Kansas City Health Organizations Launch Collaborative Health Science District

May 19, 2017

Some of Kansas City’s largest health organizations announced on Friday the launch of a collaboration centered on Hospital Hill.

The “UMKC Health Sciences District” includes the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Truman Medical Centers, Children’s Mercy Hospital and the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department, among other partners.

At an event that included the signing of the collaborative agreement, institution and civic leaders highlighted the value of having so many health providers, educational institutions and local city health organization within a few blocks of each other working together.

“We think it has huge potential for the future,” said Charlie Shields, CEO of Truman Medical Centers.

The two-mile health science district is bounded by Troost Avenue and Gillham Road to the east and west and 20th and 25th streets to the north and south.

The health district also includes UMKC’s schools of Nursing and Health Studies, Pharmacy and Dentistry, the Jackson County Medical Examiner and the Missouri Department of Mental Health Center for Behavioral Medicine.

Many of the organizations have long histories of working together on research, education and public health campaigns, but organizers says the creation of the district will improve their ability to secure grants, collaborate on research, conduct community health outreach and provide health care for employees, faculty, students and local residents.

UMKC Med School Dean Steven Kanter said the creation of the district could also help with recruiting top-level researchers.

“What defines an academic health center is ability to study what you do, learn new things and then feed that back into the system to provide better and safer care for patients,” Kanter said.  

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of UMKC School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter.

Editor's note: KCUR is licensed by UMKC.

Alex Smith is a health reporter for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @AlexSmithKCUR