Alumni Expertise on COVID-19

UMKC grads use experience to combat the coronavirus

UMKC Roos are lending their expertise across the country to help ease the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are just a few of the graduates making a difference.

Janelle Sabo (PharmD ’00), a clinical development executive at Eli Lilly and Company, led the development and implementation of a registration, data collection and results reporting system to enable Lilly’s COVID-19 testing efforts, which includes a drive-through testing facility and diagnostic lab. Lilly has collected over 50,000 patient samples from across Indiana focusing on front line healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers and vulnerable patients. Additionally, Sabo has led cross functional teams and actively participated in multiple industry forums addressing the challenges in global clinical research during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about Lilly’s efforts to fight COVID-19, visit

Alexander Garza (B.S. ’90), oversees hospitals in four states as chief medical officer of SSM Health in St. Louis. He is also incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force and appeared on MSNBC in March to discuss the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the Midwest.Screengrab of Alexander Garza on MSNBC

Gina Mullen (M.D. ’11), emergency room doctor, physician and medical director at VA North Texas Healthcare System and Baylor Medical Center at Uptown appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 with her husband, Jim Mullen. Gina Mullen was treating coronavirus patients in Dallas, Texas, when Jim — a lawyer with a background in nursing — decided to go help COVID-19 patients in New York.Screengrab of Gina Mullen on Anderson Cooper 360

Mary Anne Jackson (M.D. ’78), dean of the UMKC School of Medicine and infectious disease expert, is one of six physicians statewide advising Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. Her expertise has been cited in numerous programs and publications including Doctor Radio on SIriusXM, KCUR and The Kansas City Star.  She also helped gather personal protective equipment across the UMKC Health Sciences District to be donated to area hospitals.

Published: Apr 29, 2020

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