MoCHI: Mindfulness and Chronic Pelvic Pain in Active Duty Women

This year, Carol Crisp, a Ph.D student here at the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies, had the opportunity to present her research findings on Mindfulness and Chronic Pelvic Pain in Active Duty Women at the Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference.  The School of Nursing and Health Studies would like to congratulate Carol for a successful presentation. We encourage you to read more about her poster below.

Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is a common pain condition affecting 1 in 4 women. It is also difficult to diagnose and treat, significantly affecting women’s quality of life. It can particularly affect active duty women because of higher expectations of performance, including deployment into combat zones.  Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is an alternative treatment that focus’ on psycho-behavioral, neuroendocrine, and immune system interactions. Its objective is to help patients grasp the goal of self-regulation for health improvement, and it has been increasingly used for its therapeutic efficacy in an assortment of illnesses that are challenging to treat. Because of the mind-body connection in CPP, improvement in active duty women after MBSR classes will be evaluated not only by their perception of pain and mental state, but also by cytokines and miRNAs, physiological markers of pain and inflammation.

KC HealthTracks Students Advance to International Leadership Competition

KC HealthTracks students, representing area high schools, recently were recognized by the Missouri chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) – Future Health Professionals, and will advance to an international competition.

KC HealthTracks, a grant program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies, includes students from 11 high schools in seven districts in the Kansas City area who are interested in future health careers. The HOSA state conference, held at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, provided leadership development, business meetings, campaigning and election of officers, competitive events and informative workshops. A formal awards program was held featuring the presentation of national awards and installation of newly elected state officers.

The International Leadership Competition will be held June 27 to 30 in Dallas, TX.

“Our KC HealthTracks state-award-winning students are leaders in their schools, in their innovative endeavors and in their utilization of academic supports in the grant,” said Ann Cary, dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies and principal investigator of the Kansas City HealthTracks grant. “We know they will compete admirably at the international competition in June. Our entire project team applauds their accomplishments.”

The following KC HealthTracks students received competition recognition:

  • Nargiz Agayeva, North Kansas City High School, first place in Forensic Medicine Team event and qualified for the International Leadership Competition
  • Trinity McGlowen, Oak Park High School, top five in Human Growth and Development Knowledge Test
  • Abby Oyesam, Oak Park High School, second place in Pharmacology Knowledge Test and qualified for the International Leadership Competition
  • Leah Cooper, Emily Kilventon, Alliyah Tripp, Litzy Alvarado-Islas and Jessica Estrada, Van Horn High School, accepted the award for HOSA Happenings Communication and Outstanding HOSA Chapter of the Year. Recognition will be made at the International Leadership Competition

About HOSA

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a state and international organization for students interested in pursuing and preparing for a career in health and biomedical professions. HOSA is the largest international organization operating in schools for students enrolled in health science and biomedical sciences programs. HOSA’s purpose is to develop leadership and technical competencies through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition, which is an integral part of the instructional program. This student-led organization provides opportunities for students to practice and refine their academic, technical, leadership and teamwork skills to achieve seamless transition from education to careers.  Since 1976, HOSA has served 2.5 million students interested in pursuing careers in health. HOSA is the vital pipeline for the health industry—an industry that is projected to add 5 million jobs between 2012 and 2022, growing faster than jobs across all other sectors.  For more information, visit the Missouri HOSA website.

About KC HealthTracks

UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies received a five-year workforce diversity grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to develop innovative strategies to identify promising students in their first year of high school and provide them with a foundation to pursue successful careers in the health professions. The program seeks to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by supporting networks of institutions focused on and with demonstrated commitment and capacity to establish pipeline programs to increase minority and disadvantaged students’ awareness and pursuit of careers in health care including behavioral health, and to increase the availability of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.

Partners of the grant include KC STEM Alliance, West Central Missouri Area Health Education Center (AHEC), MCCKC Health Science InstituteProject Lead the Way, and Missouri HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). Independent evaluation of KC HealthTracks will be provided by the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium.  Eleven high schools from seven school districts participating in KC HealthTracks are Center High School (Center School District); Fort Osage High School (Fort Osage School District); Grandview High School (Grandview School District); Ruskin High School (Hickman Mills School District); Truman High SchoolWilliam Chrisman High School and Van Horn High School (Independence School District); East High School (Kansas City Public Schools); and North Kansas City High SchoolOak Park High School and Winnetonka High School (North Kansas City School District).  For more information, visit the KC HealthTracks website.

Partial funding for KC HealthTracks in the amount of $500,000.00 is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of Minority Health (grant number: CPIMP151115-03-00) to the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 16,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on its six-part mission: placing student success at the center; leading in life and health sciences; advancing urban engagement; excelling in visual and performing arts; embracing diversity; and promoting research and economic development. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, see us on Instagram and watch us on YouTube. Read our students’ stories at #UMKCGoingPlaces.


Learning together across health professions

On the Health Sciences Campus at UMKC, interprofessional education, or IPE, is an important learning tool. It brings together students from dental, medicine, nursing and pharmacy and places them in learning activities focused on team-based patient care. A new video highlights this IPE program and its benefits, filmed during a recent poverty simulation exercise.

The UMKC Health Sciences IPE program is directed by Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean for learning initiatives at the UMKC School of Medicine and emergency physician at Truman Medical Centers; and Valerie Ruehter, Pharm.D., director of experiential learning and clinical associate professor for the UMKC School of Pharmacy.

“We can create individual practitioners, but in health care today, it takes an entire team to create positive patient outcomes,” said Ruehter. “With IPE, we give students the chance to become familiar with what every discipline brings to the table, which hopefully will make a more seamless health care system.”

That’s a goal of IPE, said Ellison. “If we have our students learning in silos, but they are expected on day one in practice to begin working together as a team, then we haven’t really done our job. At UMKC, we are breaking down those silos.”

School of Nursing and Health Studies Achieves High National Ranking Sixth Year in a Row

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies ranked No. 18 among the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs of 2018 by U.S. News & World Report, earning at least a Top 25 ranking for the sixth year in a row.

“The School of Nursing and Health Studies faculty, staff and students are to be commended for the achievements in our online nursing programs,” said Ann Cary, dean of the school. “In addition, we are supported by the vice provost for online learning, Devon Cancilla, and his team for efforts to bring the best infrastructure possible to our learning experiences for our students. We are committed to unrelenting quality in programming now and in the future.”

The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is a pioneer in distance-learning programs, offering online advanced degree programs since 2002. The programs offer busy professionals a high-quality but convenient way to further their careers and meet the needs of an evolving health-care system.

Online students are expected to participate in online discussions as if they are present in the classroom. Technology offers multiple modes of communication in real time and asynchronous exchanges. Students also experience on-site learning with faculty and classmates through annual clinical institutes and dissertation work sessions.

UMKC offers a variety of online graduate nursing tracks, including BSN to Doctoral, MSN to Doctoral, master’s degrees and post-masters certificate tracks in the following:

U.S. News began ranking online education in 2012. The categories include faculty credentials and training; student engagement; admissions selectivity; peer reputation; and student services and technology. U.S. News began their data comparisons with more than 500 institutions that had accredited graduate degree programs in nursing. Among the ones that replied, 159 said they offered online graduate nursing programs. The number of online nursing programs is continually growing nationwide.

$8 Million Grant to Tackle Opioid Crisis

The Collaborative to Advance Health Services at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies, in partnership with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, has been sub-awarded a $8 million dollar grant for two years as part of a $24 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support primary-care providers in the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders.

The grant is in response to national leaders in October declaring America’s opioid epidemic a public-health emergency — a designation typically reserved for natural disasters. At that time, SAMHSA announced a new technical-assistance effort in providing state-of-the-art clinical support to providers and to address preventing, treating and supporting recovery from substance-use disorders with a focus on opioid use disorders.

“This award to address the opioid epidemic in Missouri and other states demonstrates the unfailing commitment of UMKC and its School of Nursing and Health Studies to our citizens in the Kansas City region and the state,” said Ann Cary, dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies. “Our uniquely talented professionals and support staff in our Collaborative unit within the school offers unrelenting quality in the provision of health services to our communities, and we are grateful for their enduring talent and leadership.”

The Collaborative to Advance Health Services at UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is home to several national-based centers that implement evidence-based clinical practices into substance use and mental health treatment. It will receive $4 million a year for two years. This project is an unprecedented alliance of physician, nurse, allied healthcare and behavioral health organizations with broad national, regional and state networks and technical expertise in preventing, treating and supporting recovery from substance use disorders.

The Collaborative will lead 10 regional Addiction Technology Transfer Centers to leverage well-established state-level relationships to build the national technical-assistance infrastructure using proven implementation strategies, said Holly Hagle, co-director of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, UMKC assistant research professor and principal investigator on the grant for UMKC. Other Collaborative members on the project are Laurie Krom, co-director of the ATTC Network, and Pat Stilen, director of the Mid-America ATTC Network.

“The team members of the Collaborative to Advance Health Services at the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies are very excited to do this important work at a time of crisis for the country,” Hagle said. “Our hope is that it will have an impact on the people and communities who are suffering.”