Health Care

Boone Hospital Center combines local roots, big system’s resources

Boone Hospital Center has deep roots in the community. When it opened in 1921 it was the first hospital in Columbia. In a world of hi-tech and networking medicine that the people of the Roaring ‘20s would never have recognized. It reaches into the surrounding area with clinics in seven other towns. And it leads the way into the 21st Century with advances like the new MitraClip heart surgery procedure; a new health insurance product, the Priority Access Health Plan; and an employee environment that has earned it honors such as being named a “Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.”

Boone Hospital Center, Broadway Medical Plaza and Nifong Medical Plaza belong to the people of Boone County and their ownership is managed by the hospital board of trustees, who are elected by the voters of Boone County. Under a lease arrangement, the Columbia operations now are managed by BJC HealthCare, one of the nation’s largest health care systems. The BJC system (named after Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Christian Hospital and Children’s Hospital, all in St. Louis) includes 14 hospitals plus a rehabilitation center, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and other health-related services throughout Missouri and Southern Illinois.

Boone Hospital has grown to become today’s 392-bed institution, offering the region’s care across a full spectrum of service line offerings. As part of the BJC system, Boone is known for its advanced cardiology care, obstetrics services, neurology expertise, surgical specialists, and oncology and orthopedic.

The hospital has a full-service emergency department, a rehabilitation unit, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and state-of-the-art radiology services. It has been designated a Level I stroke center and a Level I STEMI center.

Boone also has a host of specialized programs serving a wide variety of medical needs such as an endocrine and diabetes clinic; an employee assistance program; an infectious disease program; pain management services; a sleep center; supportive care; weight loss assistance; a wound healing center; and the Harris Breast Center, which provides 3D mammography and DEXA scans.

Patients needing surgery can take advantage of Boone’s endoscopic, laser and robotic surgery procedures. In December 2018 Boone became the first hospital in Mid-Missouri to offer the MitraClip to repair leaky heart valves. In this procedure the ›
device is inserted through a catheter. Patients need to stay an average of only two days as in-patients, and the procedure can be used even on patients whose advanced age or other health conditions make them ineligible for traditional heart valve surgery.

In 2016 Boone Hospital opened the Nifong Medical Plaza in southern Columbia. Convenient care, primary care, radiology, therapy and laboratory services are all available at this new satellite location.

Outside of Columbia, the hospital provides care through Boone Medical Group clinics in Ashland, Boonville, Centralia, Glasgow, Hallsville and Mexico. The latest addition is a clinic in Osage Beach, which opened in 2017.

Boone’s commitment to improving the health of Mid-Missouri includes community outreach programs such as free cholesterol, A1C and skin cancer screenings on the hospital’s Mobile Health Unit; many community education events; and the Kids on Track program, which keeps children and their families active during summer months in multiple communities around Mid-Missouri. Boone Hospital also provides corporate wellness services to help Mid-Missouri employers promote good health on the job.

The Stewart Cancer Center at Boone Hospital is part of the Siteman Cancer Network, an affiliation led by the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis. This affiliation gives Boone patients expanded access to cancer prevention and control strategies, genomic and genetic testing, and clinical trials. The institutions also jointly assess the need for cancer prevention, detection and treatment in their respective regions and plan ways to prevent and control the disease.

Boone Family Birthplace cares for mothers and babies, personalized according to the needs of each woman and her family, including low-intervention birth options, lactation counseling, perinatal education and family-friendly postpartum suites. When needed, the Level III neonatal intensive care unit, specialists and nurses are there to help with unexpected complications or high-risk pregnancies and deliveries.

Across these service lines, the hospital is fortunate to have the service of approximately 350 physicians, many of whom were trained at some of the most prestigious universities and medical schools in America. While the hospital employs some of these physicians directly, most belong to private physician practice groups.

To help both physicians and patients financially – and the patients’ employers – in 2018 some Boone-affiliated physicians created the NueHealth Provider Network Priority Access Health Plan. This priority access health plan, or PAHP, allows businesses with as few as two employees to provide employees the health care coverage they need.

The PAHP offers different plan levels of priority access to the primary care provider, similar to a concierge medicine plan, but without the high cost. Using a secure app on a smartphone, a patient can send their primary care physician a text message or request a video or voice chat. If their medical need requires an in-office visit, the PAHP ensures they’ll be seen by their physician within 24 hours. If they require a referral to a specialist, they won’t wait longer than a week to be seen.

Doctors benefit too. In traditional insurance plans, primary care physicians are compensated only for patient office visits and often provide hours of uncompensated care. The PAHP compensates primary care physicians in the network for all patient care, whether or not the patient needs an in-person appointment.

The PAHP is also more accessible and affordable for local employers. Businesses with as few as two employees – or as many as thousands – can participate.

In 2018 it became a Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite by providing time, space and other benefits to moms who wish to keep breastfeeding after they return to work at Boone.

For four years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has named Boone Hospital Center the No. 1 hospital in Mid-Missouri and one of the top-ranked hospitals in the state. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services rated Boone as the only five-star hospital in MId-Missouri. Boone is one of the few hospitals in the world to have been designated as a Magnet hospital three consecutive times by the American Nursing Credentialing Center, recognizing Boone’s commitment to nursing excellence and professional development. Nurses also have ranked Boone as one of the top hospitals to work for in Missouri at the website

For more information, about Boone Hospital Center, visit or call
(573) 815-8000.

University of Missouri Health Care offers full spectrum of care

Patients at University of Missouri Health Care are cared for by specialists from every field of medicine who work together to save and improve lives. MU Health Care is the state’s premier academic health system, and its team approach ensures each patient receives personalized attention and truly coordinated care.

From preventive health care to highly specialized treatments for serious illnesses or injuries, patients and families who choose MU Health Care have access to unique resources, including:

  • A Level I trauma center, stroke center and STEMI heart attack center.
  • The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Network, through a collaboration with Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.
  • The state’s only hospital dedicated to women’s and children’s health care.
  • Mid-Missouri’s first low-intervention birthing program.
  • The region’s largest and most comprehensive orthopedic hospital, the Missouri Orthopedic Institute.
  • The region’s largest medical group comprised of more than 600 physicians in more than 80 different specialties and subspecialties.

MU Health Care offers multiple options to help patients receive the right care at the right place at the right time. Convenient care options include video visits, Mizzou Quick Care clinics located in each of Columbia’s three Hy-Vee grocery stores, urgent care and two emergency departments.

Patients can also use a helpful online symptom checker to determine which level of care they need. Find more › information on these services or reserve a spot at a Mizzou Quick Care clinic by visiting care.

In October 2018, MU Health Care unveiled an expanded and renovated emergency department at University Hospital. In addition to 18 new exam rooms, the emergency department also includes 10 fast-track exam rooms for patients with non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses, meaning patients get the care they need even faster.

When patients are away from home, they still have access to their health care team. Through a robust online portal, patients can manage appointments, securely message physicians, request prescription refills, access immunization history, view their physician notes after a visit and more. Patients can learn more about managing their care with MU Health Care’s patient portal at

As the health care landscape continues to change, MU Health Care is committed to improving the health of patients throughout the state. The health system recently extended its advanced electronic medical record to Lake Regional Health System and Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City to unify health records and enhance the coordination of care throughout Missouri. Patients can securely message doctors, schedule appointments and access their health history across Lake Regional Health System, Capital Region Medical Center and MU Health Care.

The health system’s commitment to using technology to streamline the patient experience recently earned MU Health Care its eighth consecutive “Most Wired” award from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

MU Health Care’s comprehensive health network began in 1956 when University Hospital opened in Columbia. Today, MU Health Care consists of University Hospital, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the Missouri Orthopedic Institute and the Missouri Psychiatric Center, all based in Columbia, as well as more than 50 outpatient clinics in central Missouri. Affiliates include Capital Region Medical Center, Columbia Family Medical Group, Columbia Surgical Associates and Rusk Rehabilitation Hospital. Additionally, MU Health Care is a founding member of the Health Network of Missouri and MPact Health, statewide networks to improve health care access and coordination of care.

MU Health Care is a part of University of Missouri Health, which also includes the MU School of Health Professions, MU School of Medicine, MU Sinclair School of Nursing and University Physicians practice plan.

To schedule a visit with an MU Health Care physician, please visit Connect with MU Health Care online at, and ›

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital: “The Best Place to Work” and the health care focus for 40,000 veterans a year

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia is an academic health center that is committed to excellent patient care, education and research. Truman VA’s main medical center is a 126-bed facility that offers a full continuum of inpatient and outpatient health services. Truman VA also serves Veterans in rural parts of the state through eight community-based outpatient clinics located in Jefferson City, Kirksville, Marshfield, Mexico, Osage Beach, St. James, Sedalia and Waynesville.

Approximately 40,000 veterans receive health care at Truman VA each year for comprehensive services that include primary care, medical and surgical specialties, behavioral health, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy services and more. As a referral center, Truman VA also provides cardiovascular care including open heart surgery.

Outpatient clinic appointments exceed 400,000 visits annually. Veterans from 43 counties in Missouri, as well as Pike County in Illinois, receive health services from Truman VA.

The medical center’s first major facility project in 2018 was the construction of a new Intensive Care Unit. The new unit, which was activated in November 2017, increased the number of ICU beds from 12 to 14. Each room now has its own private restroom; sliding doors for a quieter, more private environment; and larger space to accommodate furniture for family members who desire extended visitations.

Less than three months later, Truman VA activated a new Surgical Inpatient Unit in February 2018. The number of beds in this new unit increased from 16 to 18. All beds are now in private rooms, and like the new ICU, the Surgical Inpatient Unit is equipped with leading-edge vital sign monitors for automatic patient data entry. Additionally, each room in both units is equipped with a patient lift system. The lift systems protect staff by ensuring their ability to safely handle patients.

In August 2018, Truman VA began construction to expand the current parking structure. The expansion project will result in a four-story, 376,483-square-foot structure that will provide patients and staff with an additional 684 parking spaces. The garage expansion project is expected to be completed in fall 2019.

Another construction project currently underway is the Ambulatory Care Addition. Ambulatory care is a way to provide Veterans with a wide range of services, such as same-day medical procedures, that are performed in an outpatient setting. The addition is a two-phase project that will result in 15 dental treatment rooms, 18 examination rooms and 14 hematology/oncology infusion bays.

Technology and equipment procurements also are important to providing state-of-the-art care for Veterans. Acquisitions for 2018 included a new computed tomography system, an ultrasonic scanning system, an Alice diagnostic sleep system, vital-sign monitors, patient ceiling lifts, and bariatric recliners and sleep beds.

Truman VA also is upgrading OR five, which is a hybrid operating room. A hybrid OR is a surgical theater that is equipped with advanced medical imaging technology to enable specialized surgeries, such as TAVR heart procedures.

One of the newest, programs offered at Truman VA is Immediate Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed elective surgical procedures in the United States. In fact, the need for cataract surgery is expected to double within the next 20 years.

With traditional cataract surgery, patients usually have one eye procedure, then must return two weeks later to have the other eye surgery completed. However, in 2018 Truman VA became the first VA hospital to offer ISBCS. With ISBCS, surgery is performed on both eyes on the same day but as separate procedures. In most cases, the postoperative visual rehabilitation period is faster, and fewer visits to the clinic and hospital are needed.

Another program Truman VA has implemented recently is a new procedure for diagnosing recurrent prostate cancer. Prostate cancer often can be found before symptoms become apparent by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. However, most imaging tests have not been able to identify recurring prostate cancers because in those cases, PSA usually is only mildly increased. Truman VA now offers a new state-of-the-art diagnostic tool for recurrent prostate cancer using positron emission tomography imaging and the radiopharmaceutical drug, Axumin.

Truman VA recently was ranked No. 1 nationally as the best place to work by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ All Employee Survey. This is the second consecutive year Truman VA has been ranked No. 1 throughout VA by employees. It’s also the first time in the 17 years since the inception of the survey that a VA hospital has been ranked No. 1 for two consecutive years.

Truman VA also was recognized by several external organizations in 2018. For example, in may 2018 the medical center was recognized for 20 years of service to the Columbia Public Schools’ Partner in Education program.

The hospital also was designated a 2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This is the medical center’s fifth consecutive year as a leader in the Healthcare Equality Index. Truman VA is one of only 418 hospitals nationwide — and one of only 14 in Missouri — to earn the Equality Leader designation.

Truman VA also received the 2018 Greenhealth Partner for Change Award from the nonprofit organization Practice Greenhealth. The award recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability for various programs and activities.

For more information, visit or call
(573) 814-6000.