21. U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly ranked Children’s Mercy as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.” For the fifth consecutive time in a row, Children’s Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to only about 8% of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. More than 850 pediatric subspecialists, researchers and faculty across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and education of the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. Thanks to generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s Mercy provides hope, comfort and the prospect of brighter tomorrows to every child who passes through its doors. Visit Children’s Mercy and the Children’s Mercy Research Institute to learn more, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the latest news and videos.
Contact: Lisa Drake, Race Director at Lisa@hospitalhillrun.com
UMKC School of Medicine Approved to Expand Its Program in Missouri
New campus in St. Joseph in partnership with Mosaic Life Care will increase rural health care
A new UMKC School of Medicine campus in St. Joseph in partnership with Mosaic Life Care will increase rural health care by addressing physician shortages in Missouri.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine plans to expand its program to St. Joseph, Missouri, to address the state’s rural physician shortage.
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved the proposal on Thursday.
UMKC received a $7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to start the new program in January 2021. HRSA, the primary federal agency for improving access to health-care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable, will pay out the grant over four years.
“We are thrilled we will be able to address a critical health-care need in Missouri,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “This will enable more patients throughout the state to get better access to high-quality medical treatment.”
The need is great in the United States – the American Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032, with primary-care physicians making up almost half of this shortage. And the need is especially great in Missouri: the state has 250 primary-care health professional shortage areas, including 109 of its 114 counties. It ranks No. 40 among U.S. states in terms of health.
“The disparities in care in rural areas result in higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease for rural Americans. Expansion of our medical school to the northwestern region of our state will serve to bridge this gap, knowing that students training in rural programs are three times as likely to remain in practice in those areas.”
“Missouri is facing a physician shortage in the next five years, creating major challenges for rural communities,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri). “As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services, I started the Medical Student Education Program to ensure resources were specifically targeted toward improving access to care where it’s needed most. I am glad to see the University of Missouri-Kansas City focusing efforts on addressing that challenge by training more physicians to practice medicine in rural and underserved areas. This is great news for UMKC and the St. Joseph community.”
Typically, physicians remain in the areas where they go to medical school, and 80 percent of UMKC School of Medicine students are from Missouri and the surrounding counties, said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., dean of the school. “The disparities in care in rural areas result in higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease for rural Americans. Expansion of our medical school to the northwestern region of our state will serve to bridge this gap, knowing that students training in rural programs are three times as likely to remain in practice in those areas.”
While the UMKC School of Medicine is known for its innovative six-year B.A./M.D. program that admits students directly from high school, it will offer a four-year M.D. program in St. Joseph open to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. This M.D. track option has been part of the school tradition since opening its doors almost 50 years ago.
”I am glad to see the University of Missouri- Kansas City focusing efforts on addressing that challenge by training more physicians to practice medicine in rural and underserved areas. This is great news for UMKC and the St. Joseph community.”
The new program in St. Joseph will expand the UMKC School of Medicine M.D. program by adding 20 students in St. Joseph to each cohort of about 100 students in Kansas City, said Steven Waldman, M.D., J.D., program director and principal investigator on the grant, and vice dean and chair of Humanities at the UMKC School of Medicine. The co-investigators on the grant are Michael Wacker, Ph.D., associate dean of academic affairs, and Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., associate dean of research administration, both from the UMKC School of Medicine. The four-year program eventually will allow the UMKC School of Medicine to train 80 additional medical students.
In addition to the grant, the expansion is possible because of a partnership with Mosaic Life Care, located in St. Joseph. Mosaic is one of the largest private rural primary-care networks in the U.S. and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Students will be able to learn and train in Mosaic’s rural healthcare network.
“The receipt of this federal grant, as well as the partnership, will allow the UMKC School of Medicine to expand our mission of training superlative physicians and health-care professionals to care for our most vulnerable populations,” Waldman said. “The addition of the UMKC School of Medicine’s St. Joseph campus will greatly enrich rural health-care education for our students.”
- Truman Medical Centers, the primary teaching hospital for the school, has a mission dedicated to providing public health and specialty services for those with financial, health or insurance issues that limit access to care in Kansas City. Students, residents and faculty who are based at Truman in Kansas City will be able to learn and teach at Mosaic in St. Joseph and collaborate on care for patients.
- UMKC Health Sciences District is a partnership of a dozen health-care entities including four UMKC health professions schools. This further expands the district’s reach into rural health care.
- UMKC STAHR (Students in Training, in Academia, Health and Research) Partnership Program is committed to increasing the number of students from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are prepared to enter, persist and graduate from a UMKC health sciences degree program. STAHR serves as a mentorship resource to students.
UMKC has a successful track record of creating rural health education programs in Missouri. The UMKC School of Pharmacy includes satellite campuses at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Missouri State University in Springfield.
For the Sixth Year in a Row, All 10 Children’s Mercy Specialties Ranked by U.S. News and World Report
KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 16, 2020 – Children’s Mercy Kansas City is once again recognized as one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 “Best Children’s Hospitals” report. For the sixth year in a row, Children’s Mercy is listed with the best in the country in 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties included in the survey. Children’s Mercy is one of only 14 pediatric hospitals in the nation to rank in all 10 specialties in each of the last six years.
Children’s Mercy specialties’ rankings, with one in the nation’s top 10:
- Nephrology (#10)
- Urology (#21)
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#23)
- Neurology & Neurosurgery (#26)
- Orthopedics (#28)
- Cancer (#29)
- Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#31)
- Pulmonology (#35)
- Diabetes & Endocrine Disorders (#43)
- Neonatal Care (#46)
“Having all 10 specialties ranked for the sixth year is a remarkable achievement when considering only about two dozen children’s hospitals rank in all 10 specialties each year,” said Paul Kempinski, MS, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s Mercy. “The excellent care given by our entire team is keeping families closer to the communities in which they live and providing a sense of comfort and familiarity, and I think that contributes to the treatment and healing process.”
This year, U.S. News surveyed nearly 200 pediatric centers to gather clinical and operational data. This data was then combined with results from a reputational survey in which board-certified pediatric specialists representing the 10 areas were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty.
Those pediatric specialties consist of: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics, pulmonology; and urology.
The full rankings and methodology are available at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.
Original story: https://news.childrensmercy.org/for-the-sixth-year-in-a-row-all-10-childrens-mercy-specialties-ranked-by–us-news-and-world-report/