Truman Medical Centers (TMC) is a not-for-profit two acute-care hospital health system in Kansas City. The TMC Health System includes TMC Hospital Hill, TMC Lakewood, TMC Behavioral Health, the management of the Jackson County Health Department and a number of primary care practices throughout Eastern Jackson County. TMC is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy and specializes in asthma, diabetes, family/primary care, orthopedics, women’s health, and trauma services.

At TMC, our mission is one we take seriously. We are dedicated to providing a strong, vital healthcare system to Kansas City and by doing so; we hope to lead the way toward a more healthy community.

TMC is the medical home to more nearly 100,000 people who receive top quality, state-of-the-art healthcare each year, regardless of their ability to pay. These patients make up more than 500,000 outpatient visits and more than 21,000 inpatient admissions each year, nearly 27 percent of which are uninsured and far more underinsured.

Many of our patients have multiple, chronic diseases that effect their quality of life. Many of these diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity, are manageable with a combination of a healthier lifestyle and quality medical care.  

Recently introduced is "Passport to Wellness" which helps patients with chronic illnesses make lifestyle changes that will help them better manage their health, resulting in fewer hospital visits. Through education and a coached approach to lifestyle changes, a care team of health professionals will work to help them better understand their illness, teach them firsthand how to manage it and guide them to becoming their own advocate in managing the disease. The care team will also work to remove barriers that prevent them from following through with their care plans. The program was introduced to TMC employees in June 2010 and introduced to patients thereafter.

Passport to Wellness is designed to help our most ill patients, those with chronic diseases whom we see over and over again in our Emergency Department. The care team will help these patients with transportation to and preparedness for their doctor appointments, connect them to funding sources for their medications if they are having trouble paying for them, and make sure their doctors and nurses are communicating effectively with each other about the patient’s care. The long-term goal is that the patients learn to advocate for themselves.

When it comes to a culture of health and wellness, TMC will not settle for just words. TMC has put into action several programs, options and ideas that will help lead our community and eventually our nation toward a culture of health and wellness, lower costs and improving quality of life for all. TMC and President/CEO and 2011 American Hospital Association Chariman John W. Bluford is focusing on changing healthcare by moving toward a culture of wellness and preventative care.  Real reform will come when our system focuses on prevention, physical fitness, good nutrition and the cessation of smoking. TMC has lead the way in the Kansas City area in this cultural revolution.

In 2005, TMC became the first employer in the Kansas City area to not just prohibit smoking on campus but also stopped hiring those who smoke. All new TMC employees sign an affidavit affirming that they do not and will not smoke. This change has led to increased productivity as the number of employees taking sick leave has decreased and employee insurance premiums have decreased, the opposite of the national trend.

More recently, TMC has removed all unhealthy snacks and beverages from vending machines in patient waiting areas and near the cafeterias, replacing them with healthier choices, such as zero calorie sodas, baked chips and granola and fiber bars.

Morrison Healthcare Foodservice, TMC’s dietary partner, has joined in the cultural change. They have introduced more fruits and fresh vegetables, smaller portions and a certified Weight Watchers cook station. In April 2010, Morrison will also unveil a first in the nation pilot dining establishment at TMC Hospital Hill that will provide patients, visitors and staff quality, fresh cooked options that are designed to be lower in calories, fat and sodium all located closer to the patient care areas.

TMC has also begun a bi-weekly Farmer’s Market that provides visitors, patients and staff quality, locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables for purchase right outside the hospital. From April through October 2009, more than 4,400 customers purchased more than 53,000 pounds of fresh produce. In addition, a registered dietician is on hand at each market to provide healthy eating tips. The market is so successful that in 2011, it will take place every week throughout the spring and summer.