Photos from the SoNHS 40+ Anniversary Celebration Posted

Former deans, alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends gathered in September to kickoff the 40 Plus anniversary year of the School of Nursing and Health Studies at a dinner co-chaired by former deans Lora Lacey-Haun and Nancy Mills and honorary co-chairs CiCi Rojas and Landon Rowland.

Photos:  Celebrating 40+ Years of Nursing at UMKC


$1 Million Interprofessional Grant Will Train Students How to Serve Veterans’ Health

Nursing, pharmacy, psychology and social work students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City will get special training on how to best serve veterans – including those with post-traumatic stress disorder – under a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The three-year grant, which UMKC secured through an interprofessional partnership that includes the schools of Nursing and Health Studies, Pharmacy and Social Work as well as the Department of Psychology, will underwrite a course to help health care professionals – particularly advanced-practice nursing students – improve interprofessional communication and ethical decision making in providing care to veterans.

The course will place students from a variety of disciplines in a clinical setting at the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center. Through clinic experience and classroom work, students will learn to work within the military culture to best treat medically underserved veterans with multiple chronic conditions, focusing particularly on behavioral health issues, such as anxiety, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Congratulations to the SoNHS students who each won a $25 gift certificate to the UMKC bookstore!

Akcia, the company hired by the SoNHS to collect, analyze, and store the online evaluation data, provided the SoNHS a list of the students’ names (and their names only, so that students’ responses remained anonymous) who completed all of their assigned summer semester online course and instructor evaluations.  All of the students on that list were automatically placed in the drawing, and the following students won certificates:  Alexandria Accurso (BSN), David Bates (DNP), Shadae Carr (BHS), Kelly Copeland (MSN), Julie Darby (PhD), LaJada Downs (DNP), Nicole Hendershot (RN-BSN), Danielle Hilliard (BHS), Francisca Opara (RN-BSN), Kayla Pfannenstiel (MSN)!

Faculty truly appreciate students’ constructive feedback provided in the online course and instructor evaluations, and use that feedback to continuously improve SoNHS courses.  Thanks to all students who took time to provide feedback and, again, congratulations to our drawing winners!

Kit Smith, RN, PhD, CNE
Assistant Dean for Program Evaluation
UMKC School of Nursing & Health Studies (SoNHS)


Nursing Students Complete Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies students DeNesha Johnson (top) and Jasmin Guzman were among 14 minority scholars from colleges and universities across the country to complete the second annual Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI).  

The BHLI is an intense, two-year, professional development program, founded by retired  Truman Medical Centers president and chief executive officer John Bluford as a way to use his more than 40 years in healthcare to help develop the next generation of leaders. Truman Medical Centers are a clinical affiliate of UMKC.

Bluford said the institute is modeled after Harvard University’s mid-career executive management programs with the intent of exposing undergraduate scholars to high-level leaders from healthcare, business, education and other fields.

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Win a $25 UMKC Bookstore Certificate – Summer Semester Students only

*** Win a $25 UMKC Bookstore Certificate***


Summer Semester Students: We value your constructive feedback to continuously improve our courses in the SoNHS. Previous student evaluations have influenced textbook changes, assignment modifications, and other course revisions.

This summer, in the hopes of getting your valued feedback, we are drawing names for bookstore gift certificates! Ten, $25 certificates to the UMKC bookstore will be available for students who participate. Simply complete all of your end-of-semester summer course and instructor online evaluations and you will be eligible for entry into the drawing. The evaluation site will open very soon (you will be notified via email) and will remain open until Friday, August 22nd.

If you have any problems accessing the site, please follow the email instructions and let us know as soon as possible. We will draw names the week of August 25th and notify the ten lucky winners!

Questions? Contact Kit Smith at or, if Kit’s out of the office, Judy Jellison at — thank you!


*** Win a $25 UMKC Bookstore Certificate***

Celebration of life for beloved faculty Judy Hileman

Judy Hileman

Judith Caroline Hileman passed away at her home Monday morning, July 7 at the age of 72 after battling Leukemia for two years.

Judy is predeceased by her father, Orville Willis, her mother, Caroline Willis, her brother Dr. James Charles Seeley and her sister Janet Seeley, sister in law Anita Seeley, brother in law David Hileman and her niece Jennifer Seeley and nephew Tommy Hileman.

Judy is survived by her husband of 52 years, Phil Hileman I. They were married in Miami, Oklahoma on May 4th, 1962.

Judy is lovingly remembered by her sister Sue Luken and her husband Jerry, their son Rob, her brother in law Duane Nigus and her sister in law JoAnne Hileman and her sons, Philip A Hileman II and his wife Christina and Keil E Hileman II and his wife Amy, Grandchildren, Lane Claire Hileman, Suzanna (Zuzu) Caroline Hileman, Katherine Aulana Hileman, Alexia Judith Hileman, Anna Nicole Karakoussis, Anthony Nicolaos Karakoussis, and Evan Nicolaos Karakoussis, and great grandchildren Nikolaos and Keira and her Niece Annie Caroline Stanley and her husband Chris, their children, Max and Mia and her nephew James Charles Seeley II and spouse Maria Louisa Villalta, her niece Beth Kalberg and her husband Chris and their son Michael, nephews Durwin Nigus and wife Pam and their sons Trevor and Nathan and Philip Nigus and wife Chonita and son Isaac and daughter Cheyenne.

Judy was born in Horton, Kansas on June 20th, 1942. She graduated from Hiawatha Kansas High School in 1960 and went on to earn a Nursing degree from St Luke’s School of Nursing and a Masters in Nursing from the University Of Kansas and a PhD and APRN from The University of Kansas in 1990. She developed a research tool that has been used by more than 100 researchers in 18 countries to aid in research related to cancer. Judy worked in many areas of Nursing beginning as an Aide in the Hiawatha Hospital as an 8th grader and ending her career teaching at The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies for the last 24 years. She turned in her grades for her last 8 classes with 163 students just 7 weeks before her death.

Judy loved reading, camping and gardening and all of nature’s beauty. Her grandchildren were a special light in her life. She loved teaching and her students to a person. She always said that her two favorite areas of nursing were hospice and teaching. She and the hospice nurses who cared for her during her final days traded stories about hospice experiences. Judy loved and respected all of God’s creatures and was never heard to use the word hate.

There will be a celebration of Judy’s life service at The Overland Park Presbyterian Church at 8029 Overland Park Drive on Saturday, July 19th at 10:30 followed by a luncheon. Visitation prior to the service.

The burial of her ashes will take place at a later date at a small family gathering. Judy’s wish was that in lieu of flowers or cards she wanted donations to go to The Student Assistance Fund at UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies.

UMKC School of Nursing & Health Studies
Attn: Michael D. Johnson
Health Sciences Building
2464 Charlotte
Kansas City, MO 64108


SONHS Faculty-designed teaching model featured on Health and Human Services rural assistance website

Two SONHS faculty, Jo Klaassen and Anita Skarbek, who developed a rural-focused teaching model called Learning Exchange Reverse Demonstration (LERD) have been asked if the model can serve as a resource to rural health partners via a Health and Human Services Rural Assistance Center’s Innovative Ideas website. The model, which was piloted in our own RN-BSN program is the instructional methodology used for teaching our on-line Health Assessment course. The pilot study results were published in December, 2013 in the Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care.

Dr. Ward-Smith Coauthors Study on Nurses’ Bias of the Overweight

Nurse practitioners responding to a survey admitted a critical and biased attitude when dealing with overweight and obese patients.

Researchers at the University of Missouri (Kansas City, USA) interviewed 358 nurse practitioners at the 2012 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) national conference. The 19-item, study-specific survey used a 6-point scale to grade responses, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree; no neutral response was provided. Overall, 94% of respondents were women; 1% were underweight; 51% were normal weight; 38% were overweight; and 10% were obese. Another 22 people failed to disclose their personal weight. About 77% of the respondents were Caucasian, 9% were African American, 5% were Asian, and 5% were Hispanic.

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