Alumni and community leaders honor successful past and promising future
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine celebrated its rich 50-year history as a leader in innovative health care education and delivery in the urban core of Kansas City, and its future potential during the school’s Golden Jubilee event on June 4.
Event chairs Rachael and Nelson Sabates, M.D., ’86, and honorary chairs Charlie Shields, president and CEO of University Health, and the Honorable Brenda Shields welcomed more than 800 alumni and community supporters to the event.
Mary Anne Jackson (MD ’78), dean of the medical school, recognized Lucky Chopra (BA,’91, MD ’92), as the recipient of the 2022 UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award.
“Dr. Chopra’s entrepreneurial career began while he was still in his final year of radiology residency,” Jackson said. “Working out of his garage, he purchased an old milk truck and converted it to carry a ‘barely portable’ radiology X-ray machine and began contracting with local Houston nursing homes to provide imaging services without the patient having to travel. His company, Advanced Diagnostics Healthcare, was born.”
"Four thousand alumni strong, we are the backbone for health care in a multitude of communities, serving as innovators and leaders in clinical care, as educators, department chairs, section chiefs and medical school faculty, as leaders in diversity and advocacy, and national leaders in research.” -
Jackson celebrated the school’s outstanding legacy beginning with the first dean, Richardson K. Noback, M.D., who will be 99 years old this year, and the late E. Grey Dimond, M.D., who developed the accelerated curriculum and docent concept that is now a part of medical programs across the county.
Jackson acknowledged the tight connection between the school and Kansas City.
“We are the anchor to healthcare in the urban core and beyond,” Jackson said. “Teaching students how to use information, how to approach ambiguity and uncertainty and to think critically about challenges in medicine and biomedical science, continues to be part of our DNA. Four thousand alumni strong, we are the backbone for health care in a multitude of communities, serving as innovators and leaders in clinical care, as educators, department chairs, section chiefs and medical school faculty, as leaders in diversity and advocacy, and national leaders in research.”
Jackson noted the significant contribution of the school’s clinical affiliates and their dedication to student education by providing opportunities for students to participate in care for diverse patient populations and to see cutting edge medical care and its affects.
“We are grateful for the strong partnerships with University Health, Children’s Mercy, St. Luke’s Health System, Research Medical Center, the Center for Behavioral Medicine, the Kansas City VA, Advent Health and Liberty Hospital.”
New partnerships have led to the student opportunities and advancement of health care statewide.
“In 2021 we launched our additional campus in St. Joseph, Missouri and welcomed our newest affiliate, Mosaic Life Care, to recruit, prepare and encourage these students to become part of the primary health community in rural Missouri counties,” Jackson said.
After highlighting the outstanding successes of alumni, UMKC chancellor Mauli Agrawal recognized the event chairs for their untiring leadership and support of the School of Medicine.
“This spectacular event is much more than a party,” Agrawal said. “This evening represents and celebrates generations and decades – literally five decades – of students, graduates, critical health care providers and their teachers. Just as the UMKC School of Medicine was launched with an innovative vision of healthcare education five decades ago, we move into the next fifty years with an exciting vision for the future of the school.”