Caring for Missourians
UMKC and MSU collaborate to provide Doctor of Pharmacy program in Springfield
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was joined by leaders from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and Missouri State University (MSU) on Oct. 14 in Springfield to announce the signing of an agreement that will allow students on the MSU campus to enroll in UMKC's Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program. The announcement was made at a special ceremony at the MSU Brick City Gallery in downtown Springfield, where representatives from the two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand the program to the MSU campus.
"From small towns to big cities, Missouri needs more pharmacists," said Gov. Nixon. "When we launched the Caring for Missourians program in 2009, this was exactly the sort of collaboration and innovation we had in mind. This initiative is helping prepare our students with the education and skills they need to have a successful career in a health care field that is in demand. Working together with our universities and colleges, we're continuing to invest in our workforce to grow our economy and move Missouri in the right direction."
The UMKC Pharm.D. program expansion to MSU was developed in response to current and projected shortages of pharmacy professionals in the state, particularly in underserved rural areas. With support from Gov. Nixon's Caring for Missourians initiative, this collaboration will train pharmacy professionals to serve pharmacy healthcare needs in the southern region of Missouri. The location of the program in Springfield at MSU makes the UMKC pharmacy program more accessible for students living in the southwest region of Missouri.
Launched in fall 2009, Caring for Missourians was a one-time investment of $40 million to increase the number of pharmacists, nurses, physicians, dentists and other health professionals being educated at Missouri's public colleges and universities. Colleges and universities developed individual plans for how they would invest their Caring for Missourians funds.
"We very much appreciate the support of Governor Nixon and the Missouri General Assembly in advocating for this important program and funding it in a very difficult budget year," said MSU Interim President Clif Smart. "I think that speaks to the importance of establishing this program in southern Missouri. Lots of people have worked on this for two years, so we are gratified to see it become a reality."
The UMKC School of Pharmacy at MSU is modeled after the successful UMKC at MU site, which was launched at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia in 2005. As with the MU site, students at the MSU site will benefit from the strong healthcare and practice site facilities available in Springfield once students begin their practice rotations. All three sites will be linked by state-of-the-art instructional technology.
"The University of Missouri is committed to educating more pharmacists throughout the state to help offset the increasing shortages in this critical area," said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. "The new UMKC pharmacy program site at MSU -- like the site established at MU -- will help meet the need by increasing the number of pharmacy graduates by about 20 percent a year."
The UMKC School of Pharmacy's fully accredited Pharm.D. degree requires two years of pre-requisite coursework for admission into the professional program. The four-year professional curriculum features a combination of basic and clinical science coursework, technical skills training, practice administration education, and experiential learning opportunities. The UMKC Pharm.D. program's comprehensive curriculum ensures that graduates are prepared for highly-competitive, in-demand careers in a wide variety of pharmacy practice settings.
"This collaboration is a perfect illustration of new synergies that are being created between academic institutions across our state," said UM System Interim President Stephen J. Owens. "This program and this partnership can serve as a model for us as we to continue to explore new and creative ways to combine scholarship and technology to serve the needs of the people of Missouri."
In a related announcement, UMKC and MSU announced that the PharmD Program will be housed in Downtown Springfield. The two institutions have agreed to partner on the 60,000-square-foot Building 1, the final building in Brick City, to provide a location for UMKC's School of Pharmacy. UMKC's School of Pharmacy will begin offering the four-year professional portion of its Doctorate in Pharmacy in Building 1 beginning in the fall of 2014. Approximately 15,000-square-feet will be renovated on the fourth floor for UMKC to include faculty offices, classroom and teaching laboratory spaces all equipped with the latest distance education technologies. For more information, visit pharmacy.umkc.edu/programs/msu/.