Photo by Anthony Jinson
Columbia has been a medical hub for the Mid-Missouri region for years. The area has many health care assets, yet the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital serves veterans with a unique level of comprehensive primary care. Each patient who comes to Truman VA receives customized inpatient or outpatient care based on their needs.
The hospital was founded in 1972 from a push for more academic affiliated hospitals in the U.S. Today, Truman VA serves about 40,000 veterans from Missouri and Illinois. Due to the proximity of MU Health, Columbia was chosen as the location for the hospital. In addition to the Columbia campus, Truman VA has eight outpatient clinics to better serve patients throughout the state.
About 900 students are trained at Truman VA each year. “There’s no way MU could produce that many doctors if there wasn’t an affiliate here. If we weren’t producing doctors, there’d be a significant shortage,” says CEO David Isaacks.
Truman VA has become a leader in the VA health care system, and a focus on individualized care has led to both patient and employee satisfaction. When a veteran arrives at the hospital, they are provided with a care team that oversees their mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Heather Brown (pictured above) experienced this level of care firsthand after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “You’re not going to find a friendlier hospital. There’s an honest to goodness warmth. People here genuinely care about their veterans’ health care. We really want them to know we care.”
Upon her first visit to the hospital, Heather was blown away by the staff’s willingness to listen and the services that they provided. Heather was so inspired by the level of care that she now works for the hospital as an enrollment coordinator to help veterans like herself understand that it’s OK to ask for help.