John W. Bluford III, President and CEO of Truman Medical Centers has announced his retirement, effective July 18.
Bluford, of Lee’s Summit, turns 65 on May 1. He began his tenure at TMC in 1999, providing fifteen years of progressive leadership and change management to the organization.
“During his tenure as CEO, John’s unwavering vision and extraordinary commitment for TMC to provide high-quality health care, better for everyone, has led us to new heights never before imagined,” said Peggy Dunn, TMC Board of Directors Chairman.
She said Bluford had assembled an outstanding leadership team that will continue his legacy and ensure TMC’s success.Bluford is working with a committee of TMC Board members, including Dunn, and University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine appointees to complete the details of his departure in July, and ensure a smooth leadership transition.
“Unfortunately, we knew this day would eventually arrive. That is why John and the board leadership have been working diligently on a succession plan for the past several years,” Dunn said. “With the help of a local search firm, the search committee will immediately begin the process to identify his successor.”
Dunn said the committee would look internally at possible candidates before broadening the search, if necessary. She said the transition team intends to identify a successor prior to Bluford’s departure.
“In coming months, our focus will be to find an innovative executive who can carry on the great mission and vision of TMC and navigate the ever-changing, complex healthcare environment,” Dunn said.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the patients of TMC and the Kansas City and Jackson County community,” Bluford said. “TMC has a strong leadership team and a dedicated staff to carry on our mission and vision. I am proud of what we have accomplished in my time at TMC, and I know the future remains bright for TMC.”
Bluford said he intends to remain in the Kansas City area where he will remain civically engaged, participate in local and national boards and continue to speak around the country. He will also concentrate on mentoring the next generation of healthcare leaders through the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute, which he established in 2013, and he looks forward to supporting the grocery store initiative at 27th and Troost.
Among the accomplishments Bluford is most proud of in his career include helping to change the culture of the organization to become more competitive, customer service oriented and more innovative. Other major accomplishments include TMC’s recognition by the University Health System Consortium as one of the Top Five Academic Medical Centers in the country and achieving HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 in 2012, representing the top 2 percent of hospitals for information technology implementation. Additionally, Bluford is proud to have developed the TMC Corporate Academy, the Center for the Healing Arts Gallery, and launching a mobile market to bring healthy foods to those living in underserved communities.