JOHN W. BLUFORD, III, MBA, FACHE
President, Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute
President Emeritus, Truman Medical Centers
John W. Bluford is the Founder and President of the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI). He served as the President/CEO of Truman Medical Centers (TMC) for fifteen years. Prior to coming to TMC, he served for 21 years in various leadership capacities at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, including the last six years as its CEO. Bluford’s tenure at TMC and Hennepin County Medical Center is part of a distinguished career in hospital and health system administration that has spanned more than four decades. Bluford is a nationally known healthcare innovator who has been recognized by Modern Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the Most Influential People in Healthcare. John served as Chair of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees in 2011. He also served as the Chair of the National Association of Public Hospitals in 2009, Chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and Chairman of the Missouri Hospital Association in 2006.
Among his career accomplishments, Bluford is most proud of helping to change the culture of the organizations he has led in order to become more competitive, customer service oriented and innovative. Innovative programs that he helped to initiate have included school based clinics and pre-paid capitalization programs in the 1980’s, the TMC Corporate Academy, the “Hospital in an Art Gallery” concept and his “Thinking Outside of the Bed” community outreach initiative. In 2005, TMC was honored by University Health System Consortium as one of the Top Five Academic Medical Centers in the country and in 2012 received a Stage 7 HIMSS Designation representing the top 2% of hospitals for Information Technology implementation. Financial accomplishments at TMC include increasing total net revenue by 165% and managing more than $500 million in capital investments.
He began his career as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) trained Epidemiologist and later ran Pilot City Health Center in Minneapolis which became the first JCAH accredited community health center in the county in 1979. Bluford began his hospital work in 1973 as the evening administrator at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
His awards and achievements are numerous and include National Center for Healthcare Leadership’s Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award (2013), Modern Healthcare’s CEO/IT Achievement Award (2013), Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management-Laura Jackson Award (2011), Kansas City’s Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award (2011), Richland (South Carolina School District) One Hall of Fame (2010), Missouri Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award (2009), Modern Healthcare 100 Most Influential (2007), Urban League Difference Maker Award (2006), NAACP Special Achievement Award (2004), and Missouri Hospital Association Visionary Leadership Award (2003).
John has presented nationally and internationally on the subjects of Managed Care and Change Management in Healthcare Organizations. International presentations include “Thinking Outside of the Bed,” Dubai, United Arab Emirates; “The Changing USA Health Care Marketplace,” Alyn Orthopedic Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel; “Managed Care and the Future,” Siemens Incorporated, Erlangen, Germany; “Responsible Privatization,” Conference for Independent States, St. Petersburg, Russia. He is a frequent contributor to Modern Healthcare, Healthcare Leaders, and the American Hospital Association News Publication.