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 empowers and transforms 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. We enhance the well-being of individuals, families and the communities we serve through resilience education and prevention resources.

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.
  • Help children and teens deal with the illness of other family members through age-appropriate activities.
  • Provide programs to community members and organizations to teach the facets of resilience and improve overall well-being of the individuals, families and communities we serve.
  • Partner with the medical community, providing workshops, lectures and information on resilience and leadership. Create a model that can be replicated around the country by training the community and other healthcare professionals.
  • Be a trusted, reliable resource center to which the medical community can refer patients with confidence, understanding Turning Point is an important addition to their patients' regular treatment.

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. 

Officially established as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization on March 21, 2001, Turning Point's genesis began more than a decade earlier with the work of Dr. Moira Mulhern. Recognizing that families facing a diagnosis of a serious or chronic physical illness were challenged with long and often fruitless searches for complementary therapies, support networks, assistance in assembling and working with a health care team, Dr. Mulhern had a vision to create a gathering place which would serve as a community resource for hope and healing. Partnered with the creativity of Liz Paugoulatos in designing children's services, as well as a dynamic Founding Board of Directors and the expertise of a respected Medical Advisory Board, Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing became a reality.

Every year, thousands of people in Kansas City are diagnosed with serious or chronic physical illnesses. Thousands more have been living with illness for years. Chronic illnesses extract a toll on those stricken far beyond the medical symptoms. Such illnesses impact the individual on psychological, emotional, economic, and social levels. Just as important is the impact on the individual's family. 

Turning Point provides a gathering place which serves the community to fill in those gaps with its unique mission. It is the only organization in the Kansas City area that provides innovative education and comprehensive support services to enhance the lives of adults and families living with any serious or chronic physical illness. Thanks to the generosity of the community, Turning Point's meaningful programs are able to be offered free of charge, with donations being appreciated.

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