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Published on May 03, 2019

Gary Carter, MD, Retires as CMO

Gary CarterGary L. Carter, MD, has a unique relationship with North Kansas City Hospital. It began in 1962, when he was a child and culminates June 28, when he retires as the hospital’s chief medical officer.

“Dr. Carter’s career at NKCH has spanned many years,” NKCH President and CEO Peggy Schmitt said. “Throughout, he’s brought a commitment to excellence to North Kansas City Hospital, our patients, our employees, our physicians and our community.”

Affinity for NKCH

The native Northlander first entered the halls at age 7, when his parents brought him to the NKCH Emergency Department after he injured his head in a serious bicycle accident. After completing a bachelor’s degree in zoology at Northwest Missouri State University, Dr. Carter joined the hospital in 1977 as a respiratory therapy technician. The role piqued his interest in medicine, leading to a master’s degree in physiology and medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1980 and 1984, respectively.

After his emergency medicine residency at the University of Louisville, where he was chief resident, and a post as a flight physician, Dr. Carter returned to NKCH in 1990. Since then, he has been director of the Emergency Department, president of the Medical Staff and medical director of Quality. In 2012, Dr. Carter was named North Kansas City Hospital’s first chief medical officer.

“North Kansas City Hospital is very special to me,” Dr. Carter said. “I first came here as a patient, and I have served patients at this hospital for 30 years. I have an affinity for our employees and the community.”

Since he began his tenure as chief medical officer, Dr. Carter has been at the forefront of several accomplishments, including when NKCH:

  • Earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation
  • Established an oncology partnership with The University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • Adopted computerized provider order entry

Dedicated Service

Dr. Carter has been on the boards of directors for the Missouri Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Northland Healthcare Access and Synergy Services, and he currently serves the Northland Shepherd’s Center board.

He earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee, and he was an assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ingram’s named him among Kansas City’s Top Doctors in 2004 and its Heroes in Healthcare in 2019.


James L. Stewart, MD, CHCQM, medical director of Case Management, will replace Dr. Carter as the new chief medical officer. Dr. Stewart brings a combination of expertise as an internal medicine physician and healthcare quality and management professional.

“Dr. Stewart is well regarded for his wealth of knowledge about the clinical and business aspects of medicine and by his deep understanding of patients, clinicians and our institution,” Dr. Carter said. “The hospital will be in excellent hands with Dr. Stewart.”

Retirement Plans

Dr. Carter plans to spend more time exploring his avocations: serving charitable organizations, exercising, reading, traveling and other hobbies.

As he contemplated what is in store, he said, “It’s difficult to put into words the importance this institution has had on my life. I grew up in this neighborhood. I am fortunate to have been a part of the growth and success of this hospital; it is deeply personal and rewarding.”