Peggy Dunn, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Truman Medical Centers (TMC), announced today that the incoming TMC President/CEO will be Charles W. “Charlie” Shields, currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TMC Lakewood. Shields will replace longtime CEO John W. Bluford III, who announced in late February that he would retire in July.
Dunn, who also chaired the Search Committee, was enthusiastic. “We worked with EFL Associates who helped guide the Committee through a very professional, thorough and ultimately successful process. Charlie has been an outstanding leader at Lakewood, and we are excited to have him take on this new challenge, and continue the legacy that John Bluford has built over 15 years.” Bluford echoed Dunn’s comments. “Charlie was a great addition to the TMC team four years ago, and I am confident that he has exactly the right mix of business savvy, people skills and political acumen to lead Truman through today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape. When paired with our outstanding management team, I feel very good about the future of Truman Medical Centers.”
During his tenure as TMC Lakewood COO, Shields has overseen the transformation of the hospital, including the addition of an award-winning birthing center, a new dental coach serving the Independence School District, and added new business lines including, an imaging center, a center for breast cancer, robotic surgery and the new Fairmount Family Medical Care clinic. Shields has instituted various programs directed at recognizing and empowering physicians and staff resulting in TMC Lakewood consistently being recognized for both its growth and clinical quality.
Prior to joining TMC, Shields worked for many years as part of the management team at Heartland Health in St. Joseph, MO, while at the same time serving in both the Missouri House of Representatives (1991-2002), and as a State Senator (2002-2010). In 2009, Shields was elected by his peers as President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate. In Jefferson City, he earned accolades from colleagues of both parties for his ability to work across the aisle, and focus on the good of Missouri citizens.
Other members of the TMC Search Committee echoed the sentiments of Mayor Dunn and John Bluford. Chancellor of UMKC, Leo Morton, said: “It’s not everyday that you see the kind of input that the Committee received on Charlie. I am looking forward to working with him.” Dr. Mark Steele, TMC Chief Medical Officer and member of the Search Committee, agreed: “I am very much looking forward to working with Charlie on the next chapter of TMC.”
“I am honored by the confidence shown in me,” said Charlie Shields. "TMC is a valuable community asset, a great place to work and most important, a great place to receive care. We have a tremendously talented medical staff, dedicated employees, loyal volunteers and a board of outstanding community leaders. I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to help lead this organization."