The Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute occurs in two phases. During Phase I in Kansas City, MO, scholars participate in a two week overview to healthcare leadership and policies from leading executives in the field. Upon successful completion of Phase I, scholars are awarded a stipend and travel reimbursement. Based upon their performance during Phase I, scholars may be selected to participate the following summer in Phase II, a 10 to 12 week paid internship in a premier healthcare environment or association where they are exposed to the development and execution of health policies by the C-Suite.



Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI) Scholar Expectations
• Maintain executive presence throughout the Institute
• Complete self-assessments and inventories
• Interact with speakers, other program participants, and healthcare partners during onsite visits
• Participate in group activities including the development and delivery of a final presentation on a healthcare topic at the Institute’s closing ceremony
• Complete all reading assignments
• Submit a reflective paper about the BHLI experience and its impact.




Leadership and Healthcare Topics
• Traits and skills of an effective leader
• Leadership styles and assessment of personal leadership style
• Critical thinking/ systems thinking/ conceptual skills
• Ethics and integrity
• Communication and interpersonal skills
• Health law
• Public policy
• Health disparities
• Public health
• Behavioral health
• Socio-economic determinants of heath
• Equity of care
• Key responsibilities of a hospital administrator
• Hospital administration in varying hospital and healthcare environments (for-profit, faith-based, safety net, community health centers, etc.)
• Nursing leadership
• Pharmacist’s role in healthcare




7:30am - Scholars Depart for Venue/Breakfast

8:30am to 11:30am - Presentation(s)

11:30am to 12:30pm - Lunch

12:30pm to 2:30pm - Presentation/Field Trip/Leadership Activity/Critical Thinking Activity/Personal Inventory

3:00pm to 5:00pm - Field Trip/Leadership Activity/Critical Thinking Activity/Personal Inventory

5:30pm - Dinner

6:30pm - Work on Final Project or Group Evening Activity



Programming for the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute will be organized throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area at the following partnering sites: Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kauffman Conference Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Polsinelli, PC, Bloch School of Management at University of Missouri- Kansas City, Cerner Corporation, Operation Breakthrough, Quest Diagnostics, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, Swope Health Services, Kansas City Health Department, and Truman Medical Centers.



Kansas City is a dynamic metropolis backed by a vibrant arts scene, world-class attractions, and an eclectic mix of shops. The city is home to pro sports teams including the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Sporting KC.



All scholars will be housed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The University offers suite-style residence halls within easy walking distance to Swinney Recreation Center, the Country Club Plaza, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Internet service will be provided. Scholars are required to bring personal laptop computers.


Atlantic Health System; Morristown, New Jersey

BJC Healthcare; St. Louis, MO

CulturaLink LLC; Norcross, GA

Duke University Hospital; Durham, NC

Hennepin Health; Minneapolis, MN

Novant Health System; Charlotte, NC

Polsinelli; Washington DC

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City; Kansas City, MO

The Hospitals of Providence; El Paso, TX

The University of Kansas Cancer Center; Kansas City, KS


  • America’s Essential Hospitals; Washington D.C.

  • Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.; Raleigh, NC

  • Atrium Health; Charlotte, NC

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City; Kansas City, MO

  • Catholic Health Initiatives; Englewood, CO

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Atlanta, GA

  • Cerner Corporation; Kansas City, MO

  • Children’s Mercy Hospital, MO; Kansas City, MO

  • CHRISTUS Health; Irving, TX

  • Cone Health; Greensboro, TN

  • Delta Dental of Minnesota; Minneapolis, MN

  • Desert Regional Medical Center; Palm Springs, CA

  • Henry Ford Health System; Detroit, MI

  • INTEGRIS Health; Oklahoma City, OK

  • JE Dunn Construction; Kansas City, MO

  • John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital; St. Petersburg, FL

  • KentuckyOne Health; Louisville, KY

  • Maryland Hospital Association; Elkridge, MD

  • Regional One Health; Memphis, TN

  • Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center; Kansas City, MO

  • Swope Health Services; Kansas City, MO

  • Truman Medical Centers; Kansas City, MO

  • University of Kansas Health System; Kansas City, KS

  • Walgreens at Truman Medical Center Health Science District; Kansas City, MO


Keynote and national/local speakers include talented individuals who have made  significant impacts in their perspective industries.

Deanna Banks

Deanna Banks

Furst Group
Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, RN, FNAP, FAAN

Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, RN, FNAP, FAAN

Dean, School of Nursing and Health Studies
University of Missouri – Kansas City
Joan Evans

Joan Evans

Chief of Staff
Cone Health
Esther George

Esther George

President and Chief Executive
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Allyson G. Hall, PhD, MHS, MBA

Allyson G. Hall, PhD, MHS, MBA

Professor, Director
Graduate Programs in Healthcare Quality & Safety
University of Alabama at Birminghan
Julius W. Hobson, Jr.

Julius W. Hobson, Jr.

Senior Policy Advisor, Polsinelli
Debra Furr-Holden, Ph.D.

Debra Furr-Holden, Ph.D.

Director, Divison of Public Health
C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health
Michigan State University
Richard Pollack

Richard Pollack

President and CEO
American Hospital Association
Yolanda Robles

Yolanda Robles

Culturalink, LLC
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH

Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH

President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
Eugene Woods

Eugene Woods

President and CEO
Atrium health
Rodney Young

Rodney Young

President and CEO
Delta Dental of Minnesota



  • Rex D. Archer, MD, MPH – Director of Health, City of Kansas City, MO Health Department

  • Andrew Azan – Vice President, Aon

  • Dave Barber – President and CEO Swope Health Services

  • Mary Jean Billingsley, M.Ed. – Lasting Impressions, LLC

  • John W. Bluford, III, MBA, FACHE – President Emeritus Truman Medical Centers

  • Lenny Cacchio – Retired Vice President, Regional Wealth Planner, The Private Client Reserve of US Bank

  • Marvin Carolina – President and CEO, Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City

  • Valerie Chow, MD – Former Chair of Anesthesiology, TMC Lakewood

  • Nahshon Deering – Facilities Management Group, Atrium Health

  • Peggy Dunn – Mayor, City of Leawood, KS

  • Mary Esselman, Ed.D. – Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Operation Breakthrough

  • Garrett Gardner – Founder and President, FULL VOICE

  • Mercedes Givens, AWMA - Vice President Wealth Advisor, Bank of Blue Valley

  • Nancy Huckaba - Associate Vice President, CBIZ Talent and Compensation Solutions, EFL Associates

  • Julie Hull – Vice President Operations KC one Health Innovation Alliance

  • Larry Jacob – Vice President Public Affairs and Communication, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

  • Roy Jensen, MD – Director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • Sarah Martin, Ph.D., MPH – Director of Public Health, mySidewalk

  • Walter Porter – Principal, Deloitte

  • Phillip Spencer – President and CEO, Northland Communications

  • Kenneth Thomas, MD – Chief Medical Officer, Swope Health Services

  • Qiana Thomason – Vice President Population Health Solutions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City

  • Roger C. Williams, Jr., Ed.D., Educator



  • Dianne Asher, LCSW, LCAC, LSCSW Director, Behavioral Health Workforce Development

  • Candice Brooks, Corporate Director, Guest Services

  • Mitzi Cardenas, Chief Executive Administrative Officer

  • William Colby, JD, General Counsel

  • Niki Donawa, Chief Community Relations Officer

  • Gerard Grimaldi, Vice President Health Policy and Government Relations

  • Cory Himes-Drake, Senior Director of Primary Care

  • Ruth Pullins, Chief Human Resources Officer

  • Charlie Shields, President and CEO

  • Mark Steele, MD, Executive Chief Clinical Officer


Paul Black
Chief Executive Officer
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.

Ruth W. Brinkley, FACHE
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals of the Northwest

Carmela Coyle
President and Chief Executive Officer
California Hospital Association

Sly James
The Office of the Mayor
Kansas City, MO

Wright L. Lassiter, III
President and Chief Executive Officer
Henry Ford Health System

Kevin Lofton, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Health Initiatives

Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ascension Healthcare

Ian Morrison
Author, consultant, and futurist

Kathleen Sebelius
Chief Executive Officer of Sebelius Resources LLC
Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (2009-14)
Governor of the State of Kansas (2003-2009)

Nicholas Tejeda
Market Chief Executive Officer
The Hospitals of Providence