Tag Archives: UMKC School of Medicine

Hall Family Foundation Awards $15 Million to UMKC for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building

The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced a $15 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation, which will help fund an innovative new medical and dentistry building in the UMKC Health Sciences District.

The university has secured $95 million toward the $120 million cost of a new Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building on the corner of 25th and Charlotte.

The new building will enable UMKC to provide leading-edge health care education, attract top students and researchers and advance care for disinvested populations. In addition, the project will serve as a catalyst for developing the UMKC Health Sciences District into a major regional academic medical center that can generate billions of dollars in jobs and economic impact for the Kansas City region.

The new multi-story building will house dental teaching clinics and expanded medical school teaching facilities. In addition, it will provide space for the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the university’s Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center and its new Biomedical Engineering program.

“We are grateful to the Hall Family Foundation for its investment in our students and the Kansas City community,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “The Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will further solidify the UMKC Health Sciences District as a national leader in medical education and health care as well as support our mission of increasing health equity in the Kansas City region and beyond.”

U.S. News and World Report listed the UMKC School of Medicine as one of the top medical schools in the nation for primary care and it was the highest-ranked in Missouri in 2023. Its graduates practice in 71 counties in the state and its students and faculty members provide thousands of hours of free health screenings and services each year. The new building will provide advanced technology to enhance physician training and provide more doctors to meet a critical need of providers in the region. It will also house the new Biomedical Engineering program, providing proximity with doctors and engineers to support the innovation of new medical technologies.

The UMKC School of Dentistry is the only public dental school in the state of Missouri and is a major low-cost provider of dental care in the region. UMKC dentistry students serve more than 13,500 community members each year and provided more than $630,000 annually in free dental care to community members at its clinics from 2016-2022. The new building will allow UMKC to see more patients and update the technology at the clinics to streamline care and create more efficient visits for patients and provide industry-leading education to students. In addition, the new space will increase ADA accessibility for patients with physical limitations.

Furthermore, the building will house major community outreach and research initiatives, such as the UMKC Health Equity Institute, designed to identify and address health disparities, and the Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center, which supports innovation in personalized healthcare.

“The Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will provide immeasurable benefit to the Kansas City community for generations to come, and we are proud to support it,” said Mayra Aguirre, president of the Hall Family Foundation. “Our Foundation’s mission is to support and fund projects that enhance the quality of human life for all Kansas Citians. This new building will enable UMKC to expand its important work in equitable and inclusive health care delivery and we are inspired by the collaboration between UMKC, Children’s Mercy Hospital and University Health that improves the lives of people in our community.”

The latest gift to UMKC is not the first investment the Hall Family Foundation has made in the UMKC Health Sciences District. In 2018, the organization provided $75 million in funding for the Children’s Mercy Research Institute dedicated to pediatric medical research.

Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation in July from the state of Missouri that appropriated $40 million for the UMKC Health Innovation and Delivery Building, contingent on a funding match. Since then, UMKC has received $30 million from the Sunderland Foundation, $15 million from the Hall Family Foundation, and $10 million in federal funding secured by Sen. Roy Blunt for a total of $95 million to date.

“UMKC is a leader in the Kansas City community and that is thanks, in large part, to the support of our partners. We are thankful they share in our vision of creating a cutting-edge healthcare hub that will provide state-of-the-art care to everyone in our community,” said Amanda Davis, chief advancement officer and president of the UMKC Foundation.

Formed in 2017, the UMKC Health Sciences District is a partnership among UMKC and 12 neighboring healthcare institutions. The district houses the UMKC schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy in a single, walkable campus, allowing for greater interprofessional training and research collaboration.

Learn more about the Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building.

UMKC appoints Kanter as new School of Medicine Dean

Steven Kanter, M.D.
Steven Kanter, M.D.

Steven L. Kanter, M.D., has been appointed dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Kanter is a neurosurgeon, a career physician-educator, and brings to UMKC a strong foundation in the growing field of medical informatics: the science of using information most effectively to improve the quality and safety of patient care; to analyze data across large blocks of patient populations to identify patterns and best practices; and to collect, analyze, and integrate complex biologic data. UMKC and its local hospital partners are home to several leading researchers in the field, and created a new Center for Health Insights focused on informatics last year to support their work. Kanter is a former Fellow in Medical Informatics for the National Library of Medicine.

Kanter comes to UMKC from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, where he has been on faculty since 1991 and Vice Dean since 2002. From 2008 to 2012, he also served as Editor-in-Chief of Academic Medicine, the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2013, he was awarded the Merrell Flair Award, the highest honor awarded by AAMC’s Group on Educational Affairs.

“I hope to focus the considerable talent and energy of the School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students on helping to make Kansas City the healthiest city in America,” Kanter said. “Of course, the best way – and the only way – to do this is to engage with business and community partners, clinical partners, alumni, and neighboring institutions.

“The UMKC School of Medicine is at a pivotal point in its history. It is completing its first half-century and looking toward the next 50 years. I am enthusiastic about beginning a process with faculty, staff, and students to contemplate in what ways the school should build on its existing strengths as it prepares to embark on this next, very important phase of its journey,” he continued. “It is a privilege to be able to serve the Kansas City community in the role of dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. I look forward to working with community members and the school’s partner institutions to ensure that we continue to bring value to the people of this region in the best possible way.”

UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton said important considerations in his decision to choose Kanter were Kanter’s background and interest in both medical informatics and interprofessional education, which involves students from two or more disciplines learning together to cultivate collaborative practice to provide patient-centered care. UMKC’s Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing and Health Studies, clustered together on the university’s Hospital Hill Campus, have made interprofessional education a priority.

“Steven Kanter also has experience as a leader in community health and education initiatives at an urban-serving university at the University of Pittsburgh. Like UMKC, Pitt is situated in the urban core and recognizes and lives up to the special responsibility that confers,” Morton said. “The UMKC School of Medicine plays a vital role in the community, and I am confident that Dr. Kanter is the kind of leader who will not just preserve those vital community relationships, but grow and strengthen them.”

Lawrence Dreyfus, UMKC Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, served as co-chair of the search committee that recommended Kanter.

“We were very impressed with Dr. Kanter’s background as an educator, as a researcher and as a clinician,” Dreyfus said. “It was clear that he understands the vital community role played by an urban school of medicine, and we appreciate the enthusiasm with which he seeks to embrace that role.”

Kanter will begin his work at UMKC Oct. 1. In addition to his position as dean, he is appointed as a full professor with tenure in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics and as Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. In addition, he will hold the Merl and Muriel Hicklin Foundation Endowed Chair at the School of Medicine.

Kanter has an undergraduate degree from Texas A&I University and earned his M.D. at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. He served his residency at the University of Florida. He was on faculty at Texas A&M University College of Medicine before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association, the World Association of Medical Editors and the Association for Medical Education in Europe, which presented him with the Patil Award for Best Medical Education Research Presentation in 2007.

Kanter will replace Betty Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., as dean. Drees spent 12 years leading the UMKC School of Medicine, during which she strengthened the financial position of the school, established important new partnerships with other academic units, and added new graduate and certificate programs. She will remain on faculty, and plans to work on patient safety and health policy programs as well as teaching and community service.

In addition to applying advanced technology to the practice of medicine, Kanter is also interested in applying the latest technology to instructional practice.

“Many medical schools today are struggling with what to do with classroom time, since learners can watch lectures online at their own pace and in a way that aligns with their own learning styles. The key question that underlies this struggle is not about student attendance, but rather is about how to make the learner-teacher relationship effective for students and rewarding for faculty,” he said. “The UMKC School of Medicine already has made significant strides in this area with its successful docent system.”

Kanter comes from a family immersed in medicine. His wife, Leslie M. Borsett-Kanter M.D., is a pediatrician with expertise in feeding disorders. His son, John H. Kanter, is a third-year medical student at Florida State University. His brother and sister, Roy A. Kanter M.D. and Merrill Kanter Carolin M.D., both are neurologists.

Outside of work, Kanter and his wife enjoy jazz, reading and travel, and show Cardigan Welsh Corgis competitively.

“The UMKC School of Medicine has a number of strengths that position it well for significant growth and development in the coming years,” Kanter said. “The school is situated in a vibrant city that is on the move. It has wonderful clinical partners, excellent neighboring institutions, and is part of a great university. Also, the location and layout of Hospital Hill lends itself to the kind of communication and collaboration that is so important to advancing thinking and practice in health care, research, and education. I am excited about the opportunities to develop interprofessional initiatives in both research and education.”


SOM takes part in another successful Hospital Hill Run

A record number of more than 7,500 runners participated in the 40th annual Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City on Saturday, June, 1, including more than 1,600 runners in the UMKC School of Medicine 5K event.
More than 7,500 runners participated in the 40th annual Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City on Saturday, June, 1, including more than 1,600 runners in the UMKC School of Medicine 5K event.

Runners filled the streets of Hospital Hill on Saturday, June 1, for the 40th annual Hospital Hill Run, including more than 1,600 participants in the UMKC School of Medicine 5K event.

Clear skies and mild weather lured a crowd of nearly 7,700 particpants and thousands of onlookers to the event that includes the 5K, 10K, half marathon and wheel chair race. The School of Medicine served as the title sponsor for the 5K run for the seventh straight year, and has been connected with the event since its beginning in 1974.

School of Medicine Dean Betty Drees, M.D., and Senior Associate Dean Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., manned the finish line banner for the 5K run, won by Derek Lee of Clinton, Mo., in 16 minutes, 17 seconds. Katie Berger of Smithville, Mo., won the women’s race in 20:17.

The half marathon drew nearly 4,300 runners. Josh Baden of Lawrence, Kan., won the race in 1:10:05 and Kimi Reed of Brookline, Mo., won the women’s race in 1:19:21.

School of Medicine faculty, students and staff volunteer each year to serve at first aid stations located throughout the race routes and at the first aid tent. Sports medicine faculty and fellows provide medical services for the entire event.