CoxHealth Reacts to Budget Withholding of Clinical Campus Funds

By KOLR10 News

Published 06/25 2014 01:03PM

Updated 06/25 2014 01:08PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- One of the partners involved in planning for a medical school clinical campus in Springfield is reacting to news that funding is on hold.

CoxHealth, along with Mercy Springfield and the University of Missouri are planning a $10 million clinical campus in Springfield.  But the funding among the $641 million Gov. Jay Nixon put on restrictions for the 2015 budget Tuesday.

CoxHealth issued this statement Wednesday:
Yesterday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced spending restrictions and budget withholdings in the state’s budget.
Monies being withheld include the fiscal year 2015 appropriation of $10 million for the MU School of Medicine class expansion and Springfield clinical campus.
We respect the state’s budgetary challenges and the governor’s duty to maintain financial wellbeing of the state. 
CoxHealth remains committed to supporting efforts to see the MU medical school campus in Springfield become a reality. 
Developing a Springfield medical school clinical campus to capture the brightest young medical minds in Missouri is critical for the future of health care in our community and state. 
Additionally, the Mizzou Medical School expansion was projected to provide important economic growth and job creation for our state and community, potentially adding more than $390 million annually to Missouri's economy and create 3,500 new jobs. 
“I have seen no other comparable proposals that would create so many jobs and have such a great economic impact for so few dollars as the medical school expansion in Springfield,” says Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth. “The initial studies conducted indicate that to create a medical school from scratch, the cost would likely exceed $1 billion. This arrangement with Mizzou is a tremendous value to our state, and wonderful benefit to our region. We hope that politics are put aside, and this matter is resolved in a fashion that favors our community and our state.”
This week, the Missouri Hospital Association released a new report on access to primary care in Missouri that finds the future demand for primary care providers will surpass the supply, limiting access to primary care in Missouri. The outlook for our rural communities is even worse. Our state medical school needs to grow.

Among the other funds cut or withheld is more than $200 million dollars in withholdings for education funds.
"This is disappointing news," MSU President Clif Smart said.
Smart said the new occupational therapy program, set to begin in Fall 2015, will be the hardest hit.  About $825,000 for that program are being withheld.

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