It looks like Truman Medical Center CEO and respected community leader John Bluford might finally be rectifying the incredibly embarrassing situation with a McDonald’s in the hospital lobby. In special piece in the KC Star, Bluford finally acknowledges the irony and says the hospital is looking for a healthier alternative.
The diseases of bad eating – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc. – are skyrocketing and taking up an ever greater share of our limited health care resources. The presence of a McDonalds in the Truman lobby is an especially bad symbol because Missouri ranks very high for these diseases, and they hit Truman’s poor and underserved population disproportionately.
For a hospital serving the poor and located in the middle of food desert, it’s especially important for them to set a good example and use their food service operation to provide healthier options.
Sadly, the Truman McDonalds is an all too common eyesore in the US. In a climate of shrinking government resources, many hospitals and schools are turning to fast food as more affordable alternatives to traditional food service operations. KC taxpayers approved a property tax increase for our public health care provides in 2005, but health care costs continue to outpace tax revenues. Ironically, a lot of rising health care costs come from people without access to healthy food options. Hopefully Truman can begin to break this downward spiral by replacing its McDonalds withe a healthier option.