Truman Medical Center Lakewood Orthopaedics
An Outstanding Leader in Kansas City for Overall Patient Care, Outcomes and Satisfaction.
As recipient of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal for Advanced Certification for Joint Replacement, Knees and Hips, TMC Lakewood Orthopaedics champions excellence, expertise, quality and, above all, among the best services in patient care.
A true community hospital with a continuum of specialty services firmly positioned to meet the needs of the surrounding community, Truman Medical Center Lakewood offers a solid program of services, most notably with the Lakewood Family Birthplace, where 1600 babies are delivered annually, and even more distinctly for its highly-acclaimed and award-winning certified orthopedic joint replacement program and sports medicine practice. TMC Lakewood stands as a top-notch health system that has everything patients could expect, and more. A 2017 Vizient Award winner, TMC Lakewood, a 110-bed community hospital, is part of a not-for-profit, two-acute care hospital health system in Kansas City.
A leader in orthopaedic medicine in the metro area, TMC Lakewood Orthopaedics holds the honor of being the first in the greater Kansas City region to receive The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal for Advanced Certification for Total Joint Replacement, Knees and Hips. Translation? This elite designation indicates a superior level of excellence the orthopaedics team has achieved in patient outcomes and satisfaction. It’s no surprise, then, that patients willingly commute appreciable distances to receive care at the hands of the best in the business. And while it does constitute the proverbial feather in the cap, it signifies something much more to board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas McCormack, TMC Lakewood’s Total Joint Program Medical Director.
“I would prefer just happy patients who tell their people at church or card club that they were happy with the results,” he indicated. “That, to me, is just as rewarding.”
The Joint Replacement Team at Lakewood has earned its reputation for excellence due to a host of factors, including zero surgical site infections since 2011; an average length of stay for patients at 2.5 days as opposed to the national average length of stay at 3 days; 99% of joint patients discharged to return home with minimal use of skilled nursing facilities; and above all, a whopping 99% physician-specific satisfaction score.
Dr. McCormack has performed hundreds of orthopaedic surgeries in his stellar career. He initially attended dental school at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and then obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, followed by the completion of his internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Committed to continued academic excellence, Dr. McCormack is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Science Delivery at Dartmouth University. He relocated his private practice to TMC Lakewood ten years ago, focusing his skill sets on total knee and hip replacements, as well as partial or personalized knee replacements. However, he does treat other orthopaedic conditions.
As a testament to his medical prowess, Dr. McCormack, who specializes in personalized or gender-specific knee replacements most often for Baby Boomers, was honored by Kansas City’s Ingram’s Magazine as a 2016 Top Doctor. Aside from his skills, knowledge and expertise, Dr. McCormack greatly enjoys the interaction with his patients.
“I love to work with people who are injured or hurting, not necessarily sick,” he emphasized. “It is very satisfying to help my patients through their injuries and disability. It is rewarding to help them return to their normal activities and lifestyle and to be a part of these successful outcomes.”
Over the course of his career, Dr. McCormack has seen significant changes in medicine and technologies that have contributed to successful outcomes and gave a strong nod to the recent advances in palliative care.
“Pain control, such as analgesia, combined with minimally-invasive techniques make for quick recoveries, less pain and happy patients,” he said.
As a result of his sincere and authentic interaction with his patients, Dr. McCormack is also seen as a trusted advisor in addition to being a gifted and skilled physician. This strong patient/physician relationship has been a catalyst not only for constant word-of-mouth referrals but also referrals from other physicians who fully trust sending their patients to the best in the business. The strength of that reputation is what attracted Dr. Scott Luallin to the practice, who joined forces with Dr. McCormack in January of this year.
Dr. Luallin previously worked in private practice in the Kansas City area and brings impressive expertise to the team, with a focus in Sports Medicine and Total Joint Replacement, as well as General Orthopaedic Surgery. Additionally, he is the Team Physician and Chief Medical Officer for Kansas City’s Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City. Dr. Luallin earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. From there he did his fellowship in Sports Medicine through Harvard University at Massachusetts General Hospital. Undoubtedly, Dr. Luallin’s reputation will lend unwavering support as his participation with TMC Lakewood Orthopaedics continues to solidify itself as the go-to orthopaedic practice for knee and hip replacements and sports medicine needs.
Together, Dr. McCormack and Dr. Luallin will continue to deliver what patients have always come to expect: the best in knee and hip replacements and in sports medicine, and have an unparalleled following with adults in the 50+ segment who are facing those certain realities of life: things hurt and sometimes those things can get in the way of daily activities.
Dr. McCormack with Andrea Verba, MSN, BSN, RN, Director of Perioperative Services, and Perioperative Team Managers Anna Gibson and Meghan Riley
As baby boomers advance in years, the orthopaedics market is seeing an increased need for joint replacements. A traditionally active segment of the population, baby boomers fully expect to return to a normal and active lifestyle, still enjoying the activities they did post-surgery. The majority of patients seen at Lakewood are between the ages of 51 and 74.
As Dr. McCormack suggested, “You try to use the rule of thumb, ‘Is what you have hurting and is it keeping you from what you want to do?’ And so, if you can take a Tylenol and still be active and not hurt and still do what you want to, you stop there. If that means you need a cortisone shot and some Tylenol, you stop there. With some people, you have to do surgery so they are not hurting and they can do what they want to do. But, unfortunately, some people, due to age or illness are not candidates.”
With over 76 million Baby Boomers in that prime joint-replacement stage in life, Dr. McCormack and his team will most likely see a steady flow of patients over the ensuing years, but that doesn’t stop him from educating individuals on how they can keep from actually becoming a patient. The recipe is three fold: Keep the weight off. Stay in shape. Incorporate low impact exercise into your life.
“One of the things I do, and what I tell my patients to do, is yoga,” he indicated. “Keep your joints stretched out, keep your weight down, and keep your muscle tone good. All of this helps with balance.”
Throughout his impressive career, Dr. McCormack as learned that patient satisfaction and engagement is crucial to joint replacement success. What, then, is his formula for that success?
The first part is patient education.
“If we don’t educate our patients, and they don’t buy in and know what’s going on, then they shouldn’t have surgery,” said Dr. McCormack. “I tell them that with God’s help, I can get you 60-percent of the way there and the other 40 percent comes from you.”
And TMC Lakewood Orthopaedics is more than willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.
“We work at it,” he stated. “It’s not a fluke. We are blessed with a team of people who are very professional, whether it’s in my office; the nurses in the operating room; or the nurses on the floor. They buy into it and are part of this team approach where we have this advanced center of excellence and are constantly reviewing our results.”
And when those results don’t live up to the team’s own expectations?
“We take the not perfect results ten times more seriously than we do the people who are happy,” he said.
Because joint replacements qualify as an elective procedure, this allows patients to seek the best outcomes, which they will routinely discover at TMC Lakewood Orthopaedics. It is not unusual for many patients to drive appreciable distances, as they know the Joint Replacement Team at TMC Lakewood has a reputation for excellent outcomes. In fact, TMC plans to expand the orthopaedic center to accommodate that growing number of baby boomers who want the best outcomes locally. By the Fall of 2018, TMC will open an Orthopaedic Center of Excellence on the hospital campus at 7900 Lee’s Summit Road.
If a joint replacement for the hips or knees is in your future, or if you have a concern related to sports medicine, consider consulting with the experts at TMC Lakewood Orthopaedics, but be prepared for complete authenticity when you do.
“I’m going to be brutally honest,” said Dr. McCormack with respect to patient consultations. “I don’t sugar coat anything. I give them the pros and cons. They get an informed consent and we’ll make that decision together, but they have the ultimate say. You need to be honest and realistic and talk patients through it to make an informed decision. Informed consent is crucial to all medicine. It’s unethical not to do that.”
As we all age, we will most likely hit a few road bumps along the way. Dr. McCormack, however, hopes we can all learn to grow old gracefully.
“To grow old gracefully is to not hurt and to be able to do what you want to do,” he offered, while also taking into consideration patient expectations in the long run. “Patients need to know so that one, they’re happy. Secondly, they need to know so that they are planning on doing the proper work so they have a good outcome”.
7900 Lee’s Summit Road, Lee’s Summit, MO
816.404.7600 | LakewoodHospitalKC.org/Services/Orthopaedics