Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

$1.33 Million Donation Enables MU School of Health Professions to Partner with Community Colleges

Donation is Investment in Missouri Health Care

March 5, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,
Cheri Ghan, (573) 882-2653,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A $1.33 million gift to the University of Missouri will create opportunities for future professionals in the health care industry. RehabCare Group Inc. of Clayton, recently made the donation to the MU School of Health Professions (SHP) as part of the For All We Call Mizzou campaign.

“We are excited and very appreciative of this gift from RehabCare, which is an investment in the future of health care for Missouri,” MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. “This generous gift to the School of Health Professions will provide opportunities for our students and faculty to advance training in the health care industry across the entire state.”
The gift from RehabCare, one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation providers, will enable SHP to partner with five Missouri community colleges to create solutions for the shortage of physical and occupational therapists in Missouri. Currently, SHP is developing a program for training health care professionals called “The Modern Workforce Initiative,” which will be made available to the community colleges this fall. The colleges will open the program to 50 physical therapy assistant students and 50 certified occupational therapy assistant students.

“As the baby boomer generation ages, there will be an increased demand for healthcare services,” said John Short, RehabCare CEO. “That means the current shortage of therapists and therapist assistants will become more severe. To ensure that all patients who require therapy have unfettered access to it, it is imperative we do something about the future availability of clinicians.”

The five community colleges partnering with SHP are North Central College in Trenton, State Fair Community College in Sedalia, East Central Community College in Washington, Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, and Moberly Area Community College in Moberly.

“The program will be a major source of quality care for people in some under-served areas of the state,” said Rich Oliver, dean of SHP. “These programs are expensive to provide and each college and each university cannot necessarily offer them on their own. This gift allows all involved to maximize available resources to address a critical issue in our state.”
According to Oliver, the collaboration represents a “genuine effort” to forge a partnership between the University and community colleges to expand educational opportunities in Missouri.

“This creates another pathway for Missourians to enter into the high-demand health care professions,” Oliver said. “If we’re ever going to address the health care workforce shortages we must develop as many vehicles to do that as possible. This is another alternative and provides not only a community college option but a pathway to Mizzou as well.”

With more than 25 years experience, RehabCare is a leading provider of physical rehabilitation program management services in about 1,250 hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities throughout the United States. The company also owns and operates freestanding rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals. More information on RehabCare can be found at

The gift supports the For All We Call Mizzou campaign, which will celebrate raising $1 billion in the spring of 2009.  Reaching this goal will enhance MU’s ability to compete nationally and internationally for the best students and faculty and will provide broad access for students of all economic backgrounds to Missouri’s flagship university. The campaign has raised $913.67 million, more than 90 percent of the goal.