About Turning Point

Turning Point, community resource of The University of Kansas Health System, is a center: to meet, to listen, to share, to learn, to encourage.

Since your medical needs are being addressed, we focus on the emotional, social and psychological challenges that come along with a serious or chronic illness. Whether called classes, programs or activities, everything we do helps you adjust to your new normal – by learning the art and science of resilience.

We do not duplicate other support groups already available. We do teach coping skills in a variety of ways. You might find that writing in a journal gives you new perspective. Or discover that mindfulness techniques reduce pain.

Our research proves that learning resilience lowers anxiety and depression – and gives you back a feeling of control.

Wherever you're receiving healthcare, our doors are open to you. All programs are supported entirely by our generous donors.

10 Facets of Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bend without breaking. We help you develop:

  • Ability to self-calm
  • Ability to self-replenish
  • Physical self-care
  • Hope
  • Optimism
  • Sense of coherence
  • Hardiness
  • Non-judgmental/self-supporting thought patterns
  • Emotional expressiveness
  • Social support

Turning Point will empower and transform the body, mind and spirit of individuals who are living with a serious or chronic physical illness and their family and friends. We provide innovative educational services and tools to inspire people to take charge of their illness and live their life to its fullest.

Our goals

  • Help people living with serious or chronic illness and their family and friends come together to learn skills to better manage the illness process, reduce symptoms and increase coping ability. As a result, studies have proven participants will lower their levels of depression and anxiety.
  • Help children and teens deal with the illness of other family members through age-appropriate activities. Partner with other children-centered organizations to provide such programs onsite in the community.
  • Partner with the medical community, providing workshops, lectures and information about different aspects of treatment, disease, complementary therapies and current disease-specific topics. Be a trusted, reliable resource center so the medical community can refer patients with confidence, understanding Turning Point is an important addition to their patients' regular treatment.
  • Create a model that can be replicated around the country by training the community and other healthcare professionals.

Turning Point teaches

  • Individuals - A serious illness changes everything – for the person who’s sick as well as the caregiver. We teach tangible ways to address depression, manage stress, lower anxiety and adjust to the ups and downs inherent with serious, chronic illness. We encourage people to be active in the healing process.
  • Children and teens - We offer special programs just for children and teens whose parent or sibling is ill. With age-appropriate activities, we help kids understand and deal with what’s happening – and how it affects their entire family.
  • Family - We think it’s vital the whole family learn about disease and treatment. We show families how to put together a trusted healthcare team and support network. We help families better communicate, building their relationships with each other.

Turning Point connects

  • Medical professionals - We have working relationships with nearly every healthcare provider, hospital and agency in Kansas City. While we are a program of The University of Kansas Health System, Turning Point is open and free of charge to participants no matter where they are treated.
  • Employers - We offer workshops and seminars to organizations to train employees to become more resilient at work. We also help increase the likelihood that an employee with an illness will continue to be a valuable asset. 

Moira Mulhern, PhD, had always been intrigued by the concept of resilience – the ability to bounce back after a stressful event. Her research led her to believe that resilience is a collection of facets or dimensions determining the ability to manage life's challenges constructively.

The art of resilience is actually a science that can be taught.

Mulhern realized there was a gap in Kansas City's healthcare support services. Patients received excellent medical care, but there was no group or space dedicated to their social, emotional and psychological challenges.

She decided to create a community resource for hope and healing in one gathering place. Liz Paugoulatos designed services for children. A dynamic board of directors and a respected medical advisory board were organized.

Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing was born March 21, 2001.

Since then, Turning Point professionals have served more than 75,000 participants. In 2012, Turning Point joined with The University of Kansas Health System to offer more extensive and comprehensive care. The center has grown from serving 5,455 participants in 2012 to 10,038 in 2016.

Thanks to our generous donors, our services are provided free of charge.

Our future

We continue to grow, delivering programs and services throughout the region. We continue to develop innovative solutions, including workshops focused on teaching resilience skills to nurses and healthcare providers throughout the state of Kansas.

We continue to seek new ways to reach people, developing more digital and mobile resources for those homebound or far from us.

Most of all, we continue to help people live their life to its fullest.

Many people say that Turning Point has given them a renewed sense of encouragement and hope.

Learn more