Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

1750 Independence Ave 
Kansas City MO 64106 

(816) 283-2000

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kansas City University
of Medicine and Biosciences
KCU Logo.png
Former names

Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery
Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine

University of Health Sciences
Type Private, Non-profit
Established 1916; 100 years ago (1916)
Endowment $70 million[1]
Chairman Marshall Walker, DO[2]
President Marc B. Hahn, D.O.
Dean Bruce Dubin, D.O., J.D.
Academic staff
Students 1,027[5]
Location Kansas City, Missouri, US
39°06'24?N 94°33'39?W? / ?39.1067°N 94.5608°W? / 39.1067; -94.5608Coordinates: 39°06'24?N 94°33'39?W? / ?39.1067°N 94.5608°W? / 39.1067; -94.5608
Campus Urban, 23 acres[6]
Nickname KCU

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) is a private, non-profit, graduate school for the health professions, with a main campus located on 23 acres in Kansas City, in the U.S. state of Missouri. Founded in 1916, KCU consists of both a College of Osteopathic Medicine and a College of Biosciences.

KCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[5] and recognized by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.[7]


Kansas City University opened in May 1916, as the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery. At the time, it was the fifth osteopathic medical school to be established.[8] In January 1921, the college moved its campus to the Northeast neighborhood, just east of downtown Kansas City. In 1940, Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery took over the assets of the Central College of Osteopathy, Kansas City, MO.[9]

In November 1970, the name of the college was changed to The Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCCOM), and again in July 1980 to The University of Health Sciences (UHS). In 1999, KCU joined with seven other research institutions to form the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI). As a founding KCALSI partner, KCU is working to biomedical research within the greater Kansas City area.

In 2004, the College of Biosciences opened, and the university's name was changed to "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences."[9] The first students in the College of Biosciences began coursework in the fall of 2005, working towards a one year masters degree in biomedical sciences. The College of Biosciences later expanded the program to a two year masters degree. In 2008, the college began offering a Master of Arts in bioethics.

In 2009, the president of the university, Karen Pletz, pursued the possibility of offering a dual DO/MD degree.[10] The idea of a dual DO/MD degree was very controversial and raised concerns within the osteopathic medical community.[11] Several leaders of the profession formally requested the option be abandoned. Pletz was subsequently fired, but refrained from discussing the details of her dismissal as a lawsuit was underway.[10] The lawsuit and firing related to financial disagreements between Pletz and the university.[1] Later that day, Pletz filed a countersuit against the school for alleged wrongful termination.[12] Pletz was indicted by Federal Prosecutors on March 31, 2011 for embezzling $1.5 million from KCU.[13] Pletz committed suicide November 22, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before the case went to trial.[14][15]

In January 2014, the university announced a $60 million expansion plan, which is expected to include a clinical training center, offices, classrooms, and a medical simulation building.[16][17] The school occupies the original site of Children's Mercy Hospital.[18]


KCU offers graduate degrees in osteopathic medicine, biomedical sciences, business, and bioethics.

College of Osteopathic Medicine

Founded in 1916 as the university's inaugural program, the College of Osteopathic Medicine confers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of three medical schools in the United States to be recognized twice with the John Templeton Foundation’s Spirituality in Medicine Curricular Award, which recognizes outstanding medical education curricula incorporating spirituality in medicine.[citation needed] KCU is also one of three osteopathic medical schools nationwide working to enhance future physicians’ cultural competency and eliminate disparities in health care through a grant from the American Medical Student Association.[citation needed]

Through the Genesis curriculum, students in KCU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine develop clinical decision-making skills using an integrated, patient-centered approach to medicine that combines basic and clinical sciences. This "Body Systems" based approach means that students learn both basic and clinical sciences in sections that include Musculoskeletal, Cardiopulmonary, Gastrointestinal, Renal, Neuro, Reproduction, Skin/Blood/Lymph, and more. In addition students also take Osteopathic Clinical Skills, Osteopathic Communication Skills, and additional elective courses throughout their first and second year.[19]

The school has an early matriculation program, called the Partnership Plan, with several undergraduate institutions. In this program students can apply to in their sophomore year of college and be accepted by their junior year.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine offers two dual-degree programs: a D.O./M.B.A. in Healthcare Leadership, and a D.O./M.A. in Bioethics. The M.B.A. in leadership and management is offered through a partnership with Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management. The degree complements students' medical education by developing physician-managers of competence and conscience with the business and leadership skills necessary to provide quality, holistic healthcare. M.B.A. coursework is integrated into the existing KCU curriculum. Dual-degree students complete both programs in 4 years and graduate with other members of their KCU class.[20]

College of Biosciences

The College of Biosciences was established in 2005 and currently offers two degrees: a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a Masters in Bioethics. The Biomedical Sciences program offers a 12-month and a 24-month track. The 12-month track emphasizes research methodologies and protocols, while the 24-month track targets individuals interested in pursuing careers as research scientists, and includes coursework in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, research design and ethics, research instrumentation and methodology, biostatistics and epidemiology.

The Masters in Bioethics is Kansas City's only graduate-level degree in bioethics. It is designed to explore the moral values as they relate to research and the practice of medicine.


The Kansas City University campus is located on a 23 acres, and consists of 13 buildings.[6] The Administrative Building, the prior site of Children's Mercy Hospital, which houses the administrative offices and support facilities. The Annex Building, with 2,200+ seat lecture halls, consists primarily of classroom space. The D'Angelo Library opened in the spring of 2011 and includes a learning resources center, collection and reference rooms, several training and conference rooms, an audio-visual/multimedia room, a special collections room, and group study rooms and numerous offices for library support personnel. The library was named for Vincent D'Angelo, D.O. (class of 1957) and his wife, Cleo D'Angelo.[21] The Leonard Smith Hall houses more than 50 individual and small-group study rooms, a computer lab, student lounge, and a state-of-the-art Bioethics classroom. The Mary Lou Butterworth, D.O., Alumni Center is a meeting center for students, faculty, and alumni.

The Dybedal Center for Research is the focus of research activities at KCU. The 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) center is equipped for Biosafety Levels I and II research and includes more than 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of basic science laboratories. Opened in 2004, the Dybedal Center includes an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) clinical research center, the only adult academic clinical research center in Kansas City that conducts Phase I-IV studies.[21]

The Kesselheim Center for Clinical Competence was completed in 2006, and provides a facility for patient simulations for first and second year medical students, both human "Standardized Patients," and technologic simulations.[22]

The Strickland Education Pavilion opened in 1996 and houses anatomy and OMT laboratories, a classroom for biomedical sciences students, a 250-seat auditorium, a cafeteria, and meeting rooms.

The Student Activities Center, which opened in early 2011, includes a student lounge, Common Grounds Cafe, meetings and conference rooms, Matthews Bookstore, a multi-dimensional fitness center with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, an aerobics facility, and game room. The building is connected to Weaver Auditorium, a 1,500-seat auditorium, which opened in 2007.

KCU plans to open a new campus in Joplin, Missouri in the fall of 2017.[23]


KCU Demographics[3]
Asian 18%
Black/African American 1%
Hispanic/Latino 2%
Two or more 2%
White/Non-Hispanic 72%
Non-resident alien 2%
Unknown 2%

There were 1,106 students enrolled for the 2014-15 academic year.[3] About 44 percent of KCU students are female,[3] and students range from 20 to 38 years of age.[24] About 18% of students are Asian, 1% Black/African American, 2% Hispanic/Latino, 72% White/Caucasian, 2% identify as two or more races or ethnicities, and the remainder are of unknown race/ethnicity. Students on campus participate in a number of clubs, which include:[25]


Since 1916, more than 10,500 students have graduated from KCU.[26]


Of KCU osteopathic physician alumni, about 70 percent practice primary care medicine, and 40 percent practice in rural settings.[24]

Score 1 for Health

Score 1 for Health is a non-profit organization that administers free, comprehensive health screenings to elementary-aged children living in Kansas City's urban core. The program gives students hands-on clinical training while still in their first and second year of medical school. The programs screens up to 13,000 kids for vision, dental, hearing, blood pressure, height/weight and more every year. Registered nurses follow up with kids who have a referral and their families to connect them to health resources in the community.[27]


KCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[5] and recognized by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.[7]

Sources: Google Maps, The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers

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