Mosaic Life Care and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine will open up a program in St. Joseph for medical students starting in January.

The program will be titled UMKC School of Medicine-St. Joseph, and a combination of six-year medical program students and traditional medical students that applied will start in January. The program is designed for students looking to practice medicine in rural Missouri.

“As part of the University Missouri system, UMKC has always recognized our responsibility to serve the needs of the entire state,” UMKC Chancellor Dr. Mauli Agrawal said. “In this case, the need is for more doctors who are trained and ready to serve in rural areas.”

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, said the program will help with the shortage of doctors in rural areas and he is proud of UMKC for being able to get this done.

“We’re going to have a significant shortage of health-care workers generally and particularly in rural and smaller communities by 2025, and that’s, as we all would know, now just right around the corner,” Blunt said. “I was really pleased to see that UMKC was awarded the money to help get this started by the Department of Health and Human Services.”

The program expansion was funded by a $7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Dr. Davin Turner, Mosaic Life Care chief medical officer, said the program will get students in the rural health-care environment whether that be in Maryville, Albany or at the campus in St. Joseph. He said students being acclimated to rural health care will give them more connections and reasons to stay in the area after medical school.

“The next step is to look at graduate medical education and residencies, because we know that whenever they not only go to school but train locally, they’re more apt to stay in the local area.”

The expansion will allow students to have a room for their studies in classes near the gift shop at Mosaic. The students will live in St. Joseph and do practically all of their education within the Mosaic hospital system.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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