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UMKC reveals renderings for $120M healthcare delivery, innovation building

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Oct 17, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tuesday morning, the University of Missouri-Kansas City revealed the design for its new healthcare delivery and innovation building.

The $120 million state-of-the-art facility is the university’s largest capital project to date.

“This grand dream will bring more jobs, more research and more healthcare innovation to the region, along with the potential of billions of dollars in economic impact,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D.

The 200,000-square-foot building will house UMKC School of Medicine simulation labs, collaborative spaces for the biomedical engineering program and clinics for the university's School of Dentistry.

“I think a lot of our technologies and our equipment at our current dental school could be advanced, and I think that the new dental school building — it will make a stepping stone for dental students entering the workforce,” said Nhuka Nguyen, third-year dental student.

Nguyen went into dentistry after hearing the childhood stories of her immigrant parents; she wanted to raise the standard of dental care and access for Vietnamese communities.

“I have a lot of patients of mine talk about how they can’t walk into a private office because it costs too much or the time length,” she said.

During a time of physician shortages and lack of affordable healthcare, Nguyen is answering the call. At UMKC, students provide more than $750,000 a year in free dental care to the community.

“Patients will appreciate it too because we’re curating an environment where it’s more accessible, where patients don’t have to walk a long hill to go to our dental school," Nguyen said. "It’s gonna be right in a central location where patients can walk in easier. When we offer free dental care services, I think a lot of patients don’t know.”

Additionally, on the second floor, the Health Equity Institute will have a space of its own for the first time. In partnership with 70 other community organizations, the institute conducts research and neighborhood projects with the mission to address health disparities.

“We were able to provide 123 community clinics that provided COVID-19 vaccinations, blood pressure checks, blood glucose screenings, mental health screenings, dental assessments, dental treatments, screenings for sexually transmitted infections, “ said director Jannette Berkley-Patton.

The institute's next areas of focus will be cancer screenings, internet access and prevention of infant mortality and diabetes.

“So with the Health Equity Institute, we’ll be able to expand that work and increase our capacity with space,” Berkley-Patton said.