MU School Of Medicine, CoxHealth, Mercy Springfield Unite Missouri’s Health Care Crisis
Springfield’s new clinical campus is a historic feat for the University of Missouri School of Medicine, CoxHealth, and Mercy Springfield as these organizations endeavor together to address the state’s serious need for health care professionals.
Missouri is listed among the country’s top 20 states with the largest elderly population — citizens who are 65 years of age and above.
MU recognizes that this particular sector of the society needs more medical care. But, unfortunately, more than 90% of Missouri’s counties don’t even receive adequate health care due to shortage of physicians.
“Uniting our organizations to develop a second clinical campus in Springfield, Missouri, was by far the best way to expand health care and medical education in the communities we serve,” Andrew Evans, associate dean and chief academic officer for MUs Springfield clinical campus and associate professor of clinical medicine, said in a press release. “It is a shining example of how the University of Missouri is advancing our state’s health and its economy.”
Evans also cited their gratitude to their clinical partners, CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield, alongwith the Missouri State University which made a commitment to share the university’s resources with Springfield students which include info tech support, health, and recreation.
“Our collaboration with MU and CoxHealth for this clinical campus is another example of like-minded organizations working together to do what’s right for patients in the future,”
Stuart Stangeland, chief operating officer for Mercy Springfield Clinics, also remarked during the ribbon-cutting ceremony last June 13. “Our doctors are excited about getting to practice medicine while also teaching and mentoring our next generation of providers.”
“By giving students more options for clinical training in other hospitals and physician practices, we are educating them on the diverse health needs of our state and increasing the odds of putting more physicians in Springfield and southwest Missouri,” Frank Romero, CoxHealth’s chief medical officer, also added.
The new clinical campus is part of a great expansion program which was envisioned by MU, CoxHealth, and Mercy Springfield almost a decade ago for the well-being and socio-economic benefits of the citizens of Missiouri.
The expansion program includes the establishment of a medical education infrastructure at the university which would cost more than $40 million.
“I can’t imagine a more impressive partnership for Missouri’s flagship public university, particularly at a time when our state and nation are in dire need of more physicians,” Patrick Delafontaine, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean of the MU School of Medicine, commented. “Our mission at the MU School of Medicine is to train physicians who will care for our state’s growing elderly population, increasing numbers of patients living with chronic illnesses, and many others now have more access to health care.”
Based on the Conference Board’s Labor Shortages Index for the US, the lack of health care professionals and health care providers rank among the highest. And the need for this type of skilled workers just keeps on growing due to the retirement of more and more baby boomers.
According to the World Bank, as of 2015, Americans aged 65 and above had already come to constitute 15% of the country’s total population.
More than 45 million American elderlies are requiring medical care today, and this number will continue to increase with the aging of more and more baby boomers — those people born between 1946 and 1964.
“It is important to understand we are still one medical school, now with two top-quality campuses and some of the best clinical partners in the state,” Delafontaine further remarked as he considered Missouri’s future. “We now have the partners, resources and talent needed to transform medical education in Missouri.”
MU’s million-dollar medical education building targets to open this coming 2017.
The whole expansion endeavor, inspired by a great public-private partnership among Missouri’s health care systems, expects to produce more than 300 physicians, more than 3,000 health care employment opportunities, and to contribute almost $400 million to the state’s economy.