"Charlie" Shields has a vision that in the not-to-distant future hospitals like Truman Medical Centers (TMC) will be paid "to keep people healthy" instead of by the number of days patients stay in the hospital and how many procedures performed.
"We want to improve the health of communities like Lee’s Summit by changing the way people think about healthcare" said Shields. "We can do that by more proactive community outreach and education about preventative measures and wellness. Many people from Lee’s Summit come to us to receive care and we want to help make a difference in their lives."
Charles W. "Charlie" Shields will take the reins as TMC’s new president and CEO when longtime CEO of TMC John W. Bluford III steps down in July to retire.
Shields intends to implement a vision of healthcare for Lee’s Summit and other local communities TMC serves by working with his TMC colleagues to focus on lifestyle changes and alternatives, for example, an emphasis on healthy eating to include more fruits and vegetable in people’s diets.
He wants local residents to view TMC Lakewood, TMC Hospital Hill and its other primary care practices to be seen as more than just a "safety-net hospital." He has already led impressive enhancements at TMC Lakewood that even people with the best healthcare provider coverage as well as those with less now come to the hospital for care.
Shields, who is a member of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and several other public partnerships, has led multiple business and medical initiatives that have transformed TMC Lakewood for Lee’s Summit residents and other local area communities.
As Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TMC Lakewood, Shields has overseen the addition of an award-winning birthing center at TMC Lakewood, 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. He also led various programs to empower and appreciate physicians and staff that have resulted in TMC Lakewood being recognized for both its growth and clinical quality.
"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," said Peggy Dunn, chairman of the TMC board of directors in making the announcement about Shield’s new role at TMC.
"Charlie has the right mix of business savvy, people skills and political acumen to lead Truman through today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape," said his current boss, Bluford. "When paired with our outstanding management team, I feel very good about the future of Truman Medical Centers."
Shields credited his predecessor’s leadership for building a foundation that has elevated TMC as a "true community healthcare organization."
"John Bluford helped make TMC a valuable community asset, a great place to work and, most important, a great place to receive care," Shields said. "I intend to continue the legacy that Mr. Bluford has built over 15 years as we move into the next chapter of TMC."
Before joining TMC, Shields was part of the executive 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, and earned praise from colleagues of both parties for working across the aisle to get things done on behalf of Missouri citizens.
Shields said he will use his political experience to help the hospital’s advocacy efforts to ensure quality coverage and care for residents of Lee’s Summit and other Missouri residents.