• Kathleen Quinn
    Kathleen Quinn

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Kathleen Quinn, associate dean for rural health at the University of Missouri, has been named senior program director for health and safety. This new position is a collaborative effort between the MU School of Medicine and the MU Office of Extension and Engagement. One goal of the position is to solve rural health care challenges, a key aim of the NextGen Precision Health Initiative.

“The opportunity to bring my rural health experience to the new Community Health program area will further maximize the great work MU is doing to address the grand challenges facing Missouri,” Quinn said. “Health is woven into nearly every facet of the communities we serve. We have a role to play in our own health and the health of our communities. I will work collaboratively with all sectors of the university to create an environment where Missourians thrive at every stage of life. When Missourians thrive, we all thrive.”

Quinn has been a leader of the MU School of Medicine’s rural health programs for almost 20 years and has a deep understanding of the challenges many Missourians face in accessing health care.

“Dr. Quinn is ideally positioned for this new role,” said Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor of extension and engagement. “She is deeply committed to finding ways to improve health outcomes.”

As a leader of the Rural Scholars Program — aimed at addressing the shortage of rural physicians by providing interested students with mentoring, clinical experience and unique educational opportunities — Quinn established statewide partnerships with organizations, communities and hospital systems.

“Pairing Dr. Quinn’s vital rural health care work with MU Extension’s community engagement model provides new opportunities to improve health care in communities across the state,” Stewart said.

Quinn will provide leadership for the community health engagement and outreach efforts across MU and Missouri. She will focus on forming linkages between rural programs and campus-based resources, such as the Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems’ All Things Missouri data platform and the Center for Health Policy’s health care workforce analysis project, to ensure local policymakers have accurate, evidence-based information to address their communities’ needs.

“Dr. Quinn has an already impressive record of addressing health workforce needs in Missouri,” said Steven Zweig, interim dean at the MU School of Medicine. “She recently obtained a $4.2 million grant to expand the Rural Track Pipeline Program. The grant is the largest award for rural medicine in the university’s history.”

In her new role, Quinn will continue to serve as associate dean for rural health and also will oversee the Center for Health Policy and the Missouri Telehealth Network at the School of Medicine.

Contact: Sheena Rice, MU News Bureau, 573-882-8353,