The plan to create a clinical campus in Springfield is the most attractive economic development project that I'm aware of for Missouri. The economic contributions described in the impact study do not include many other community benefits that would result from this project, such as reduced travel for patients and providers and improved health for communities.
Hundreds of well-qualified medical school applicants, including students from Southwest Missouri, go to other states to study and practice medicine due to a lack of access to medical education in our state. The clinical campus will help keep students and physicians in Missouri, which will improve health care, education and the economy.
CoxHealth, Mercy and MU share a history of advancing medical education and a strong commitment to improving health in the communities we serve. Developing a clinical campus in Springfield would allow us to better serve patients, improve access to excellent medical education, and enhance the overall quality of life in our communities.
When fully implemented, this single project would provide more than 300 additional physicians for our state, add more than $390 million annually to Missouri's economy, and create 3,500 new jobs. If you are interested in improving health, education and the economy for Missouri, our plan to create a clinical campus in Springfield provides a remarkable return on investment.
Mercy, CoxHealth and MU are ideal partners for improving health by expanding access to high quality medical education. More Missouri physicians received their medical degree from MU than from any other university, which is due in part to MU's medical education partnerships with outstanding health systems in Springfield and other communities.
The University of Missouri in Columbia and CoxHealth and Mercy health systems in Springfield plan to improve health, education and the economy by meeting their state's need for more physicians. Their plan to increase medical student class size at MU and create a clinical campus in Springfield will provide more than 300 additional physicians for the state, add more than $390 million annually to Missouri's economy and create 3,500 new jobs.
Studies increasingly point to a health care crisis related to physician shortages. More than 90 percent of Missouri counties lack adequate access to health care. The aging population, increasing numbers of patients with chronic illnesses, and health insurance reform will make the physician shortage even more severe in the near future.
The clinical campus in Springfield will allow MU, which is the No. 1 provider of physicians for Missouri, to expand its medical student class size by more than 30 percent. The expansion will build on MU, Mercy and CoxHealth's already successful education partnership.
The investment required for architectural design, construction and other infrastructure resources for the education expansion is approximately $36 million. Of that amount, $32.7 million will be used to construct a medical education building at MU. CoxHealth and Mercy will also remodel or build education support space. The total cost for providing new medical education facilities in Springfield is estimated at $3.3 million.
The total estimated annual funding required for operations — including faculty and staff salaries, training materials and other educational resources — is approximately $10 million.