First Yours to Lose Cohort Accepted

Twenty-six incoming freshmen from across the midwest have been accepted into the Yours to Lose – Advanced Medical School Acceptance Program, which will launch its first class at the start of the Fall 2017 semester.

An exclusive partnership with the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, the program allows a cohort of Missouri Southern students to be admitted to KCU’s new Joplin medical school at the same time they are accepted to MSSU. As pre-med students, they will obtain their bachelor’s degree in biology during an accelerated, three-year course of study before seamlessly transitioning into their first year of medical school. The program will not require them to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

“This program adds a fantastic dimension to what Missouri Southern offers to these future physicians,” said Dr. Richard Schooler, Dean of the School of Health Sciences at MSSU. “We feel that this program, along with other tracks, makes Missouri Southern the place to come for pre-med education.”

Prospective members of the cohort visited campus this spring for interviews and to learn more about Missouri Southern.

“The intent of this program was to do something special to attract high-performing students who wanted to go into medicine to Missouri Southern,” said Schooler. “What’s unique about this program is it’s designed around that student … who, from Day 1, know they’re going on to medical school.”

Scholarships for students in the Yours to Lose program received a boost in December, thanks to a generous donation from the Joplin Tomorrow corporation.

Formed following the devastating tornado of May 22, 2011, the non-profit was developed with the backing of Sen. John C. Danforth to accept donations and provide low-interest loans to businesses recovering from the disaster. Approximately $1.6 million was raised from donors across the country, and 24 loans were approved by the Joplin Tomorrow Board of Directors for businesses to rebuild and expand.

With their work complete, the board voted to transfer its remaining $700,000 in assets to be used for scholarships for future medical students.

Featured School of Health Sciences Spring 2017

Pediatric Asthma Becomes Focus for Respiratory Care Program

A brainstorming session on potential areas of focus for the Respiratory Care program at Missouri Southern may have people breathing easier.

“We identified that there seems to be a need for more education in the pediatric asthma arena, primarily at the school level,” says Glenda Pippin, director of the Respiratory Care department.

There were several state-funded grants available about five years ago for asthma education in schools, but they have since expired.

“A lot of those services where therapists were able to go into schools have gone away,” says Pippin. “Some of these kids don’t see doctors routinely, so sometimes it’s the school nurse who’s the person that might be able to intervene and get them a little extra care or maybe a referral.”

The department will host a symposium on pediatric asthma from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in the North End Zone Facility. It will feature speakers and other programs designed to raise awareness of the issue, and will target school nurses, EMS workers, doctors and others in the health care field.

“There are so many kids who do have (asthma), so the schools need education,” says Sherry Whiteman, an instructor in the program and president of the Missouri Society for Respiratory Care. “The education that is provided so far doesn’t focus on pediatric asthma … a lot of it is focused on adult care.”

Whiteman says there is a high incidence of pediatric asthma in the Southwest Missouri region due to high levels of allergens.

“If we can educate them as kids about this disease, they’re going to do a lot better as adults,” she says. “And if we can train (school nurses) and show them how to help kids manage it well, that’s going to do a lot for a patient.”

School of Health Sciences Spring 2017

Work Underway to Create Dental Hygiene Bachelor’s Degree

The Dental Hygiene program at Missouri Southern is working to make a transition from the current associate of science in dental hygiene to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

“Our timeline is to have the proposed curriculum and plan of study ready to propose to the School Curriculum Oversight Committee, the Academic Policies Committee and the Faculty Senate by September,” says Stacie Scrivner, chair of the department.

From there, the proposed bachelor’s program would go before the Board of Governors, the program’s accrediting body and the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Scrivner says more states are adopting the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner model created by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association – a program open to dental hygienists with a bachelor’s degree that allows them to become preventive specialists, clinical researchers and more competitive in sales and other areas.

“(Having a bachelor’s degree) will open more doors for our students and make them more marketable,” she says. “We want to get our students out there and ready to go if they want to get their master’s degree.”

School of Health Sciences Spring 2017

State Nursing Board Approves New Cohort

Missouri Southern has received approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing to increase the number of students added to the university’s nursing program each year.

Starting this fall, there will be a cohort of 45 students entering the nursing program in the fall and the spring, for a total of 90 each academic year.

Missouri Southern has previously admitted only a single cohort of 60 nursing students each fall.

The increase in student numbers comes in response to a nursing shortage. By producing nursing graduates in May and December each year, health care organizations will be able to address nursing vacancies in a more timely manner.

School of Health Sciences Spring 2017

Book Sales to Support New Leadership Program

Drawing on his experience transitioning from a two-decade career as a physician to healthcare administration, Dr. Richard Schooler has authored a book focusing on achieving success with a strategic plan.

“Planning for Organizational Success: A Leadership Guide to Achieving Success with a Plan” – published by Dorrance Publishing Company in Pittsburgh, Penn. – offers a message he believes many young leaders are missing as they pursue their education.

Schooler, the Dean of Health Sciences, practiced as an OB/GYN physician in Joplin before becoming medical director and director of medical education for Freeman Health System. In 2006, he was named the hospital’s chief medical officer, and in 2013 the executive vice president and chief operating officer.

That experience, along with leading the process of creating a strategic plan for the hospital following the devastating May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin, helped him develop an appreciation for the importance of leadership. About a year and a half ago, he began to put his thoughts on paper about the critical importance of planning for organizations, as well as the dynamics of leadership and the importance of adaptability and accountability.

Available via Amazon, the Dorrance Publishing online bookstore and by contacting Schooler, book sales will help promote a new academic program in healthcare leadership and management that Schooler is working to introduce at Missouri Southern.

To learn more about “Planning for Organizational Success,” visit Dorrance Publishing Co.’s online bookstore at


School of Health Sciences Spring 2017