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University of Missouri Board of Curators considers naming new health building after Sen. Blunt

Sen. Roy Blunt
Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 16:20:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Missouri Board of Curators is considering a proposal to name a new health care facility on the University of Missouri - Columbia campus after Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt.

The NextGen Precision Health facility is set to open on Oct. 19, and if the proposal is approved, the building will be called the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building.

According to a press release from the MU News Bureau, naming the building after the retiring senator is due to his work to increase the National Institutes of Health funding for research over the past six years. The release also said Sen. Blunt helped solidify and secure funding over 20 years for federal partnerships with NextGen and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

The senator also helped establish "a medical student education program to address primary care doctor shortages in rural areas," according to the release. This program's funds of $25 million over the past three years were split between MU and the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

“For three decades, Senator Roy Blunt has championed the mission of public education in Missouri,” UM President Mun Choi said in the release. “No one has contributed more to the dramatic increase in funding for biomedical research and Pell grants. His efforts to ensure access to high-quality education and health care have surely transformed lives in Missouri and beyond.”

The naming proposal will be discussed at the board's Thursday meeting.

The NextGen Precision Health facility broke ground in 2019, and Blunt attended the event. The building is located at 1030 Hitt Street and is 265,000 square-feet.

"The building complex will expand collaboration among researchers, clinicians and industry leaders with state-of-the-art space designed with an open laboratory concept built for multidisciplinary use," the release said. "Researchers will have access to a Clinical Translational Science Unit, an imaging suite with some of the most advanced equipment in the market and high-resolution microscopy, integrated informatics and data analytics spaces, and scientific “clean” rooms."

The project costed $221 million and was financed through federal, state and donor funding.