KCU Continuing Feasibility Study for College of Dental Medicine

Share Article

The decision to continue feasibility study is driven by significant oral health need in the Joplin, Missouri area.

News Image

Kansas City University (KCU) announced today it is continuing a comprehensive feasibility study regarding the creation of a College of Dental Medicine to serve the “four-corners” region of southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas to help meet primary oral health needs for these communities.

The decision to pursue a College of Dental Medicine stems from the significant unmet health care needs in this region – especially in the area of oral health. Access to dentists is a challenge, particularly in these rural areas. Most counties within a 125-mile radius of Joplin are designated as Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSAs) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center projects an additional 780 dentists will be needed in the state by 2024. Currently, there is a limited number of dental schools in the four-state area to educate dentists to meet those needs.

KCU, with a 102-year history of educating physicians and scientists, has been growing to become a comprehensive health sciences university to improve the well-being of the communities it serves.

"KCU’s campuses in Kansas City and Joplin are working to meet the medical needs and improve health outcomes for these communities, especially in the area of primary care, and we’ve studied the region and identified key gaps in health profession workforces,” said Marc B. Hahn, DO, president and CEO of KCU.

“KCU’s mission is to improve the well-being of the communities we serve. Establishing a College of Dental Medicine would further our pursuit of that goal. It would also build on the University’s osteopathic foundation which focuses on an overall holistic philosophy of patient care, especially for underserved and diverse populations.”

The continuation of the feasibility study will ensure a thorough review and a strategic approach is taken in the decision for a College of Dental Medicine. The process will include further exploration of needs and anticipated regional economic impact, investigation of various funding sources and identification of possible locations. The feasibility study will also explore accreditation and the development of possible community, clinical, public health and higher education partnerships.

About Kansas City University

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private health sciences university, with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Missouri, and the largest in the state. It is the second-leading provider of physicians within the states of Missouri and Kansas.

KCU opened a second medical school campus in Joplin, Missouri in 2017 to help address the growing need for primary care physicians in the region’s rural communities.

The university also added a doctoral program in clinical psychology in 2017 to meet the growing demand for behavioral health providers in the region

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print