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Program to offset anesthia provider shortage

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – Nationally hospitals are reporting shortages of anesthesia providers. The University of Missouri Kansas City is working towards training more people to alleviate the shortfall. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The Missouri legislature will give UMKC almost a million dollars in start-up costs to launch a program to train Anesthesiologist Assistants. The Master's program in anesthesia would be only the fifth program in the country to offer such training. In 2003 the state agreed to let the assistants practice in Missouri to help offset the field's shortfall. But Dr. Jim Kelly, a Saint Luke's anesthesiologist says more needs to be done.

Kelly: "Getting them licensed here was a big step but to really help with the provider shortage starting a school is the next realistic step to making a dent in the shortage."

The university Board of Curators still needs to approve the program and if approved it is projected to start next summer.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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