125 years of pioneering healthcare
Since 1886, Research Medical Center has been delivering high-quality healthcare to meet the needs of greater Kansas City. From its humble beginnings in a 14-room brick house to its current 100-plus-acre, dual-campus facility in the heart of the city, Research Medical Center has combined compassionate, sensitive patient care with the power of advanced technologies and procedures. The hospital’s tradition of excellence has cemented its position as a leader among Kansas City area hospitals.
Research’s beginnings can be traced back to a group of German-American residents in Kansas City with a vision for providing an easily-accessible medical facility to provide excellent care to all citizens, regardless of race, creed, nationality or prosperity. Founded as German Hospital and dedicated to a "suffering humanity", the facility opened in a home at 23rd and Holmes.
In just nine short years, the progressive German Hospital – already a key resource for 19th century Kansas City – doubled in size. In 1905, the Research School of Nursing was established as an adjunct to the hospital to meet increasing demands for highly skilled staff.
German Hospital was becoming known for its research and innovation, and in 1911, a completely new building with a 250-bed capacity was dedicated. The hospital established the first obstetrics department in a private hospital in Kansas City and opened the radiology department.
As World War I ensued, public opinion against anything associated with Germany led to the need for a name change. A research laboratory connected with the hospital was gaining wide recognition at the time, and so in 1918, German Hospital became Research Hospital.
Over the next several years, Research Hospital introduced the area’s first health insurance plan, established one of the first community blood banks, and brought the first EKG and Cobalt-60 unit to Kansas City. These kinds of advancements further cemented the link between Research Hospital and high-quality healthcare in the region.
William Volker, a prominent area philanthropist, financed the construction of the Research Laboratory in 1917, the diagnostic clinic in 1924 and a new building for the nursing school in 1927. He contributed frequently to the daily operations of the hospital, and donated a $2.5 million matching grant through the William Volker Charities Fund. This generous grant paved the way for a new hospital – Research Hospital and Medical Center – on the current location on Meyer Boulevard.
On August 11, 1963, the ultra-modern facility boasting 521 beds and state-of-the-art equipment and technology opened its doors to the community. Thousands of Kansas Citizens heard former President Harry Truman praise the new medical center during dedication ceremonies as “a great institution for health.”
Research continued to build and expand, opening its transplant service, establishing the area’s first electrophysiology program to reduce the risks of life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, opening a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and more.
In 1985, Research Medical Center joined with HCA Healthcare to open the 100-bed Research Psychiatric Center as a joint venture. Located on the northern side of the Research campus, the Center offers comprehensive in-patient mental healthcare, including specific programs to treat substance abuse, and provide care for adolescent and geriatric patients, among others.
Research's growth has not been limited to the main campus at Meyer Boulevard. To better serve the healthcare needs of southern Jackson and northern Cass Counties, Research opened the 75-bed Research Belton Hospital in Belton, Missouri in the mid-80’s.
Research extended physical coverage to the entire community in 1985 when the Research Eagle air ambulance began operation. With an average response time of less than three minutes, the Eagle established itself as one of the fastest responders in the nation.
Opportunities for education continue to play an important role at Research. The School of Nursing and Rockhurst University have joined hands in forming the Research College of Nursing. The two highly respected educational institutions now jointly award a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This is the first such program of its kind in the nation.
In 2003, HCA Healthcare purchased Research and 10 other area hospitals, and invested more than $100 million in capital for Research. The hospital now includes the Research Medical Center Brookside Campus, which houses emergency services, the Center for Outpatient Surgery, Adult Specialty Care, the Pain Management Center, a Sleep Disorders lab, the Brookside Health and Fitness Center and Rehabilitation Services, the Center for Integrative Therapy and other outpatient services.
Boasting a medical staff of close to 500 and employee group of more than 1,600 dedicated women and men, Research Medical Center continues to deliver advanced, high-quality medicine and services unavailable elsewhere in the region. Research Medical Center was the region’s first Certified Primary Stroke Center. And in 2010, the hospital received a Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus designation which recognized the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care. The hospital’s Liver and Pancreas Institute is a premier treatment and referral center for cancer and other diseases of the liver, pancreas and biliary tract, and the Center for Tarlov Cysts provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for patient education, diagnosis, and definitive Tarlov cyst and meningeal cyst treatment. The Midwest Hand Center, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is a region-wide premier hand referral resource. It offers board-certified, fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity surgery expertise for traumatic hand injuries and other conditions.
And what of the future? Based on a solid tradition of highest quality patient care, Research is planning for tomorrow's healthcare needs today. An emphasis on positive lifestyles and health maintenance makes "wellness" a goal of the future. With resources such as the Center for Integrative Therapy, offering unique programs to help clients focus on wellness throughout their journey of health, and the Center for Healthy Aging with specialized services and expertise for the aging, Research looks forward to redefining and reshaping its role as a community and regional healthcare provider.
About Research Medical Center
Research Medical Center serves patients from a 150-mile region surrounding Kansas City by providing an abundance of services and access to advanced technology. The hospital, located at 2316 East Meyer Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the region’s leading acute care hospitals. The 511-bed facility features a broad range of highly specialized, state-of-the-art services. In addition, the 37-acre Research Brookside Campus, located at 6601 Rockhill Road in Kansas City, Mo., includes outpatient facilities, medical office buildings, and a comprehensive health and fitness center. Research Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines Coronary Artery Disease- Gold; the Get With the Guidelines Heart Failure-Gold Plus; and the Get With the Guidelines Stroke-Gold Plus Performance Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. A total of 961 awards are given for achievement in Coronary Artery Disease, Stroke and/or heart failure treatment. Of 961, Research Medical Center was one of 33 to receive a Triple Gold Award. Research Medical Center was ranked No. 3 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals metro area ranking in March 2011. For more information, go to the Research Medical Center website.
About HCA Midwest Health System
HCA Midwest Health System is the Kansas City area’s largest healthcare network, consisting of 10 hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers and an array of other services to meet the healthcare needs of the greater Kansas City area. It is also the area’s largest private sector employer with more than 8,000 employees. HCA Midwest facilities serving the Kansas City area include Research Medical Center, Research Psychiatric Center, Centerpoint Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Research Belton Hospital, Lafayette Regional Health Center, Allen County Hospital and Cass Regional Medical Center. Midwest Physicians, which is part of HCA Midwest, is a network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Midwest Physicians currently represents 274 physicians, including 109 primary care providers and 165 specialists with 78 physician practices providing care in 128 locations to serve the community. The physicians, licensed professionals and support staff who comprise the HCA Midwest team are dedicated to improving healthcare in the Greater Kansas City and outlying areas by focusing on five guiding principles: Quality, Service, People, Growth and Value. For more information on HCA Midwest Health System visit the HCA Midwest website.