Sunderland Foundation Grants $30 Million For New UMKC Medical Building


Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons speaks at UMKC donor announcement

Zayin Barnes, Managing Editor

  UMKC has announced a $30 million donation from the Sunderland Foundation to assist in the construction of a state-of-the-art medical and dentistry building in the Hospital Hill Campus. 

  The project aims to attract top-level faculty and researchers by expanding UMKC’s Health Sciences District into a major regional academic medical center. 

  The new multi-story Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will provide cutting-edge dentistry technology, the possibility of a teledentistry program and lower cost dental care for the Kansas City community. 

  The facility also permits an increase in medical and dental class sizes, with more physical capacity for students. 

  “This new interprofessional medical building will allow us to teach the next generation of dentists to deliver dental care quicker, with better accuracy and at a lower cost,” said Steven Haas, dean of UMKC’s School of Dentistry. “This is what is most exciting about having a new building housing our clinics.”

  The future addition will provide space for the UMKC Health Equity Institute, Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center and a new biomedical engineering program. 

  Prior to Sunderland’s donation, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a $40 million legislation towards the expansion.

  “We are proud to support the efforts of UMKC to improve educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math to expand health care access in the state of Missouri, particularly in rural areas,” Parson said. “Missourians will reap the benefits of increased collaboration between health care services and the data science and biomedical engineering programs that will share the building. This partnership could help further health outcomes through new, innovative solutions right here in Missouri.”

  The new building creates more options for the underserved, provides dental care for those who can’t afford it and creates well-paying jobs. 

  “The Health Equity Institute, under Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, has been working with communities on the east side to see how we can [provide] better healthcare for them,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We do a lot of dental care for people who cannot afford [it]. Depending on the year, anywhere from half a million to $750,000 of uncompensated care, because they have no other place to go.”

  UMKC’s School of Dentistry is the only public dental school in Missouri. It’s also one of 20 in the country where schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy share a single, walkable campus. The arrangement facilitates interprofessional training for students and opportunities for research collaboration.

  “We need to give our community the best facilities, and that’s this building,” Agrawal said. “If you think of healthcare as a need, which it is, our city’s growing, and there [are] still a lot of areas within the city that we can improve.” 

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