James B. Nutter Gives School of Medicine $750,000

Gift will establish a named professorship in diabetes and endocrine studies

The University of Missouri-Kansas  City is pleased to announce a $750,000 gift from James B. Nutter to the School of Medicine to establish a professorship in diabetes and endocrine  studies.

Nutter, founder and chairman of James B. Nutter & Co., called the School of  Medicine “one of Kansas City’s greatest and most unsung assets” and said he has  a personal reason for designating the gift for a position in diabetes and  endocrine studies.

“I have fought diabetes, and know it is a disease that  threatens to become epidemic in our country,” Nutter said. “This gift is really  a gift to our grandchildren and to people yet unborn, that it might help this  great medical school find ways to prevent the onset of diabetes and to improve  quality of life for generations to come.”

Betty Drees, M.D., former dean of the  School of Medicine, thanked Nutter for the gift and said the professorship it  establishes will be named for Nutter, his wife Annabel, and former School of  Medicine dean and a longtime friend of Nutter’s, Dr. Harry Jonas.

“Diabetes and  pre-diabetes are very important health issues in Kansas City,” said Drees, who  will continue to serve on the School of Medicine’s faculty.

“We have good  evidence that we can prevent pre-diabetes from developing into diabetes, as well  as good treatments to prevent complications from diabetes in those who already  have the disease. UMKC School of Medicine faculty, staff and students are  committed to advancing health in our community through caring for individuals  with chronic diseases, as well as preventing these diseases.”

The School of  Medicine was a recent sponsor of the American Diabetes Association’s 5K Step Out  Walk to Stop Diabetes.  More than 60 UMKC medical, pharmacy, and nursing “Roos  on Call” students helped with the event and with screening for diabetes  mellitus.

“We are truly grateful for Mr. Nutter’s generous commitment to the  School of Medicine and the investment in a better future for the health of  Kansas City,” Drees said.

The school has more than 20 endowed chairs and  professorships, the most of any academic unit in the University of Missouri  System. This was the eighth of those to be funded during Dr. Drees’ tenure as  dean. She left the deanship recently after serving in the position more than 12  years and will continue to serve on the faculty, with an emphasis in improving  health outcomes and community engagement.

Steven L. Kanter, M.D., succeeded  Drees as dean of the School of Medicine Oct. 1. Kanter also thanked Nutter for  his gift.

“This school will continue its long record of training top physicians  thanks to generous donors like Mr. Nutter,” Kanter said. “Support like this is  critical to our continued success. We are extremely grateful.”

The UMKC  Foundation, launched in 2009, is an independent, nonprofit organization that  serves as the official fundraising and fund management organization for UMKC.

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