School to Benefit from 15M Gift From Hall Foundation for new Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building

Hall Family Foundation Awards $15M to UMKC for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building

The state-of-the-art facility will position the district as a premier academic medical district and help propel health care equity in the region


The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced a $15 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation, which will help fund an innovative new medical and dentistry building in the UMKC Health Sciences District.

The university has secured $95 million toward the $120 million cost of a new Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building on the corner of 25th and Charlotte.

“We are grateful to the Hall Family Foundation for its investment in our students and the Kansas City community,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “The Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will further solidify the UMKC Health Sciences District as a national leader in medical education and health care as well as support our mission of increasing health equity in the Kansas City region and beyond.”

The new building will enable UMKC to provide leading-edge health care education, attract top students and researchers and advance care for disinvested populations. In addition, the project will serve as a catalyst for developing the UMKC Health Sciences District into a major regional academic medical center that can generate billions of dollars in jobs and economic impact for the Kansas City region.

“The Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will provide immeasurable benefit to the Kansas City community for generations to come, and we are proud to support it,” said Mayra Aguirre, president of the Hall Family Foundation. “Our Foundation’s mission is to support and fund projects that enhance the quality of human life for all Kansas Citians. This new building will enable UMKC to expand its important work in equitable and inclusive health care delivery and we are inspired by the collaboration between UMKC, Children’s Mercy Hospital and University Health that improves the lives of people in our community.”

Read the full story.

Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Dental Association Host Dental Explorer Research Post Members

The activities allow members to mirror the experiences of first year dental students.

During the series of sessions that span a year, participants make dental impressions, take dental x-rays, drill and place sealants on plastic teeth, make 3D scans and mil and dental restorations or crowns. They also participate in mock dental application interviews and receive feedback from experienced interviews to improve interviewing skills.

Each session is led by faculty that includes Drs. Derrick Williams, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Restorative Clinical Sciences, Lisa Tao, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontics, Megan Wendland, Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science, Tanya Gibson, Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine, Pathology and Radiology and Gustavo Leal, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Restorative Clinical Sciences and John Cottrell, Director of Minority Programs for the school. Members of the Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Dental Association and other interested dental students assist to offer one-on-one mentoring and ensure proper protocols are observed.

Photos here.

SADHA Assist Operation Breakthrough with their Fall Festival

The mission of the Student American Dental Hygienist’s Association (SADHA) is to improve access to quality oral health care, increasing awareness of the cost-effective benefits of prevention, and engage in philanthropic events that make an impact in our community.

The annual Fall Festival held by Operation Breakthrough presented the perfect opportunity to engage, decorating tables and pass out candy to all the children and families that walked by. “Their costumes and excitement were so cute and fun!” one of the volunteers commented.

Members from the Dental Hygiene Classes of 2023 and 2024 assisting at the event included

• Vi Tran
• Myrissa Humphreys
• Cameron Nhotharack
• Tawnya Guthrie
• Gabrielle Dent
• Sydney O’Brien
• Adison Basey
• Jessica Woods
• Anaisa Garcia-Flores
• Ashlyn Harbaugh
• Amy Schmeimeier
• Bailey Cavin

Photos here.

Scaring Up Smiles at Boo at the Zoo

Kansas City Zoo recorded 12,000 guests on Saturday and around 10,000 on Sunday for the fall event.

Dental and Dental Hygiene students from several student lead organizations along with Dental Hygiene Faculty, gave children the opportunity to demonstrate their brushing skills on oral hygiene puppets.

Instead of giving out candy, children received vampire fangs. Kansas City Zoo guests were also informed about the opportunity to find a dental home at the School of Dentistry if they did not already have one.

Photos here.


SADHA Members volunteered at Dozer Days for Operation Breakthrough

Student American Dental Hygienists Association (SADHA) Members volunteered at Dozer Days October 23rd for Operation Breakthrough at Truman Sports Complex.
Dozer Day is like going to a fair, only the rides are real heavy construction equipment! Kids hop in the driver’s seat and actually drive dozers, excavators and other heavy equipment with a professional operator at their side, a dream come true for kids!

Vi Tran and Cameron Nhotharack, both from the Dental Hygiene Class of 2023, helped kids to and from machines and with the various activities at the event.

2022 Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Graduates

The following 4 students completed the requirements for the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences MS degree. Congratulations!

Thesis Projects:

Dr. Bryndon Belnap: Effect of Build Angle and Model Body Type (Solid vs Shell) on Accuracy of 3D-Printed Orthodontic Models Using a DLP Printer

Dr. Aliah Fueller: The Current Use of Soft Tissue Lasers in Orthodontic Practices

Dr. Sara Linstadt: Assessment of Dental Students’ Attitudes and Awareness of Climate Change In a Midwestern Dental School

Dr. Brianna Thompson: Assessment of Underrepresented Minority Enrollment in Orthodontic Residency Programs

Photos from their defenses here.

Dr. JoAnn Scott Honored by ADA and AADOCR

Dr. JoAnna Scott, Associate Professor, Research and Graduate Studies (pictured left) was recently named a recipient of a Leaders in Evidence-Based Dentistry award and honored by the American Dental Association (ADA) and American Association for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) at the ADA’s recent annual meeting. The awards are presented to educators and clinicians who have made significant contributions to implement and advance Evidence Based Dentistry.

Read more about Dr. Scott’s contributions and the award from the ADA.

Dental School One of the Beneficiaries – Sunderland Foundation Gives $30 Million to UMKC Health Sciences District Project

New cutting-edge educational facility will serve as a catalyst for growth and position the district to become a premier academic medical district

The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced a $30 million gift today from the Sunderland Foundation to help fund a new state-of-the-art dentistry and medical building in the UMKC Health Sciences District. The project will escalate momentum for expanding the district into a major regional academic medical center that can provide innovative health care, attract top dental and medical students and researchers and generate billions of dollars in jobs and economic development, while advancing care for the underserved.

The multi-story, $120 million Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will house new dental teaching clinics and expanded medical school teaching facilities. In addition, it will provide space for the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the university’s Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center and its new Biomedical Engineering program.

“We are grateful to the Sunderland Foundation for their investment in taking the Health Sciences District to the next level, spearheading an academic medical center with extraordinary community benefits,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “This gift — by a local foundation that supports making big positive change in Kansas City — is an investment not just in a building, but in a truly big, longer-term vision. We believe our new building will escalate momentum to exponentially expand the Health Sciences District in coming years to become the major regional academic medical center that we know it can be.”

On hand today to help announce the gift was Gov. Mike Parson, who in July signed legislation from the state of Missouri to appropriate $40 million for the building. This appropriation came with a challenge to the Kansas City community to raise the additional funds needed.

“We are proud to support the efforts of UMKC to improve educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math to expand health care access in the state of Missouri, particularly in rural areas,” Parson said. “Missourians will reap the benefits of increased collaboration between health care services and the data science and biomedical engineering programs that will share the building. This partnership could help further health outcomes through new, innovative solutions right here in Missouri.”

Grants from the Sunderland Foundation focus on brick-and-mortar projects for established organizations to foster a stronger, safer and more vibrant future for the communities it serves.

“The Sunderland Foundation is proud to give to UMKC’s efforts to transform the Health Science District,” said Kent Sunderland, chairman of the Sunderland Foundation. “The cutting-edge facilities will provide innovative training opportunities for tomorrow’s doctors, dentists and healthcare leaders who will improve prosperity in our neighborhoods, cities and state. The Sunderland Foundation and UMKC share a mission of caring for the underserved and lifting neighborhoods.”

UMKC is one of only 20 universities in the country where schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy share a single, walkable campus, an arrangement that facilitates interprofessional training for students and opportunities for research collaboration among the health sciences.

Additionally, the new building will create opportunities for increased collaboration among UMKC and its health district partners including University Health and Children’s Mercy, which allows for a greater capacity for finding health solutions and providing patient care. This project will expand UMKC’s mission to elevate health equity across Kansas City, including many initiatives that work with the underserved including UMKC’s dental clinics, the Sojourner Clinic and the Center for Health Equity, which works through a network of churches in the urban core.

More About the Building

UMKC will occupy the first several floors of the project and additional floors may be available to public partners for medical office space, clinical space and other uses. University Health has already expressed interest in using space in the building to bring more of their support staff on campus.

Here’s what will be housed in the UMKC space:

School of Dentistry

UMKC has the only public dental school in the state of Missouri, as well as the only school in-state with dental specialties. New cutting-edge technology for Dentistry will serve students as well as the community, allowing for a lower cost dental care and faster turnaround time for patients, as well as the ability to implement a teledentistry program to further expand the program’s reach.

School of Medicine

The new building will provide state-of-the-art educational facilities for UMKC medical students and programs, such as space for more simulation labs, which lead to better training for students and better care for the community. UMKC will be able to educate more doctors, meeting critical needs in Kansas City, the region, the state and beyond.

UMKC Health Equity Institute

The UMKC Health Equity Institute was founded in 2019 to tackle complex and systemic health disparities and their root causes. UMKC students and faculty meet people where they are – in community groups and at local churches – and use their research strengths to bridge the gap in health care experienced by Kansas City’s underserved populations.

Biomedical Engineering

Proximity between doctors and developers of medical devices is paramount, and this new building will foster faster, more effective collaboration between engineers and medical professionals to accelerate product development in areas such as imaging technology, implants and microsurgery tools. UMKC will expand its ability for creating new technology, generating innovations for products and patents with the potential to work with companies to develop and produce them.

Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center

Through its expertise in data science, UMKC and its clinical partners are ushering forward a new era of personalized health care — one that will treat diseases based on individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle, rather than a traditional one-size-fits-all approach. The data center’s work will drive innovation in a variety of domains, ranging from health care and business intelligence to agriculture and digital humanities.

Story by: UMKC Strategic Marketing and Communications

It Was Game On for Scholars!

GEHA Solutions continued to show support to their ten scholarship recipients by inviting them to the Chiefs vs Raiders game on Monday, October 10, 2022.  Beyond the scholarship support, it is important to GEHA Solutions that they nurture a strong, personal relationship with the student recipients so they know they are valued and supported in their journey.  GEHA Solutions were incredible hosts, providing parking passes, tickets, and dinner for the group; all enjoyed from the GEHA suite.  This was the first time for the majority of the students to attend a Chiefs game.  Cheering on the Chiefs together definitely brought the group closer and everyone was thrilled for the victory.  Guests included Olga Besestre, Anaisa Garcia-Flores, Derick Lopez, Anissa Love, and Jessica Woods from the Dental Hygiene Class of 2024, Jordan Baudoin, Chibueze Chiaka, Carly Jaquez, Nick Lopez Lara, and Gabriel Martin Sasamoto from the Dental Class of 2026 and Shonte Reed  and Andrew Thompkins from the Dental Class of 2023.  Shonte Reed and Andrew Thompkins, were able to spend time on the field and then in the owner’s suite to watch the game; were they met the Chiefs owner, Clark Hunt.  They were invited as they have provided strong student leadership and support for historically under-represented students.  Also attending were Richie Bigham, Assistant Dean for Student Programs, John Cottrell, Director of Minority and Special Programs. Dr. Melanie Simmer-Beck, Chair, Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science and Director of the school’s STAHR program, and Dean Steven Haas.  All report it was an incredible experience!

Learn more about GEHA Solutions’ support for dental and dental hygiene students here.

Enjoy photos.