Cox and Mercy hospitals partner with MU, MSU for medical training

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Older Missourians often don't have access to necessary medical treatment.

Older Missourians often don’t have access to medical professionals.

Missouri ranks among the top 20 states with residents older than 65 years of age, and by 2030, people over 65 will represent one in five of all Missourians. Yet 90 percent of Missouri’s counties lack adequate access to health care professionals to treat older Missourians.

To address this aging population and critical physician shortage, the University of Missouri formed a unique partnership with Mercy Springfield, CoxHealth, and Missouri State University to create the University of Missouri Clinical Program in Springfield. Butler, Rosenbury & Partners worked with the landlord to the University and collaborated closely with medical school administration to design the Springfield Clinical Campus offices.

MU’s Medical Expansion Impact
The building was previously used as a law office. BR&P worked to convert the space into faculty offices and a multipurpose space, which is mostly being used as a testing center for the students. The renovation also focused on updating the former lawyer offices, as well as a significant reconfiguration of the center of the building to accommodate the multipurpose space. New finishes included paint, floor covering, and the insides of the two existing restrooms, one of which was expanded.

The program is expected to grow rapidly. Nine students began their last two years of school training in Springfield this year. By 2017, 32 additional medical students will be admitted into the program, and by 2020, 64 third and fourth year students will be in Springfield. It is estimated that after they graduate, 55 to 60% of these students will stay and practice in Southwest Missouri.

MU’s First Medical Students at the Springfield Campus
The impact will be felt for years to come. The Springfield Clinical Campus is part of MU’s larger medical school expansion in Columbia. The expansion is expected to create more than 3,500 new jobs and add $390 million in annual economic activity to the state. Over the next 20 years, it is projected to provide another 300 physicians for Missouri.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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