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Longtime free clinic director to lead health care foundation

Updated: 2013-07-27T02:10:48Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

Bridget McCandless, medical director of the Shared Care Free Clinic of Jackson County, will be the new president and chief executive of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the organizations announced Friday.

She will succeed Steve Roling, who is retiring, on Sept. 3.

McCandless, a physician, has led the free clinic, which serves the area’s uninsured population, since its founding in 2000. At the health care foundation, she also will be concerned with supporting health care for the uninsured and the community at large.

Karen Cox, chairman of the foundation board, said McCandless was the candidate who the board believed offered the best combination of community familiarity and passion for the foundation’s mission.

Cox said there were 130 applicants for the position. A national search began in January.

McCandless’ ties to the foundation date to being an inaugural board member in 2003, a position she held until 2008. On the board, she had led the program and grants committee.

The health care foundation was created in 2002. Its endowment came from Hospital Corporation of America’s purchase of the Health Midwest hospital system. Since 2005, when it began grant making, it has given more than $160 million for health care uses in the Kansas City area.

McCandless, a past president of the Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City, earned her medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia. She has a master’s in business administration from Rockhurst University.

Separately, the free clinic board confirmed that Truman Medical Center-Lakewood had agreed to provide continued primary care for the approximately 700 patients that the free clinic has been serving.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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