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A coalition of the state colleges and universities in Missouri is asking for increased state funding for programs in vital fields such as pharmacology, nursing, and dentistry. Representatives from the universities met Monday afternoon to discuss the proposal at an open forum in Springfield. KSMU's Greg Leuthen reports.
Missouri State President, Dr. Michael Nietzel, and Interim President of the University of Missouri System, Dr. Gordon Lamb, presented the Prepare to Care proposal at the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Nietzel cited shortages in physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, and physical therapists in Missouri as the coalition's main reason for requesting an additional 38 million dollars in funding. Nietzel says that the funding would be used for additional faculty and improved technology in the health care programs.
Nietzel says the proposal will increase the number of health care students in Missouri by at least 30 students annually per field. The coalition hopes that the increase in students in Missouri will increase the likelihood of more health care students staying in Missouri to work once they graduate, but that is one thing the coalition cannot guarantee.