WMMC president and CEO announces retirement

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(Warrensburg, Mo.) — John F. Smolen, president and CEO of Western Missouri Medical Center, recently announced his retirement.
Smolen has been with WMMC since 2001 and will retire on July 31.
“The Board appreciates everything that John has done for our Medical Center and community,” said Steve Higgins, chair of the board of trustees. “By sharing his retirement plans with us early on, John allowed the board the time to very thoughtfully select a path forward as we begin our search for a new president/CEO.”
During Smolen’s tenure, WMMC saw the completion of the $51.5 million master facility project that includes all private rooms in a new patient tower, growth of the medical staff and expansion of specialty services, and an overall increase in quality and patient satisfaction.
“John’s depth of experience in managing physician practices benefited WMMC as we continue to expand our services and welcome new physicians to our Medical Staff,” said Stephanie Long, M.D., vice chair of the board of trustees.
Smolen joined WMMC as vice president of clinical services and chief operating officer in July 2001. In July 2011, he was appointed as interim president and CEO, and during the September 2011 meeting, the board voted unanimously to appoint Smolen as president/CEO.
“John has set a vision for the future that will allow our Medical Center to thrive far beyond his tenure,” said Larry Purcell, DDS, trustee and former chair of the board. “He’s been instrumental in the completion of our master facility project and helping us to plan for the future as we consider a medical office building and the addition of new specialties at WMMC.”
Smolen is retiring with more than 40 years of health care management experience. In addition to his roles as CEO and COO at WMMC, he has served in a variety of leadership capacities.
He served as vice president of professional services at Saint Joseph Health Center in Kansas City, Mo.; vice president of professional services and medical staff operations at Marian Health Center in Sioux City, Iowa; and administrator of Internal Medicine Associates in Omaha, Neb.
“I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with the board of trustees; medical staff, administrative and management teams; volunteers and community supporters; and caring and committed employees,” Smolen said. “Although it will be bittersweet for me to retire, I know that WMMC is poised to continue on its journey from ‘good to great’ as they address the evolving healthcare needs of our greater community.”