Joplin, MO (SNS) – The Missouri Southern Foundation has approved a $250,000 gift toward the creation of a Joplin campus for the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

The medical school, which is scheduled to open in August 2017, will be located in Mercy Hospital Joplin’s former component hospital at 2817 St. John’s Blvd. It will enroll 150 students per year into the program.

“With this generous gift, Missouri Southern has become the first local university to make a commitment to KCU’s plans to create a Joplin campus for their medical school,” said Rudy Farber, chairman of the Regional Medical School Alliance’s fundraising board. “We’re grateful for the university becoming a partner in this project. There is an enormous amount of synergy between Missouri Southern’s academic programs and those offered at KCU, and we anticipate the partnership between the two universities to continue to flourish.”

An effort to raise the funds needed to open the Joplin campus has been underway for some time.

The Foundation board approved the gift following a presentation by the alliance, said Dr. Brad Hodson, Missouri Southern’s executive vice president.

“I think it’s important for two reasons,” said Hodson. “First, it’s a great vehicle for Missouri Southern graduates to continue their education close to home and complete their residencies in the area. Second, the medical school will have a significant economic impact on the region and it’s important for the university to help make that happen.”

Dr. Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern, said that the medical school will strengthen the university’s reputation for its high-caliber pre-med program and help attract more high-performing students.

“We’re also excited for the opportunity to work collaboratively with the faculty at KCU on programs and research that will benefit our students and theirs,” said Marble. “The medical school will be a wonderful addition to the community and we look forward to an enduring partnership between our campuses.”