MU will enter new contracts with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri after canceling agreements between the School of Medicine and the Sinclair School of Nursing almost two months ago, according to an Oct. 21 news release.
The agreements originally ended after Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, held several hearings on the legality of MU’s relationship with the local clinic. Although Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin originally testified against cutting ties, they were ultimately severed regardless.
PPKM President and CEO Laura McQuade said in the statement that while this is a positive step, more must be done.
“These contracts open back up critical access to educational and training opportunities for MU nursing students who wish to learn from our dedicated professionals how to provide life-saving preventive health care,” McQuade said in the statement. “However, these contracts are no substitute for the decades-long partnership between Planned Parenthood and MU recently ended because of the university’s capitulation to political bullying.”
MU Health Care voted to discontine “refer and follow” privileges Sept. 24, which allow physicians to access their patients’ information. The vote spurred from MU Health Care believing the privileges were “outdated and unnecessary,” Steve Whitt, MU Health Care chief medical officer, said in a Sept. 24 MU News Bureau release.
Sheila Kostas, PPKM vice president of public affairs and communications, defended the significance of these privileges in a Sept. 24 PPKM news release.
“Referring physicians can then follow their patients’ progress if ever needed, but the attending physician at the hospital provides the necessary patient care,” Kostas said in the Sept. 24 statement.
The change to the privileges become effective Dec. 1.
“We call on Chancellor Loftin and MU Health Care to listen to the voices of the thousands of students and community members who have spoken out out in defense of their rights to educational opportunities and access to health care, and to fully reinstate both privileging and all contracts between MU and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri,” McQuade said in the Oct. 21 statement.
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators have been in a closed-door meeting since 1 p.m. today, and are rumored to be discussing firing Loftin over his handling of the situation. The Curators had no comment after the four-hour meeting. Any personnel decisions have to be made public within 72 hours.