Truman Medical Centers President/CEO John W. Bluford welcomed 12 scholars from four historically black colleges universities: Fisk University, Lincoln University, Morehouse College and North Carolina A&T State University; and the University of Missouri – Kansas City to the inaugural Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI) this month.
Bluford founded BHLI as a way to use his more than 40 years of experience in healthcare to help develop the next generation of leaders. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the American Hospital Association, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH), the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City and TMC support the BHLI.
The BHLI is an intense, two-year, professional development program for college/university sophomores and juniors who possess exceptional leadership potential. During the first year, students spend nearly two weeks exposed to a comprehensive view of today’s healthcare landscape, demonstrating the multiple possibilities for leadership roles and opportunities to succeed outside the standard clinical areas.
“The idea is to expose young talent to the highest levels of well-run organizations and exceptional people, a concept of ‘if you can see it, you can be it,’” Bluford continued. “The hope is that 10 to 20 years from now, these scholars can draw from this experience in the responsible positions that they are certain to obtain. And that their fellow Institute scholars will provide a professional network for life.”
Through a series of local and national speaker presentations, experiential activities and visits to organizations and entities throughout Kansas City, the BHLI challenges these young scholars to see health as a potential career. During the second year of the program, five students will compete for summer internships in healthcare organizations across the country.
The five UMKC students who participated are, from left to right:
Major: Health Sciences, emphasis Global Health
Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2015
Future Aspirations: Rebeca hopes to work internationally, serving those in third world countries. Her dream is to direct health care programs around the world.
Major: Health Sciences
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Future Aspirations: Angel’s career goal is to become a diagnostic medical sonographer. While serving as a role model for her younger siblings, she hopes to succeed in being the first person in her family to obtain a bachelors degree.
Major: Nursing, BSN
Minor: Gerontology and Healing and Humanities
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Future Aspirations: Jazmin’s ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Adolescent and Adult Health. She hopes to one day open a clinic in an urban area and provide free health care to low income families while promoting health and educating her community. She hopes to contribute to the elimination of widespread health disparities among minority populations.
Expected Graduation: May 2016
Future Aspirations: After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UMKC, Miriah will pursue a MSN and establish a career as a nurse practitioner. Because of her interest in Public Health, Miriah also hopes to earn a master’s degree in the field.
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Future Aspirations: Cameren hopes to become a well rounded Nurse Practitioner. He plans to dedicate his career to serving those in need. Cameren also hopes to own his own business.
Speakers and presenters at the BHLI have included Gloria Jackson-Leathers, director of the Kansas City Civic Engagement Program at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Bruce Siegel, President/CEO of the NAPH; Carolyn Caldwell, President/CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, CA; Kevin Lofton, President/CEO Catholic Health Initiatives; Hilda Fuentes, CEO Samuel H. Rodgers Health Center; Sister Berta Sailer, Co-Founder Operation Breakthrough and several TMC physicians and administrators.
Students have also had the opportunity to tour the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, the Cerner Vision Center, Samuel R. Rodgers Health Center, Stowers Institute for Medical Research and Quest Diagnostics as well as recreational events such as a Kansas City Royals game, a performance of the Kansas City and Youth Symphonies at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Nelson Atkins Art Museum and a tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball and American Jazz Museum.
Truman Medical Center is a primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, Dentistry and Pharmacy, and specializes in Chronic Disease Management, high risk pregnancies, orthopaedics, trauma services and women’s health.