December 2021

Dear graduates and special friends of MU Family Medicine,

Covid continues. As we look back, 2021 has echoed 2020 here at MU, but the fear initially experienced by faculty and staff has certainly subsided. Covid has now become part of business as usual for us. That does not mean that this virus has ceased to be disruptive, it simply means we have been able to rise to the challenges it presents and plan and execute as needed in the ongoing pursuit of our mission. I am proud to report that MU Family Medicine is focused and succeeding in all areas of our mission.

To advance health and primary care through leadership in PATIENT CARE.

We opened a new Columbia clinic on Battle Avenue in December 2020, and the community reception has been robust. We now serve as primary care providers for more than 60,000 people in mid-Missouri, with four clinics in Columbia and five in nearby rural communities.

Our Boonville team continues to work in employee health space leased from the Isle of Capris casino as our new clinic is being built; unfortunately, completion of this building has been delayed by supply shortages and delays that are impacting the construction industry nationwide.

Telehealth visits that became the primary mode of delivering care for a time in 2020 have now settled into a persistent part of our care delivery options, albeit for a small minority of visits. Most patients prefer the in-person touch.

Our Quick Care clinics, which we shut down with due caution when Covid came to mid-Missouri, are going strong and remain a favorite walk-in option for patients – including those concerned about having Covid.

To advance health and primary care through leadership in SCHOLARSHIP/RESEARCH.

Despite dwindling resources from the state, much strategic planning has been done at the campus, medical school, and department levels to invest in our research mission. New faculty have been hired and our recruitment efforts continue.

Biostatisticians serving the medical school research community now find their home in Family and Community Medicine.

To advance health and primary care through leadership in EDUCATION.

We are excited to be opening the Bothwell Rural Family Medicine Residency. This year, in addition to recruiting 14 first year residents who will be based in Columbia, Fulton and Fayette, we are recruiting two residents for this new rural training program. These residents will complete their first year in Columbia, then finish their training at Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia. Five family physicians have been recruited to serve as core faculty for this Sedalia-based program; four of these are MU Family Medicine grads.

To further strengthen our commitment to rural communities, we have launched a longitudinal integrated clerkship, also based in Sedalia, for third year medical students.

To succeed in our efforts to achieve this broad-reaching mission requires hard work, commitment and funding.

We are grateful to faculty, staff and residents for all the ways they fuel our success. We are also grateful to our family of donors whose generosity has enhanced the endowments that fund our efforts in patient care, education and research. I particularly want to recognize their support for resident education and well-being. Residency training is always rigorous and challenging, but these past two years have been especially difficult. Residents have given so much in service to our patients, colleagues and health system.

To those who have sent a gift to MU Family Medicine, I thank you and hope we can count on your support again this year. And to those who have not yet donated, I ask you to consider joining our family of donors.

Endowments are essential; the funding they provide is dependable and permanent. For a complete list and description of our endowed funds, or to make an online gift, please visit our website: fcm.missouri.edu/giving.

Thank you being there and striving to make your corner of our world a better place. We are honored to call you friends and colleagues. On behalf of everyone here at MU Family Medicine, I want to wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

Best regards,     

Michael LeFevre, MD, MSPH
Professor and Jack M. and Winifred S. Colwill Chair
lefevrem@health.missouri.edu