Mun Y. Choi, president of the UM System speaks during the Marion County Extension Council Annual Meeting in Palmyra last Tuesday.

The University of Missouri System wants to make a difference and save more lives with its new NextGen Precision Health initiative.

That was the message from  Mun Y. Choi, president of the University of Missouri System during a visit to Palmyra last Tuesday.

Speaking during the Marion County Extension Council Annual Meeting, held at the Zion Lutheran School, Choi outlined a goals of utilizing new technology and stepping up research efforts to develop new and better cancer drugs and treatments.

“That the kind of impact is incredible,” Choi told the gathering. “That’s what gets people excited. That’s what gets our faculty excited.”

Before detailing the UM System’s new health initiatives, which also include efforts to improve rural health care in the state, Choi cited some sobering statistics for Missouri, noting the state is the 12th highest in cancer deaths, 12th in cardiovascular deaths and 11th highest in “frequent mental distress.”

“Those are pretty concerning,” he said. “But we can make  a difference in all those areas.

The good news, Choi said, is the UM system overall and at MU in particular, is well placed to make strong efforts to reduce those numbers, not just in the state but in the nation and world.

See entire story in this week's Palmyra Spectator.