M.D. Program – St. Joseph

St. Joseph Staff

Edward Kammerer, M.D.
Mosaic Life Care Chief Medical Officer – St. Joseph Campus

Dr. Kammerer is the Chief Medical Officer and President of Mosaic Life Care Clinics. He has worked for the organization for over 20 years as an Internal Medicine Physician. He began as Chief Medical Officer & President in January 2022, after being the Chief Quality Officer for over 5 years. Dr. Kammerer continues to move the organization forward in its focus on quality, safety, and operational excellence across the system.

Mosaic Life Care Clinic is a multi-specialty practice consisting of over 205 physicians, 100 Advanced Practice Providers, and over 750 support staff in our 50 clinical locations in three states. As the Clinic President, he works in a dyad role with the Medical Center President.
Mosaic Health System is comprised of Medical Center Saint Joseph is a 352-bed tertiary care hospital, Mosaic Medical Center Maryville, an 81-bed community hospital, 41-bed LTACH (long-term acute care hospital), and Mosaic Medical Center Albany a 25-bed critical access hospital.

Dr. Kammerer practices one half day a week at Mosaic Internal Medicine – Plaza 2.

Dr. Kammerer attended University of Wisconsin, Creighton University for Medical School and trained in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Kammerer completed his master’s degree through the University of Texas- Dallas. Dr. Kammerer is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Kristen Kleffner, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean

Dr. Kleffner serves as the Assistant Dean of the new St. Joseph Campus; she began her new role as of October 2020. Dr. Kleffner has spent her career in medical education. She attended the University of Missouri–Columbia where she completed a Master’s degree in Counseling and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.  She worked for the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia before coming to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in 2010. During her time at the UMKC School of Medicine, she has served in progressive roles in Admissions, Advising, Career Services, and now as Assistant Dean of the St. Joseph campus. Dr. Kleffner has a passion for serving students, and in each of her respective roles has found joy in advocating for student needs. She has served on several committees including the Chancellor’s LGBTQIA Initiative, the General Education 2.0 Committee, and currently as the advisor for the Student National Medical Association. She intends to use her years in service to medical students to manage endeavors to support our new campus in St. Joseph, Missouri. Dr. Kleffner’s email address is kleffnerk@umkc.edu.

Kathleen Spears, Ph.D.Kathleen Spears, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Student Success

Dr. Spears serves as the Assistant Dean of Student Success at the St. Joseph Campus and has joined the team to promote academic achievement and a student-centered learning environment. Dr. Spears is a career health sciences educator and patient advocate for Northwest Missouri, where she has lived for the last decade.  She attended the University of Missouri–Columbia where she completed a Doctorate in Neurobiology, specializing in stem cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative disease.  She then collaborated with University Hospital in Columbia’s neurosurgery and pathology departments as a neurooncology post-doctoral associate before joining the faculty at Northwest Missouri State University in 2012. During her time at NWMSU, she served as a physiology professor, an academic advisor, an EMS instructor, and coordinator of the Biology Graduate Program.  Dr. Spears is dedicated to student achievement, advocating for student resources, and building excellent medical professionals to serve rural communities. Dr. Spears is a licensed EMT and member of the Nodaway County Mass Casualty Response Squad, where she continues to provide care and training to Northwest Missouri first responders.  Dr. Spears cares intently for the wellbeing of her students, her patients, and her community; she intends to leverage her years in medical research, basic science education, rural community dynamics, and clinical correlations to make the St. Joseph Campus the premiere site for creating exceptional Rural Medicine physicians. Dr. Spears’s email address is kmspears@umkc.edu.

Meghan Rodriquez, Ph.D.Meghan Rodriquez, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Rodriquez serves as the Assistant Teaching Professor of Anatomy and Histology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Saint Joseph Campus. She has joined the team to mentor students in their courses, with a special emphasis on providing on-site anatomy, histology, and dissection labs, as well as small group activities, anatomy lectures, and to provide anatomy-based outreach programs to high schoolers and incoming medical students. Dr. Rodriquez attended the University of North Dakota (UND) where she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Anatomy and Cell Biology. Her dissertation involved investigating transcriptomic and epigenetic links associated with increased susceptibility to persistent depressive and anxiety-like disorders in neonate mice exposed to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) during a critical window of neurodevelopment. Her research paralleled and expounded upon published findings indicating that humans exposed to SSRIs during their third trimester of development are at increased risk for depression diagnoses by the age of 15.  Dr. Rodriquez is experienced working with DNA, RNA, proteins, cell cultures, the serotonin and dopamine transporters, and with maintaining a mouse colony and performing rodent behavioral testing and dissections. In addition, while attending UND she mentored students in research laboratory techniques, taught and managed undergraduate human cadaver-based labs and led cadaver dissection teams. During the summer of 2021, she taught a dissection-based anatomy lab course to Doctor of Occupational Therapy Students at Casper College in Wyoming, while also training two faculty members to teach and run the course for future semesters. Dr. Rodriquez is passionate about supporting student success, providing excellence in education, and helping her students become the best Rural Medicine Physicians they can. Her email address is meghan.rodriquez@umkc.edu.

Caroline Kelly
Education Team Coordinator

Caroline Kelly serves as the Education Team Coordinator for the new St. Joseph Campus. Caroline is a graduate of the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri–Columbia, where she earned a master’s degree in public affairs with an emphasis in non-profit management. She brings knowledge of the public and non-profit sectors, as well as experience assisting students in the higher education sphere. Caroline is excited to build impactful relationships with the students and other members of the St. Joseph team, assist students in their educational and personal journeys, and be part of the Roo family!

James Shackelford
Senior Student Recruitment Specialist/
Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives

After taking a year off to run for public office, James returned to the UMKC SOM. In 2019, James worked in the Dean’s Office as an Office Support Assistant and as Executive Assistant to the Dean. As of December 2020, he graduated from the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management with a Master of Public Administration. James is thrilled to return to the UMKC SOM family up in St. Joseph and is excited to have a hand in improving health care disparities in northwest Missouri. You can email James at jshackelford@umkc.edu.

Hilary Yager
Program Coordinator and
Administrative Assistant

Hilary Yager will serve as the Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for the new St. Joseph campus. Hilary has a broad occupational history that includes working with students therapeutically to teaching to even running summer camps and other events.  She is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia but is looking forward to identifying as a ‘Roo too!  Hilary has worked hard to streamline connections made between the School of Medicine staff, faculty, and students and our newest affiliate hospital Mosaic Life Care.  Hilary looks forward to building relationships with our students and being a valued resource for not only the St. Joe team but UMKC as a whole.  She can be reached at yagerh@umkc.edu.

Mohannad Abu Omar, M.D.
Student Ombudsperson

Dr. Abu Omar is a graduate of University of Jordan. He completed his post graduate training in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at UMKC School of Medicine. He is now practicing at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph . Dr. Abu Omar’s primary clinical interests are Lung Cancer prevention and diagnosis. Dr Abu Omar will serve as the ombudsperson for the MD only students based at the UMKC School of Medicine St Joseph campus. He can be reached at m.abuomar@mymlc.com.