Dec 2, 2013

Commencement Date Announced for 2014

We are pleased to announce that the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences will have our first combined commencement ceremony for the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Biosciences on May 17, 2014, at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City.  Our ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. The new venue will let us celebrate the graduation of all of our students, as well as allow each of our graduates to invite as many family members and friends as they wish.

A detailed calendar for the graduation week will be emailed from the office of University Events to all department chairs and to the Classes of 2014. Should you have any questions about this calendar, please direct them to Nancy Jones, executive director of University Events, at ext. 7039 or email at

Realizing our Vision: The First 100 Years and Beyond

KCUMB has made significant strides during the last nine months in support of our Strategic Plan. The University community first developed this five-year plan to guide KCUMB’s actions during the 2010-2012 time frame. Read more about our Strategic Plan.

We reviewed our progress and set a clear direction for KCUMB as a part of our annual Thanksgiving luncheon and Town Hall meeting. In particular, we identified ways in which all of our team will play important roles in planning new objectives and initiatives to continue our mission of "improving the well-being of the communities we serve."

In addition, I shared with the campus the vision for KCUMB and our University team, which centers on these three priorities:
  • To become the most student-focused medical university in the nation.
  • To build the best university team of faculty, staff and administrators.
  • To create the greatest workplace in the region.
We will begin to develop a roadmap for this vision by forming Strategic Leadership Teams in support of each of our five strategic goals. These teams will include broad representation from our faculty, staff and administration to ensure a process of shared governance. Each group will be asked to:
  • Develop clear expectations for each goal
  • Identify specific initiatives to support those goals
  • Recommend metrics to demonstrate success
These teams will be critical to ensuring the ongoing success of our institution and will pave the way for preparing our institution for its second 100 years of educating osteopathic physicians, scientists and other health professionals. I look forward to sharing more with you about our progress in the coming months.

Panel Proposes Medical Education Overhaul

National Blue Ribbon Commission Proposes Overhaul of Medical Education

A national panel of osteopathic medical experts recently released a report detailing recommendations for an overhaul of medical education that could proactively address the nation’s imminent physician shortage.

I was honored to serve as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education (BRC). The 24-member commission was formed in response to the nation’s need for a robust primary care physician workforce by envisioning a new model for medical education that will better prepare osteopathic physicians for success in today’s health-care environment.

Read more about the BRC and its report in the November issue of Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal of health policy and research. 

The Commission made three key recommendations to reform medical education and to potentially mitigate this shortage. These recommendations include:
  • Increasing clinical experience for medical students early in medical school
  • Advancing students from medical school to residency, and residency training to practice, based on readiness rather than years of study
  • Providing a stronger focus on primary care and preparedness to function in the modern health-care system

In addition to reducing the shortage of primary care physicians, particularly in underserved areas, we believe these recommendations will also help decrease the debt burden of our medical students. While these changes would represent both a disruptive innovation in how we educate medical students and a challenge to our current system of medical education, we believe they are necessary to educate physicians who are ready to address the health-care needs of the 21st century.

Physician shortages already affect patients, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas. From 2000 to 2010, there was a 30 percent decrease in the number of medical school graduates entering primary care practice.

Today, 60 percent of doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s) practice primary care, and many practice in underserved urban and rural areas. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine also announced an 11 percent increase in new enrollment at the nation’s osteopathic medical schools.

KCUMB is experiencing a 14 percent increase as compared to last year, and our graduates traditionally lean toward primary care specialties. In Missouri, 72 percent of our graduates practice in primary care and 40 percent serve in rural and underserved areas of the state.

But tradition may not be enough. To ensure that new medical students are interested in primary care and service in rural areas, we must take a hard look at our medical education system and identify ways to prepare current medical students to meet the challenges of the future.

Symposium Focuses on Research Initiatives

Faculty and students gathered Nov. 21-22 to share their own research initiatives and learn from others in the field during the 22nd annual KCUMB Research Symposium. More than 50 student research abstracts were presented during the symposium, which focused on the theme of “Population Health: The Impact of Translational Research.”

We were honored to have outstanding guest speakers this year. Bill Balke, M.D., program director for the University of California San Francisco’s Philippines-California Advanced Research Institute, gave the keynote address on Thursday, and Marco Brotto, Ph.D., professor of nursing, medicine and biological sciences at UMKC School of Nursing, spoke at the awards breakfast on Friday.

A team of invited judges chose the best abstracts among the student participants. Winners were:
  • John Frey, second-year osteopathic medical student, Norbert W. Seidler, Ph.D., Prize for Research, “A Role for Raptor Phosphorylation in the Mechanical Activation of mTOR Signaling”
  • Eric Czer, second-year osteopathic medical student, second place and the Betty Jo White, D.O., FACOS, Prize for Research, “Unexpected Anatomical Variations of the Anterior Talofibular Ligament”
  • Kenna Schnarr, second-year osteopathic medical student, third place, “Investigation of the Role of Carcinoma-Associated Fibroblasts in Tumor Angiogenesis” 
In addition, Kenna Schnarr’s research also received recognition at the recent 57th Annual American Osteopathic Association Research Conference in Las Vegas, where she received a second-place award. She was one of 15 KCUMB-COM students who presented research posters at the conference, ranking KCUMB fifth among all institutions for the number of posters presented.

Follow @KCUMBpresident on Twitter

Improved communication is essential to achieving our vision for KCUMB's future.

To help streamline communication, I've joined Twitter. You can join the conversation too by following me @KCUMBpresident. It's just one of the ways I'll be staying connected with alumni, students, faculty and staff, as well as friends of KCUMB.

KCUMB Professor and Alumnus Earns Recognition

National Organization Names KCUMB Professor and Alumnus as 2013 Internist of the Year

The American College of Osteopathic Internists recently bestowed one of its highest honors upon an alumnus of KCUMB who also serves as a member of our faculty.

Kevin Hubbard, D.O. (COM ’86), professor and chair of internal medicine, was named ACOI’s 2013 Internist of the Year, in recognition of his contributions to the practice of osteopathic internal medicine. Each year, ACOI presents the Internist of the Year award to a physician who is held in high esteem by osteopathic internal medicine leaders for leadership, development and teaching excellence.

He was officially recognized Oct. 11 during the organization’s annual conference in Indian Wells, Calif., and later by the University community at a reception in his honor.

Dr. Hubbard is highly regarded by his colleagues, not only as a hematologist-oncologist, but also as a leader in the osteopathic professional and educational communities. He has an innate ability to apply his knowledge with wisdom and compassion, which sets him apart as an excellent physician, role model and mentor for KCUMB’s student doctors. We are honored to have him as a part of our team.

Oct 16, 2013

KCUMB Positively Impacts Healthcare Delivery

KCUMB alumni have been making a difference in the lives of their patients and in the communities they serve for nearly 100 years.

While alumni and friends of our institution recognize KCUMB's impact, the University recently gathered more comprehensive data in order to showcase the effect we are having on our nation and the world.

Let me share some of our key findings. KCUMB is: 
  • Helping fill critical primary care positions at a higher rate than graduates of most other medical schools, with 72 percent of our graduates practicing in primary care specialties. 
  • The second-largest provider of physicians for Missouri and Kansas.
  • Providing much-needed medical care in underserved areas, with 40 percent of Missouri alumni practicing in rural areas. 
  • The largest medical school in Missouri and the 12th-largest in the United States. 
  • Click here to see additional maps and statistics about local, regional and national findings. 
In addition, KCUMB’s students, faculty and staff also continue working to improve the health of others. In particular:
  • KCUMB is partnering with the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC), Missouri's first Federally Qualified Health Center, to improve access to medical care just two blocks from our campus. This agreement provides additional primary care physicians for SURHC, while expanding educational opportunities for our osteopathic medical students.
  • KCUMB students and faculty participate in medical mission trips through DOCARE International that provides much-needed health care to indigent and isolated people in remote areas around the world. | See DOCARE photo gallery
  • KCUMB's Score 1 for Health program provides free, in-school health screenings, preventive health education and health-care mentors to more than 13,000 of Kansas City's most vulnerable children annually. 

Campus Master Plan Construction Underway

In July 2013, KCUMB unveiled a comprehensive five-year Campus Master Plan, designed to identify facilities upgrades and new facilities needed for the immediate future.  Click here to see a photo gallery and watch a live web cam of the Academic Center construction.

We want to create a cohesive campus environment that is safe, neighborly, pedestrian friendly and ties the University together.

Over the next five years, KCUMB will spend nearly $60 million to realize the first phase of this vision and develop a state-of-the-art home to support our academic, research and clinical missions. This initial phase includes:

Academic Center

  • Construction began October 1 to renovate Weaver Auditorium into two high-tech auditoriums and multiple classrooms for daily use. 
  • Continuing our quest for a sustainable environment, we plan to reclaim 90 percent of the existing materials. Our construction plan will provide us with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver designation for this building. 
  • Repurposing Weaver Auditorium saves $4 million compared to the construction of a new lecture facility. 
  • The remodeled building will open in time for the beginning of classes in August 2014.

Renovations to the Administration Building

  • This historic building will be updated to accommodate our needs for our second 100 years.
  • This renovation will include the addition of a welcome center for applicants and visitors to our campus in the north wing.

Center for Medical Simulation

  • A Simulation Center Planning Group defined the scope of the facility for our students today and in the future.
  • The new center will provide much-needed space to effectively accommodate the simulation and standardized patient programs and will allow for collaboration with other institutions in the region.
Health and Wellness Center
  • This new facility aligns with our mission of health and well being and will accommodate the needs of our growing campus.
  • The Health and Wellness Center will include a cafeteria, an exercise facility for faculty and staff, and space that can be utilized for special events.

Oct 14, 2013

KCUMB Appoints Bruce Dubin, D.O., J.D., as Provost and Dean

Bruce Dubin, D.O., J.D., FCLM, FACOI, was recently named as KCUMB’s executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will join the University in mid-November.

I truly believe that Dr. Dubin is one of the great thought leaders in osteopathic medical education today. In particular, his dedication to teaching and his understanding of the classroom dynamic has made him an extraordinary administrator. These assets will make him an extremely valuable member of our executive leadership team.

Dr. Dubin comes to KCUMB from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colo., where he has served as the dean and chief academic officer since 2009. He also served as interim president from 2011-2013. 

He received the Meritorious Medical Educator Recognition from the Texas Legislature in 2010, the Texas Osteopathic Association’s Meritorious Service Award in 2009, and was named Educator of the Year by the American Osteopathic Foundation in 2007. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Federal Bar.

Dr. Dubin earned a bachelor of arts in chemistry and biology from Eastern Michigan University and a juris doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy. He earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine from A.T. Still University's Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. He is board certified in internal medicine (AOBIM).

We look forward to Dr. Dubin joining us and have high expectations for our academic programs.

Oct 11, 2013

KCUMB Hosts Annual Research Symposium

KCUMB is committed to expanding our research program to benefit the long-term education of our students and to contribute to medical- and scientific-related discoveries that will make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Each year, we host KCUMB's Research Symposium to showcase current research, provide a venue to gain exposure to ongoing research across many fields of study, and facilitate opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration. This year’s topic is “Population Health: Impact of Translational Research.” The event will take place Nov. 21-22 on the KCUMB campus.

I want to personally invite alumni to consider participating in this event by attending or registering to judge the presentations.
For more information, you may visit our website at or contact us at  

Score 1 for Health Addresses Disparities in Access to Healthcare

Score 1 for Health remains one of KCUMB’s most important and far-reaching programs. 

Score 1 provides free, in-school health screenings, preventive health education and health-care mentors for children in areas of greatest need, including those in urban core, underprivileged and low-income families.

The program has addressed disparities in access to health care for children and families in the Kansas City metropolitan area for more than 20 years and builds on the idea that optimal health and well being enhances the ability to learn, grow and develop creatively.

KCUMB’s first- and second-year osteopathic medical students participate in health screening days, gaining valuable clinical experience in pediatric health assessment while providing an important community service.

Each year, Score 1 for Health serves an average of 13,000 children living in the Kansas City’s urban core. Here is a review of KCUMB's impact from our 2012-2013 screenings: 
  • The program screened children in 50 schools within the Kansas City, Mo., Raytown, Center, Hickman Mills and Kansas City, Kan., school districts, as well as at several charter and Catholic grade schools.
  • During seven screening days, Score 1 assessed 12,227 children and conducted more than 18,000 screenings.
  • Score 1 nurses followed up with more than 3,000 families to discuss referrals for children who required additional care. 
I invite you to consider volunteering to assist with Score 1 health screenings, alongside KCUMB students, faculty and staff. If you are a physician or health-care professional and have a desire to make a difference, contact Annette Campbell, director of Score 1 for Health, at 800-234-4847 ext. 7962.

Alumni Return to KCUMB to Take on Leadership Roles

Three of our prominent KCUMB alumni recently took on new roles, serving in various capacities on our Board of Trustees.

Marshall D. Walker, D.O. (COM ’72)

After having worked with KCUMB students for years in his position as director of medical education for Via Christi Health in Wichita, Kan., Dr. Walker recently became chair of KCUMB’s Board of Trustees, following the planned departure of Terry Dunn at the end of his term.

Dr. Walker served as KCUMB’s interim president and chief executive officer earlier this year, while the Board of Trustees conducted the national search for a permanent president. For his dedication to the institution, the Board of Trustees voted to bestow upon him the honor of being named KCUMB’s 13th president and chief executive officer.

Dr. Walker was also honored as one of the Wichita Business Journal’s 2013 Health Care Heroes. KCUMB is grateful for Dr. Walker’s leadership and dedication to our faculty, staff and students.

Janis Strickland Coffin, D.O. (COM ’98)

An associate professor of family medicine and medical director for the Family Medicine Center at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Strickland Coffin was installed as president of the KCUMB Alumni Association at KCUMB's Homecoming celebration in September.

Dr. Strickland Coffin has played an integral role in the Alumni Association over the past several years. She was previously the recipient of KCUMB’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award.

Dr. Strickland Coffin has received many accolades for her teaching, including the prestigious Thomas A. Sappington Award and induction into the Academy of Medical Educators. She has participated in more than 60 invited lectures, and her work has been published in more than 20 journals. In addition, she was recently awarded grant funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

Eugene A. Oliveri, D.O. (COM ’64)

A former president of the American Osteopathic Association, Dr. Oliveri has distinguished himself nationally as a leader in the osteopathic medical profession. He recently returned to KCUMB to serve as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Oliveri has served as assistant dean and professor of medicine at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and also as chair of the Department of Gastroenterology at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich.