December 2023

Dear graduates and special friends of MU Family Medicine,

As most of you know, I will be retiring at the end of the year.

My reflections during these past months blur into the continuum of nearly 45 years of calling this my professional home. I have been richly blessed by the many people whose paths have intersected with MU Family Medicine. I appreciate the faculty, staff and residents whom I have had the pleasure to know and work with; their ongoing commitment to our mission has kept our department strong. As I look to the start of a new year under the leadership of our fifth chair, Dr. Richelle Koopman, I feel optimistic and confident that MU Family Medicine will continue to lead and make a difference through patient care, education and research.

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

“If we build it, they will come” continues to reflect our experience with family medicine in mid-Missouri. Our community, our region, our state and our nation need more family doctors.

Columbia is home to four family medicine clinic locations, and we continue to collaborate with the local federally qualified health center. We also have three Quick Care options staffed by advanced practice providers in local grocery stores. Demand for services continues to exceed our supply as we work hard to meet the need.

We have now fully surrounded Columbia with clinics in Boonville, Fayette, Mexico, Fulton and Ashland.

We serve as primary care clinicians for 70,000 central Missourians with nearly 175,000 clinic visits.

January 2024 MU will complete the full integration of Capital Region Medical Center into the MU Health Care network. We welcome our family medicine colleagues from Capital Region in joining the School of Medicine as a community practice unit.

To advance health and primary care through leadership in EDUCATION.

Let’s celebrate the full ACGME accreditation of the new Bothwell-University of Missouri Rural Family Medicine Residency! Located in Sedalia, this program is designed to train family physicians to provide outstanding care and leadership for rural patients and communities. The residency’s core faculty includes five recent recruits from our medical school and residency. Two residents per year join our intern class of 14 residents in Columbia then complete their residency in Sedalia. We have matched our first four residents in the past two years.

Graduating medical students continue to give our third-year family medicine clerkship exceptional reviews. One-on-one time with passionate faculty in clinical settings both on-site and off-site is the centerpiece of this education … time that’s hard to find in most clinical rotations.

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

Our rural commitment is well represented with Family Medicine researchers Jane McElroy and Kevin Everett leading efforts to develop a rural research network and doing practice-based interventions to improve colorectal cancer screening.

I am grateful to the faculty, staff and residents whose hard work and support has made me proud to lead this outstanding and enduring department. Throughout my career, I have felt honored to be a family physician and blessed to have all of you as friends, colleagues and advocates for family medicine. Thank you for being there and doing what you do!

Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and all the best for 2024.

Best regards,

Michael LeFevre, MD, MSPH
Professor and Jack M. and Winifred S. Colwill Chair