Truman Medical Centers President/CEO John W. Bluford Accepts
2013 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award
Presented annually by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership
Kansas City, MO – Truman Medical Centers
(TMC) President/CEO John W. Bluford accepted the 2013 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award presented by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership on Tuesday, November 19, during a ceremony in Chicago, IL. The event was attended by several hundred healthcare and health system leaders from across the nation. TMC Board of Directors Chair Peggy Dunn, former chair Paul Black and member Jon Gray also attended the event, along with former members Joanne Collins and Jerry Tilzer, the TMC executive leadership team and numerous front line and management/administrative staff.
During his acceptance remarks, Bluford thanked his leadership team, board members and staff, noting, “the whole is greater the sum our individual talents and ambitions. For me it is about the team…effective leaders typically have a strong support system because that is what gives us the confidence to make tough choices….I could not do what I do today if not for the people here tonight who have loved and supported me personally and professional.”
In addition to his contributions to healthcare during his tenures as chair of the American Hospital Association and the National Association of Public Hospitals (now America’s Essential Hospitals), Bluford was recognized for his commitment and innovative ideas in the delivery of high quality and accessible healthcare services to the community.
“As healthcare leaders, the mission of our organizations is about caring for our patients and the community which they live – including those in need,” Bluford added in his remarks. “Without proper healthcare, the most vulnerable among us will never be able to overcome their circumstances – I see that as our mission to help them.”
As a leader in chronic disease management, TMC is one of four Health Care Innovation Challenge Award recipients nationwide. The program implements care management strategies for the highest need, highest cost patients with multiple chronic conditions, mental health and/or substance abuse issues, and poor health status due to social economic issues.
That program is coupled with John’s unique leadership idea of “thinking-outside-of-the-bed,” that focuses on TMC moving beyond the four walls of the hospitals to bring health management, wellness and preventative services into the surrounding areas. These programs have included (but not limited to) the establishment of a community outreach department that has partnered with Kansas City Public Library branches to create health and wellness programs. Also the establishment of weekly fresh produce markets at both TMC’s urban core and suburban campuses, as well as, the Health Harvest Mobile Market utilizing a converted city bus to bring healthy eating options to the Kansas City and surrounding communities.
“…good leaders take risks because they have that thing inside them that is hope. But we cannot succeed without those who follow us having faith to trust our vision…rather than sitting on the sidelines.” He added.
Bluford has also worked to help expand TMC’s role in the communities it serves with the establishment of family medical care centers in Independence, Raytown and Grain Valley along with a specialized imaging center in Independence and an outpatient mental health counseling center in Lee’s Summit.
“With his illustrious career, John Bluford has distinguished himself as a healthcare visionary for his focus on promoting and elevating safety-net organizations. He has demonstrated a tireless commitment to serve the at-risk populations by working to improve the quality of care, quality of the healing environment, and the quality of the workforce,” said Peter W. Butler, NCHL Board chair, and president and chief operating officer of Rush University Medical Center.
Truman Medical Centers is a not-for-profit, two acute-care hospital health system in Kansas City. The TMC Health System includes TMC Hospital Hill, TMC Lakewood, TMC Behavioral Health, the Jackson County Health Department and a number of primary care practices throughout Eastern Jackson County. TMC is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy and specializes in Chronic Disease Management, high risk pregnancies, orthopaedics, trauma services, and women’s health. For more information, please call (816) 404-3785
or visit at www.trumed.org
or on Facebook.
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