Health is a quality-of-life issue, an economic issue and a medical issue for citizens of Columbia and Boone County.
The heath care system in Columbia employs one in six Columbians and includes six hospitals and more than 1,105 hospital beds.
The medical industry's presence also spawns auxiliary businesses and services, such as testing labs and laundry services.
Because of the availability of medical care, including a range of specialties often found only in larger cities, Columbia attracts many people, from those with young families to those who are retired.
In this, the third of a series of Centennial sections, we look at where the medical community has come from and where it is going.
Here are some of the stories that will appear in the issue:
MU Health Care expansion
The first phase includes a new orthopedic institute and patient care tower.
• Includes a timeline on how health care has changed in Columbia over the last 100 years.
Two medical school programs funnel students into the MU School of Medicine.
Family Health Center
The only organization in the area to offer low-cost general health services.
Boone Hospital Center's plans for opening a day care center for seniors and children.
An autism center founded in Columbia in 2005 offers Missouri families a place to help to deal with the disorder.
Understanding behaviors and disorders
MU psychologists hope a new machine will aid in the understanding of psychological functions and disorders.
To see the whole section, go to columbiamissourian.com/Centennial.