University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden

Gift of $2.3 Million Brings Learning and Technology Together to Train Medical Professionals of Tomorrow


Students at the University of Missouri School of Medicine hone their medical skills by working with high-tech mannequins and mock patients at the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Clinical Simulation Center. Thanks to a $2.3 million gift from Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden, medical students and health professionals have an opportunity to learn using some of the most advanced technology in simulated care.

The gift provided operational funds for the center and simulation mannequins to be used in medical instruction. The mannequins represent a new wave of medical instruction. The advanced technology built into the mannequins allows students to perform various medical procedures while receiving real-time feedback in much the same way they would from a human patient. The mannequins breathe, have a pulse and eyes that dilate and can react to various drugs. The experience for students is invaluable.

After earning a degree in chemistry at MU and completing two years at the university’s medical school, Russell Shelden finished his medical training at Washington University in St. Louis. During 32 years at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., he practiced anesthesiology and served as president of the medical staff. Beginning in 1958, Dr. Shelden traveled to Columbia to help support the School of Medicine’s anesthesiology residency program. He attained the rank of clinical professor before retiring in 1983. Dr. Shelden and his late wife, Mary, have been some of MU's most generous philanthropists. Their gifts to MU include funding for two endowed chairs in anesthesiology, an academic resource center for student-athletes and the medical school's clinical simulation center. MU awarded Dr. Shelden an honorary doctorate in May 2007.

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