LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — As it answers the call for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, Truman Medical Center- Lakewood (TMC) is simultaneously managing new services and $7.7 million in new infrastructure. Since early 2020, the community hospital has been busy caring for COVID-19 patients, conducting testing and vaccination clinics, and managing the Jackson County Health Department, all of which revealed the need for changes.
Construction is currently in progress for seven private isolation rooms and a dedicated nursing station in its North inpatient unit. TMC said the addition is in response to the urgent need for dedicated isolation rooms with negative-airflow rooms. Negative airflow rooms are common for infectious disease control and work by meticulously controlling the pressure and airflow so that contaminated air does not flow inside or outside of the room, even when someone opens the door. In addition to the rooms, the hospital has also invested in a new chiller plant. The rooms are expected to be available to patients beginning this month.
Also this month, the hospital plans to launch a new E-ICU in partnership with Hicuity. The E-ICU will allow the critical care physician to care for patients remotely.
Not all the changes are driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, however. In October, TMC opened the Center for Sleep Health. The new, four-bed sleep lab is located off-campus at the Stoney Creek Hotel in Independence. The hospital said that the sleep lab will allow it to provide convenient access to sleep studies for the Eastern Jackson County Area.
The dermatology services are also moving from the main campus to a free-standing imaging center in the 40-highway corridor in Independence.
In addition to new sites and services, TMC has also begun a new Certified Nursing Assistant training program with the Full Employment Council and the University of Central Missouri. As part of the partnership, TMC provides real health care job skills training. Demand for CNAs is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2019 and 2029, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pilot class included 13 students, with 8 of them advancing to graduation.
One of the greatest needs for CNA staff at TMC is at the 188-bed long term care center on campus, which has also seen changes the past year. TMC’s COO Lynette Wheeler is the consulting administrator for the care center and last year earned her license as a nursing home administrator.
“We are thankful for our hospitals in Lee’s Summit, who not only have worked tirelessly in response to the pandemic, but have also cared for the community’s other healthcare needs and worked to create job opportunities for residents of Eastern Jackson County,” said LSEDC President & CEO Rick McDowell.