Health
11:23 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Local Hospital Bids Goodbye To Big Macs: McDonald's To Close At Truman

The days of buying a Big Mac at one of Kansas City’s main hospitals are numbered. After two decades in operation, the McDonald’s at Truman Medical Centers' main city campus is slated to close on Friday, November 2.

“This was a mutually agreed upon decision between two businesses,” stated CEO John Bluford in a staff memo Tuesday.

10/25/12 Update: A spokesperson for Truman confirmed the decision, but did not have any further details on the deal. 

Tuesday's memo continues:

"With the change comes opportunity. TMC is in the process of exploring options for this space and ways we may expand services, health resources and improve traffic flow. I am excited about this change. It supports our focus on chronic disease management and our corporate vision of Leading the Way to a Healthy Community."

In the meantime, the hospital’s main cafeteria, located next to the McDonald’s, will have extended hours.

The relationship between Truman Medical Centers and McDonald’s is a complicated one. The hospital signed a 25-year lease with Ralph King, owner of the local fast food franchise, in the early ‘90s. Bluford told KCUR earlier this year that the long-term lease made sense from a business perspective. And Truman wasn't the only hospital to strike such a deal. Meanwhile, many patients and staff also appreciated the availability of an inexpensive, familiar shake and burger. But now, an increasing focus on wellness and nutrition has appeared to be putting the hospital at odds with the popular meal. 

When you come in [to the hospital], you could be on your way to a diabetic clinic appointment or your hypertensive clinic appointment or going to see the bariatric surgeon for your weight problem, and you're passing a McDonald's on your way,” Bluford told KCUR earlier this year. “That’s an inconsistent message.”

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