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Mercy Donates Temporary Hospital to become KCU Medical School - KOAM TV 7

Mercy Donates Temporary Hospital to become KCU Medical School

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Instead of patients checking in at Mercy's temporary Joplin home for their hospital visits, students will soon be checking in for their first day of classes here on what is to be a new Kansas City University Medical School campus in Joplin.

“We're quite excited. This is a very unique opportunity for both the university and the Joplin community to address a lot of the healthcare needs in the rural part of the state, the region, and really the country,” says President & CEO of KCU Medical & Bio Sciences Marc Hahn.

Mercy, Freeman, and the city have been working together to bring a medical school to the four states for several years now and with donated land and a new hospital from Mercy and a long standing residency program at Freeman helped to seal the deal.

“With Freeman's experience in graduate medical education we can really bring that expertise to the table and help this program be very, very successful,” says Freeman Health System President & CEO Paula Baker.

Instead of being left as an empty shell and constant reminder of what was lost in the tornado, mercy hopes the new medical center will breathe new life into the building and attract newcomers to Joplin.

"It can be a challenge sometimes. There aren't a lot of medical students who come out thinking 'man I wanna live in Joplin, Missouri.' Once we get them here we can recruit them and get them. But when they come and do their training here the statistics are amazing. It's like 70% of the residency students work within about 50 miles of where they do their residency,” says Mercy Hospital Joplin President & CEO Gary Pulsipher.

About 60% of KCU graduates become primary care physicians, doctors much desired in rural communities.

Hahn says "40% of our grads who practice in Missouri ultimately practice in rural underserved areas. So we're having an impact right now. We believe as we invest in developing a rural based program we'll have an even greater impact.”

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