In Memoriam: Reaner Shannon, 1936-2022

Reaner Shannon, the first associate dean for minority affairs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, died on July 13. She was 85 years old.

A native of Solgohachia, Arkansas, Shannon and her family moved to Kansas City when she was six years old. After graduating from public high school, she attended Kansas City Junior College, Kansas City University, Park College, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She held master’s degrees in medical technology and health science, adult education and continuing education, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and health care administration.

Dr. Shannon began her career at the medical school as the main research lab technologist. In 1990, she left the lab to become director of the minority affairs office at the school, becoming the school’s first associate dean for minority affairs in 1998, a post she held until she retired in 2008 after 34 years on the staff.

Dr. Shannon established the UMKC School of Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council in 2001 to promote a diverse, non-discriminatory learning and working environment for the school. It was charged with promoting cultural competency, awareness, inclusion, respect, and equity through education, training, programming, and advancement. She also launched Saturday Academy, a free program designed to spark interest in and help prepare young people for potential careers in health care. The program provides students in grades six through 12 with two and a half hours of classes that focus on math and science as well as ACT prep.

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