MU Curator Board

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COLUMBIA - MU's Board of Curators met with the Health Affairs Committee Thursday to review the years' financial performance.

A committee report in June showed year-to-date net revenue of $944,690, which is $100,000 more than the predicted budget.

MU's hospitals came under budget in most areas, including operating expenses, operating income, non-operating revenues and change in net assets. 

They also exceeded hospital expectations in terms of discharges, outpatient surgery, NICU days and patient days. 

"We're still getting in patients and having high volumes overall. The patients are just staying in our facilities a little bit longer than we had budgeted for and projected," said Jennifer Doll, MU Health Care's executive director of finance. 

In addition to logistics, curators and health professionals discussed issues surrounding individual schools and "burnout" in the medical profession.

The dean of the Sinclair School of Nursing, Judith Fitzgerald Miller, shared her concerns about the state of the nursing school.

Miller said there is a large number of undergraduate students applying for a clinical major during their junior year. She said two-thirds of the qualified applicants are turned away because of lack of space in the school.

The graduate program, however, is facing the opposite, with not enough applicants.

"We're having to compete with other schools and some profit organizations, so we're really looking at that to revitalize what we're doing here and how we're enticing students to our environment."

To remedy the lack of physical enrollment, the school is pushing its online graduate program. Graduate students would come to campus a few times during the year for hands-on training, but a majority of the curriculum would be completed online.

"We are finding ourselves in the middle of a rural state here for graduate education, so we have developed that program as an online program to bring students in," Miller said.