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Engagement and Outreach Impact

The UM System and its four universities are committed to connecting resources, research and projects to improve Missourians’ lives in areas of greatest challenge related to the economy, education and health.

Select a topic below to explore the progress and goals of these important and ongoing initiatives.

UM System Broadband Initiative

Broadband is a critical factor in economic growth, educational opportunity and access to healthcare—for all of Missouri and beyond.

The most recent rankings on broadband accessibility from the Federal Communications Commission shows that Missouri has work to do: Missouri is ranked 41st in the country. The speed, stability and availability of the internet is key to education, innovation and progress in our state, and addressing regulatory issues, education, technology advances and potential partnerships is needed to make high-speed internet available throughout the state.

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The UM System Broadband Initiative exemplifies the mission of the Office of Engagement and Outreach in which the University and the greater community partner to establish a relationship of value, share information and improve the lives of those in Missouri and beyond. Learn more about the office and its engagement systemwide (PDF, 3MB).

Feature story

Broadband Initiative pilots project to expand an essential utility statewide—starting in Bollinger County

Broadband Update Webinar: July 8, 2020

The UM System Broadband Leadership Team, consisting of researchers and community stakeholders, hosted a live public webinar on July 8, 2020, introducing an actionable plan to bring affordable and accessible broadband internet to Bollinger County, Missouri.

Applied to a county in which four out of five residents have no broadband access, the plan will serve as a model for a broader effort to make high speed internet more available to people in rural areas of the state. Entitled “Bringing Broadband to a Missouri Community,” the webinar also shared information about the Missouri Broadband Resource Rail, a free, web-based resource that will assist in the expansion of broadband across a variety of industries and government services.

Watch the full Broadband Update webinar on the University of Missouri Extension website (exit UM System site).

About Missouri Broadband Resource Rail

Missouri Broadband Resource Rail is a free web-based resource that uses SourceLink®, proven resource connector software, to encourage the creation of teams devoted to the expansion of broadband and adoption of broadband-based applications in business, agriculture, education, government services and healthcare.

The site will catalogue over 100 current research, community education and service projects related to broadband expansion and development of broadband-based applications involving UM System faculty and staff. It will host government, business and nonprofit resources related to broadband and its applications, as well. The Resource Rail also will feature UM System resources to help communities assess:

  • appropriate technologies to meet their broadband infrastructure needs
  • available financing and funding resources for broadband projects
  • strategies to educate the public on how to use broadband-based applications

The Resource Rail will connect with All Things Missouri, a web-based resource developed by the MU Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (CARES), with its databases of geocentric information about broadband access and census data about community education, employment, healthcare and other metrics.

Results and lessons learned from the community test-bed project in Bollinger County will also be made available through the Missouri Broadband Resource Rail so that they can be applied in other settings across the state.

UM System Health Engagement

Missourians — especially in rural areas — face acute health care challenges. Many people travel more than an hour to reach health care providers for routine care and emergency services.  An aging and financially disadvantaged population struggles with high rates of obesity, smoking, heart disease, stroke, mental health concerns, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and more.

Here is how Missouri is placed among America's Health Rankings for 2019:

  • Overall health care ranking- 39 out of 50
  • Access and affordability- 33 out of 50
  • Prevention and treatment- 37 out of 50
  • Avoidable use and cost- 45 out of 50
  • Health care disparity- 41 out of 50

Show Me Health and Well-Being

The Show Me Health and Well-Being initiative and UM System Health Engagement Task Force works with MU Extension, local communities and partners to help identify and solve health care access and preventative care and education challenges, with a goal of helping Missouri improve its overall ranking from 33 to 25 by 2030.

Broad efforts are already underway, such as a community health program area within MU Extension that will help strengthen collaboration across medical, nursing and health professions schools and services and link the NextGen Precision Health Initiative with rural health needs.

Updates and outcomes will continue to be shared as task force and related initiative projects efforts harness the expertise, resources, research and reach of the UM System to bring forth the results and solutions needed to improve long-term health outcomes across Missouri.

Feature story

UM System Health Care Finder: helping to identify and solve local health care needs

About Missouri Health Care Finder

The UM System Health Care Finder online tool is one strand of the statewide Show Me Health and Well-Being initiative that aims to increase Missourians’ access to health care and boost the state’s health care outcomes.

The easy-to-use tool maps more than 200 UM System health care resources across the state — from a pediatric endocrinology clinic in Kirksville to Tele-Behavioral Health Services in Marble Hill. Using key words, zip codes and geographic areas, Missourians can locate these UM System health care assets and services near them.

More important, the Health Care Finder will help the UM System Health Engagement Task Force identify gaps in care and areas of need in local communities. It is also a tool with room for growth in the future, such as adding other community-based health and social services to provide even more resources for users.

For the full version of the UM System Health Care Finder, visit the UM System Engagement Portal, the UM System's comprehensive online inventory of each university’s footprint and impact serving Missourians beyond the campus.

View the full Missouri Health Finder and other engagement data in the UM System Engagement Portal.


Reviewed 2020-09-24