March 30, 2020

By Marshanna Smith

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. commends the members of the County Legislature for approving more than $4.5 million for the Runions Act, his emergency funding proposal to combat the toll of COVID-19 on our community.

The funding package provides more than $4.3 million directly to Truman Medical Centers (TMC) to help the hospital purchase needed medical equipment, such as ventilators or personal protective equipment (PPEs), increase its testing capacity, including drive-through testing, and increase their limited hospital bed capacity. The remaining $200,000 in funds will support the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office purchase of a Lodox machine, a full-body, high-volume x-ray imaging device, to aid in its response to the COVID-19 emergency.

“This initial round of funding for the Runions Act is absolutely critical to support the immediate needs of our safety-net health care providers at TMC and the County’s health department,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “I remain committed to the need for additional funding including PPEs for first responders, temporary housing for those who do not have a safe place to stay and food for those forced to be at home.”

“Providers and staff at Truman Medical Centers are grateful that during this unprecedented crisis, the leadership of Jackson County is working to ensure the health and safety of our citizens through their financial support of Truman Medical Centers – Jackson County’s essential hospital,” said Charlie Shields, President and CEO of Truman Medical Centers.

As a safety-net health care provider, TMC commits itself to providing accessible, affordable and quality care to the Jackson County community, regardless of one’s ability to pay. More than half of TMC’s patients are uninsured or on Medicaid.

On this National Doctors Day, County Executive White would like to express his deepest gratitude to all of the medical professionals who have put their lives on the line to save others during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“They have worked tirelessly day in and day out, away from their families, without hesitation, to respond to this pandemic,” White said. “We must do everything we can to ensure they can safely do their jobs. I can’t thank them enough for the courage they have shown in the face of this public health emergency. They are real-life heroes.”