That facility—and its collection of giant specimen jars filled with severed limbs and shrunken heads—closed April 3, and the museum will be moving to the burbs.
A week later the city and its millions of annual tourists will get another and decidedly more modern view on healthcare, courtesy of Kaiser Permanente. On April 11, Kaiser plans to open its Center for Total Health. The combined “educational event and conference center” uses touch-screen monitors to lead visitors through a variety of exhibits on subjects that include the leading healthcare policy conundrums and their possible solutions. There's also some mandatory pushing of Kaiser offerings, such as the health plan's electronic health record.
“If it's as successful as I think it will be, it will be a very rich place for future thinking about the healthcare dilemmas of the country and its appeal will be much broader than to just the inside-the-Kaiser community,” J.H. Cocharan, FACS, executive director of the Permanente Foundation, said in an interview with Modern Healthcare.
In place of the National Museum of Health's extensive “ewww” factor, the new Kaiser center offers some “Oooo-Ahhh” in the form of an 80-foot-long floor-to-ceiling touch-screen that allows visitors to hear about the importance of healthy living and walking.
OK, so it's no shrunken head or STD exhibit, but unlike the old museum, Kaiser's health center is only a short walk from the Capitol building and won't leave you trying to keep lunch down.