Program designed to address statewide pharmacist shortage
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and Missouri State University (MSU) in Springfield, Mo., have entered into an agreement that will allow students on the Springfield campus to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UMKC. The agreement was finalized at a signing ceremony on the MSU campus on Sept. 8, 2009.
The new satellite program will employ state-of-the-art distance learning and satellite technology to link classrooms at the UMKC School of Pharmacy to specially equipped classrooms at MSU. Pharmacy students on the MSU campus will be registered at UMKC, but will have access to ancillary services at MSU, such as parking, library facilities and other student activities.
“This is a great example of two universities combining expertise and resources to solve one of the State of Missouri’s pressing problems,” said Dr. Michael T. Nietzel, President of Missouri State. “The shortage of pharmacists in the state is acute, and it is especially severe in southwest Missouri. The University of Missouri and Missouri State will be great partners in helping address this need with a high-quality program at a great value.”
At the current rates of pharmacy graduation, there will be an estimated national shortage of 157,000 pharmacists by the year 2020. Based on Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) data, the State of Missouri will have a shortage of 700 pharmacists by the year 2012. There is also significant demand for the Doctor of Pharmacy program, as evidenced by applicant pools in excess of 600 students each of the past two years at the UMKC School of Pharmacy. Approximately 250 students are interviewed each year, and 123 students are currently admitted to the five-year program. This high level of interest coupled with current and projected national and state pharmacist shortages provides a strong case for initiatives to increase pharmacy enrollment.
“The University of Missouri is committed to educating more pharmacists throughout the state to help offset the increasing shortages in this critical area,” said UM System President Gary Forsee. “The satellite program between UMKC and MSU—like the satellite pharmacy program established between UMKC and the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005—will help meet the need by increasing the number of pharmacy doctorates by about 20 percent to 150 graduates a year.”
The curriculum for the UMKC-MSU Doctor of Pharmacy satellite program will be the same as the curriculum currently offered on the UMKC campus. Many of the required basic health science courses overlap between UMKC and MSU, providing the opportunity for students in the satellite program to take those courses at MSU and receive transfer credit. Courses that are not offered at MSU will be transmitted from UMKC via two-way audio/video to interactive classrooms on the MSU campus.
“This partnership is a perfect illustration of some of the new synergies being created between academic institutions across our state,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “Looking forward, I think this program and this partnership can serve as a model for us to further explore new and creative ways to combine scholarship and technology to serve the needs of the people of Missouri.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon joined the officials from the universities at the signing ceremony. In June, the Governor signed into law the Caring for Missourians initiative, a funding bill that will enable the state’s four- and two-year public universities to produce several hundred more graduates each year for in-demand health care careers.
“The demand for health care professionals in Missouri has never been higher, and this partnership between two of our top universities will help meet the growing need for pharmacists in our state,” Gov. Nixon said. “This use of state-of-the-art distance learning to graduate more pharmacists is exactly the type of innovative higher education that the Caring for Missourians initiative was designed to enable and enhance. I appreciate the General Assembly working with me in a bi-partisan way to get this funding passed.”
Launch of the new satellite UMKC pharmacy program on the MSU campus is contingent upon the ability of the two institutions to secure a sustaining appropriation from the Missouri General Assembly to the University of Missouri to support the program.
For more information, contact:
Missouri State University – Dr. Frank Einhellig, 417-836-5335, FrankEinhelligh@MissouriState.edu
University of Missouri-Kansas City – John Austin; 816-235-5251; AustinJA@UMKC.edu
About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons while achieving five goals: democratizing society, incubating new ideas, imagining Missouri’s future, making Missouri’s future, and modeling ethical and effective behavior. The University’s identity is distinguished by its statewide mission in public affairs, with an emphasis on three specific components in the undergraduate curriculum that reflect the Public Affairs mission – ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.