Lee's Summit Journal

New CEO of LS Medical Center puts faith in innovation to serve growing community

New Lee’s Summit Medical Center CEO John McDonald intends to work closely with physicians to ensure the center provides the equipment and support needed for the highest levels of patient care. McDonald, left, and Timothy Roberts, orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the Center’s total joint program, recently discussed care for orthopedic patients.
New Lee’s Summit Medical Center CEO John McDonald intends to work closely with physicians to ensure the center provides the equipment and support needed for the highest levels of patient care. McDonald, left, and Timothy Roberts, orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the Center’s total joint program, recently discussed care for orthopedic patients. Special to The Democrat

When John McDonald visited the Lee’s Summit Medical Center for the first time in August, he came away with a memorable first impression.

“Lee’s Summit Medical Center is a really special place,” said the center’s new CEO. “During my site visit, the thing that was most evident was the love employees have for this hospital. They’re proud to work here. I saw it in my interviews and when I interacted with them.”

This positive culture among the hospital’s more than 1,000 employees, and their commitment to their community’s healthcare needs, are what drew McDonald most to the center. These attributes are also the foundation on which McDonald plans to build and guide the hospital in the future.

McDonald will draw on his extensive experience as a healthcare industry leader. Before assuming the role of CEO at Lee’s Summit Medical Center, McDonald served as COO for three years at the 600-plus-bed Corpus Christi Medical Center. Before that, he was COO and associate administrator for the Northwest Texas Healthcare System.

“John’s well-deserved reputation of health care innovation and servant-leadership will be instrumental as Lee’s Summit Medical Center continues its growth to accommodate the community’s constantly evolving health care needs,” said Mel Lagarde, HCA Midwest Health president.

Though just a few weeks into his new responsibilities, McDonald is bringing this insight and background to the table, as he collaborates with the hospital’s leadership team on strategies to achieve its goals and meet new challenges at this 80-bed, HCA Midwest Health hospital.

“Our primary goal is to see that Lee’s Summit Medical Center is a comprehensive hospital, where people can get the same level of care here as at any other hospital in the area,” McDonald said.

“Lee’s Summit is a growing community — and we also have some growing to do to keep up with the demand. We’re evaluating where we need more providers and also looking at areas that are underserved, or not served at all, so we can become more comprehensive.”

One of those key areas, according to McDonald, is the need for additional primary care options to serve community- and region-wide demand.

“Primary care is the gateway for people’s healthcare and for preventive care,” McDonald said. “We’re also expecting increased demand for our oncology services and we plan to continue developing these services.”

In order to fulfill objectives for expanded primary care, oncology and other specialist services, a plan for acquisition of additional office space is also underway.

One of the other notable issues McDonald identified, and which is also of mutual concern throughout the health care industry, is a significant workforce shortage on the horizon.

“The impending retirement of nurses and support services employees is significant,” he said.

“Our challenge is to train and develop staff for the future. Through the HCA system, we have a lot of support and access. Our leadership development institute is preparing our next generation of leaders who will be working to solve these problems.”

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