Affiliation Between Autism Centers Expands Opportunities in Missouri

April 7, 2014

Mercy Kids Dr. John Mantovani and

MU Thompson Center Stephen Kanne

ST. LOUIS - The Mercy Autism Center, a Mercy Kids program, and the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Columbia, Mo., announced a partnership with the goal of expanding opportunities for clinical care, professional education and research for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

The collaboration is based on the complementary strengths of the two entities and shared commitment to fostering evidence-based care for kids with autism spectrum disorders.  

“This partnership capitalizes on the clinical strengths of the staff at the Mercy Autism Center and brings nationally recognized expertise in care, research and education from the MU Thompson Center to the St. Louis region,” said Dr. John Mantovani, medical director of the Mercy Kids Therapy & Development Center and chair of pediatrics at Mercy Children’s Hospital.

By working together, the hope is to expand educational and research capacities while enhancing clinical and family-centered services for ASD within the St. Louis region. The affiliation includes the adoption of the MU Thompson Center’s best practices for ASD, the collaborative use of the guidelines described in the Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative (MAGI) publications and the goal of fostering the development and incorporation of new evidence-based approaches to care.  

“This partnership will increase the Thompson Center’s ability to train more professionals, students and families in the best practices for autism care,” said Stephen Kanne, Thompson Center executive director. “In addition, working with Mercy will help the Thompson Center expand its research efforts and further develop clinical care for those affected by autism in the St. Louis area and throughout the state.”

Leaders from the two organizations have worked together in the past, collaborating as members of the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Mercy Kids is a network of pediatric care dedicated to meeting the needs of every child, every day.  It is powered by over 700 pediatricians and family doctors in partnership with 125 pediatric specialists.  Anchored by two acute care pediatric hospitals in St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., Mercy Kids offers a full range of services to support healthy childhoods, including pediatric, specialty and educational services.

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