Tag Archives: Announcements

UMKC School of Medicine: 50 years of excellence in medical education

Graduation has always been a special celebration for docents and their students at the UMKC School of Medicine.

Fifty years ago, the University of Missouri-Kansas City launched a bold experiment in educating the medical leaders of the future.

After years of planning, more than $8.8 million in federal funding and a charter class of 18 students, the doors of the UMKC School of Medicine opened in 1971.

Fifty years later, that bold experiment is a cornerstone of Kansas City’s medical community.

This month, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine is kicking off its yearlong observance of the 50th anniversary. A new logo, a special website and many special events will highlight the celebration. Among the key events:

  • A series of distinguished guest lectures, including:
    • Nov. 5: Roger Bush, M.D., from University of California-San Francisco, speaking on rural health inequities.
    • Nov. 17-19: Silvio Inzucchi, M.D., from Yale, sharing research linking type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and cardiovascular complications.
    • Dec. 2: Harriet Washington, medical ethicist from Harvard Medical School, speaking on medical apartheid.
    • Dec. 9: Kenneth Churchwell, M.D., from Boston Children’s Hospital, speaking on pediatric critical care (Noback-Burton Lecture).
    • Feb. 11: Geeta Swamy, M.D., from University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and Duke University, speaking on maternal vaccines, COVID pregnant women, preterm delivery interventions.
  • Special signage around the SOM campus and 50th-anniversary themed touches for Match Day, Commencement and other signature academic occasions.
  • A Gold Jubilee 50th anniversary gala, set for June 4, 2022, at the Loews Hotel in downtown Kansas City.

Today as in the past, UMKC’s School of Medicine is making a difference the health and wellbeing of Kansas City communities and beyond. Long known for its innovative research, humanities-focused education and unique medical programs – namely the accelerated BA/MD program where students enter medical school straight from high school and complete their degrees in six years – UMKC continues to graduate future leaders in health care. The school has been instrumental in founding Kansas City’s UMKC Health Sciences District, where it continues to play a primary role.

“This is an exciting time for the UMKC School of Medicine, as we celebrate half a century of history and traditions,” said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ’78, dean of the medical school. “As our nation’s health care profession has evolved, so has the School of Medicine. We are bringing new technologies and innovations to the forefront that continue to solidify our standing as a leader in today’s medical education.”

Since 1971, nearly 4,000 physicians and health care professionals across the United States have received their degrees from the School of Medicine. Through the years, additional programs added include master’s degrees in anesthesia, physician assistant, health professions education and bioinformatics, and graduate certificates in research and health professions education. In January 2021, the school opened its second campus in St. Joseph, Missouri, with a focus on rural medicine. But it is the school’s MD programs and its docent system of learning – where faculty physicians combine the best of apprenticeship instruction with small-group teaching, mentoring, peer coaching and other techniques – that have withstood the test of time and continue to position the school as a trendsetter in medical education.

“Fifty years speaks to the longevity of the school, not to mention we have many physician leaders across the country that are graduates,” said School of Medicine alumni association president Ralph Wuebker, M.D., ’94. “There is no doubt that UMKC is a top medical school!”

Marjorie Sirridge, M.D., one of the three founding docents and later dean of the medical school, once reflected on the early days: “I remember being tired a lot and sometimes discouraged when it seemed that we just couldn’t get it all done. But, mostly I remember the challenge and the excitement of being part of a new adventure in medical education.”

Indeed, it’s been an exciting adventure the past 50 years – and the next several months will celebrate the past, present and future of UMKC School of Medicine. Join us.

Hitting the Pavement

Marathon runners at finish

UMKC and School of Medicine supporting KC Marathon

UMKC and the School of Medicine are proud sponsors of the Oct. 16 Garmin KC Marathon – the largest race event in Kansas City and a significant community tradition. This year’s race has something for everyone: a full- and half-marathon, as well as a 10k and 5k, plus many volunteer opportunities.

For all the Running Roos out there, registration is now open for the race. New this year, the race will start and end near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In-between, runners will enjoy a tour of the city including the National World War I Museum & Memorial, the Country Club Plaza, Waldo, Westport, 18th & Vine, and more. Participants receive a race shirt, a finisher’s medal, free food and drinks, free downloadable race photos and massages at the Finish Line Festival.

Not a runner? Consider volunteering at the event. There are many ways to help: course monitors, medical tent support, packet pickup, etc. To see all the opportunities, visit the race’s volunteer page.

And if you will be on the sidelines supporting the race and its participants, make sure to sport your Blue and Gold so all the racers know that the Roos are cheering them on.

COVID safety will be top of mind during the race, as organizers have implemented a number of protocols to ensure the safety of participants and staff, including:

  • A socially distanced start
  • Masks required at all times except while actively racing
  • Contactless aid stations
  • Hand-washing and sanitization stations throughout the race site
  • Increased spacing in the Finish Line Festival area

Don’t miss out – this year’s event promises to be one to remember. For more information visit the KC Marathon website.

Office of Research Administration welcomes new staff members

Norma Aguirre, left, and Madison Denson

The School of Medicine Office of Research Administration has added two new grant support specialists, Norma E. Aguirre and Madison Denson, to its staff.

Norma E. Aguirre joined the School of Medicine in April. She previously worked in Chillicothe, Missouri, as an office manager. Prior to the office manager position, she worked at the UMKC School of Pharmacy as an administrative assistant. She has also worked at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. Aguirre is originally from Texas and  attended Texas Tech University.

Denson, who joined the research administration staff in June, and her husband are both from Nebraska. A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, she previously worked for a company Omaha-based company while being located in the Kansas City area.

Student Affairs changes announced at SOM’s Health Sciences District and St. Joe campuses

Top row: Nyia Duncan, Betsy Hendrick, Alex Luke. Bottom row: James Shackelford, Hilary Yager

The School of Medicine has announced a number of new staff appointments and changes in the Office of Student Affairs at both the Health Sciences District campus and the St. Joseph campus.

On the Health Sciences District campus, Betsy Hendrick has been appointed as a senior education team coordinator.

Hendrick has served as ETC for the past year and a half with the Blue Unit and interim ETC for teams on the Purple and Green units. She also serves as the school’s immunization coordinator, facilitates the health disparities elective and assists with Match Day planning.

Also joining the Health Sciences team will be Nyia Duncan, who recently joined the St. Joseph staff as education team coordinator. Duncan will be transitioning to the Health Sciences District campus as an ETC in February. She is recent graduate of Ottawa University with a master’s degree in business administration and human resourses. At Ottawa, she served as a resident director and student affairs graduate assistant.

At the School of Medicine’s new St. Joseph campus, based at Mosaic Life Care, Hilary Yager will serve as program coordinator and administrative assistant. Alex Luke, M.D., joins the staff as academic initiatives specialist. Also, James Shackelford will serve as senior student recruitment specialist and coordinator of special initiatives

Yager is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and brings a broad occupational history that includes teaching, working therapeutically with students, and overseeing summer camps and events. She has worked to streamline connections between School of Medicine faculty, staff and students with Mosaic Life Care.

Luke received his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University, then worked as a medical scribe in the emergency department at Mosaic before joining the UMKC School of Medicine’s M.D.-only program in 2017. He has held multiple tutoring and academic support roles during his undergraduate and medical careers, and will begin a residency in neurology in July.

Shackelford previously worked in the School of Medicine Deans Office as executive assistant to the dean before leaving the university to run for public office. A graduate of the UMKC Bloch School of Management, he has a master’s degree in public administration.

 

SOM research office taking applications for SPiRe Grant

The School of Medicine Office of Research is seeking applications for the Sarah Morrison Pilot Research Fund (SPiRe), an internal grant for clinical and basic scientists. Application deadline is noon, March 1.

The grant provides support to develop preliminary data or pursue high-risk innovative research that will enable submission of highly competitive applications to national funding sources.

To be considered, research must either be performed at the School of Medicine or be in collaboration with faculty at the school where at least 50 percent of the research is performed. Tenure-track, tenured, research and clinical faculty are eligible to apply for the grant.

Standard awards are $15,000 to be spent during the course of two years. If a compelling case can be made for additional funding, up to $20,000 may be requested.

Full application guidelines and the application packet are available online.

Questions prior to preparing and submitting applications may be directed to Paula Monaghan-Nichols, associate dean for research, at nicholsap@umkc.edu or 816-235-6663. Questions about applications should be directed to Mark Hecker, director of research administration, at heckerm@umkc.edu or 816-235-6015.

School of Medicine announces new assistant dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

The School of Medicine announced that Doris C. Agwu, M.P.H., will serve in the new position of assistant dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Agwu has 11 years of experience with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in academics, business and community work. Under the leadership of associate dean Tyler Smith, M.D., Agwu will work to expand the school’s focus on current diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Her new role will also include implementing new programs to recruit, educate and serve students, residents and faculty, and emphasize initiatives to ensure a positive learning environment.

At the University of Missouri-Columbia, Agwu earned a bachelor of arts in psychology, a bachelor of science in biology, a minor in business administration and a master’s degree in public health. She served as a research specialist at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing where she created strategies to address the health care needs of rural Missouri women over the age of 50. She also has served as medical department chair for Bryan University in Columbia, where she spearheaded diversity and inclusion initiatives, taught multiple courses and managed more than 20 direct reports.

In her most recent role as director of engagement and coordinator of underrepresented minority student recruitment at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Arts and Sciences, she worked to drive inclusion, diversity and equity strategies through best practices to ensure an inclusive culture. She implemented long-term strategic outreach efforts for the college, and collaborated with senior leaders and key stakeholders on state and community programming.

A 2019 recipient of the University G.O.L.D. award for service to the alumni community, Agwu is the vice president of the Mizzou Black Alumni Network. She is also membership co-chair of the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women. She was selected as a member of the new, chancellor-appointed Equity Resolution Hearing Panel and is a charter member of the central Missouri chapter of The Links, Incorporated, serving as the technology/PR/communication chair.

Agwu said she understands the needs of all students to address issues of marginalization.

“I want all Black students to know that their lives matter,” Agwu said. “I want all students of color, including Asian, Hispanic/Latinx and indigenous students, to know their cultures and unique experiences are significant. I want all women to know they have autonomy over their bodies. I want all LGBTQIA students to feel embraced and supported, and for students with disabilities, that they can access everything.”

GME office welcomes new assistant deans

Gregory Howell, M.D., and Brook Nelson, M.D., have been appointed associate deans in the School of Medicine’s Office of Graduate Medical Education.

School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., and Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education Sara Gardner, M.D., announced two additions to the schools’ Office of Graduate Medical Education. Gregory Howell, M.D., ’00, associate professor of medicine and program director for the critical care fellowship, and Brook Nelson, M.D., ’07, assistant professor of surgery and general surgery residency program director, have been appointed as assistant deans for Graduate Medical Education.

Howell and Nelson will work directly with Gardner interacting with and supporting the school’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and non-ACGME programs, residents and fellows.

Each brings to their new positions extensive experience in graduate medical education. They will enhance the representation of our surgical and fellowship programs on the Graduate Medical Education Council. In addition, they will oversee the central line training course.

After graduation from medical school at UMKC, Howell completed his internal medicine and pulmonary/critical care training at UMKC.  Nelson also completed her general surgery residency at UMKC as well.

Dr. Akin Cil Appointed Interim Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery

The School  of Medicine has announced that Dr. Akin Cil has accepted the appointment as interim Department and Academic Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery.

A member of the School of Medicine faculty since 2008, he has served since 2012 as the Franklin D. Dickson/Missouri Endowed Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Research in recognition of his collaborative research with colleagues in the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering in UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering.

A 1999 graduate of the Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine,  Cil completed his orthopaedic residency in Turkey. He then emigrated to the United States where he completed a fellowship in adult lower extremity reconstructon at Baylor University and a fellowship in upper extremity reconstruction at the Mayo Clinic. He also added a sports medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston-Harvard Medical School before coming to UMKC.

Board certified in orthopaeidc surgery, he has served as the vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and has been a member of the staff at Truman Medical Center Health Sciences District for the past 12 years. A mentor to more than 100 students, residents and fellows, his clinical and research emphases focus on shoulder and elbow injuries.

Jennifer Ramsey joins School of Medicine as STAHR program coordinator

Jennifer Ramsey
Jennifer Ramsey

Jennifer Ramsey recently joined the staff at the School of Medicine as coordinator of the school’s $3.2-million Students in Training, in Academia, Health and Research (STAHR) pipeline grant program. She will support the grant leadership team and the senior program coordinator once those positions are filled.

Ramsey is a certified health education specialist. As such she brings to her role excellent skills in program support and coordination, data management, and reporting on analysis results for reports and strategic decision making.

In addition, she has worked in higher education at the UMKC School of Dentistry, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, and in secondary health, math, and science education while living in Arizona.

Her office will be located between the dean suite and admissions. Her contact information is:  ramseyjm@umkc.edu and 816-235-6169.

The STAHR program is a two-pronged initiative to increase the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering healthcare programs and better prepare them for success.

Med school recognized for excellence in diversity, inclusion

The School of Medicine has been recognized by a national publication with a Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award for its efforts in diversity.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine has received a 2018 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The School of Medicine, renowned for its innovative six-year BA/MD program, is the only university program in Missouri and one of 10 medical schools in the country to be recognized. The award program is competitive each year; on average, 175 schools compete for the HEED honor annually.

“Our school is honored to receive the HEED Award,” said Mary Anne Jackson, interim dean. “Diversity and inclusion is top of mind in educating future physicians and health professionals because ultimately it means delivering the best patient care.”

As a recipient of the Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — UMKC School of Medicine will be featured, along with 34 other recipients, in the December 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“We want people to see the UMKC School of Medicine as a place of best practices nationally and globally, and the HEED Award signifies one way we demonstrate our success,” said Nathan Thomas, associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the UMKC School of Medicine. “Our aim is to continue to attract outstanding diverse faculty, staff, residents and students to our university.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the UMKC School of Medicine for several reasons:

  • Its decades-long successful high-school Summer Scholars and Saturday Academy pipeline programs
  • Students in Medicine, Academia, Research and Training (SMART) retention and graduation mentoring program
  • “Expect Respect” committee to address mistreatment issues and promote healthy work and learning environments

The School of Medicine recently received a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources to expand and enhance its pipeline and mentoring programs across the schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy.

In 2016, the UMKC School of Dentistry was one of three dental schools in the that won a HEED Award.

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.  “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”