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James Stewart, MD, Will Become Next NKCH CMO

James L. Stewart, MDNorth Kansas City Hospital’s new chief medical officer will be James L. Stewart, MD, CHCQM, effective July 1. He will replace Gary Carter, MD, the hospital’s first CMO, who will retire July 1 after seven years in the position.

“Dr. Stewart’s more than 35 years of experience in administrative leadership, quality initiatives and patient care will help us deliver on our mission to provide hope and healing to every life we touch,” said Peggy Schmitt, president and CEO of North Kansas City Hospital. “Combined with his rapport with our physicians and longtime commitment to our Northland community, he is uniquely qualified for this role. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Stewart become part of our leadership team.”

In his role, Dr. Stewart will:

  • Serve as a communications facilitator with physicians
  • Work closely with the leadership team and board of trustees on strategic planning
  • Coordinate new initiatives with physicians and conduct physician outreach in Northwest Missouri
  • Manage ongoing cost and quality directives in this era of reduced medical reimbursements

Physician Administrator

Dr. Stewart brings a combination of expertise as an internal medicine physician and healthcare quality and management professional.

He had a primary care and skilled nursing practice with Northland Internal Medicine from 1986-2011 in Gladstone. During that time, he also served NKCH as Department of Medicine chairman (1991 and 1992), Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee chairman (1996-1998), Medical Staff president (1999 and 2000), Credentials Committee chairman (2002-2006) and Resource Utilization Committee chairman (2006-2011).

In 2011, Dr. Stewart retired from his medical practice to become NKCH’s first medical director of Case Management. He currently oversees the aggregate length of stay processes, readmission initiatives, post-acute transitions and utilization review of patient bedding status. During his tenure, staff moved from generalist to focused roles in utilization review, discharge planning and social services to ease transitions of care and prevent readmissions. He also oversaw the implementation and physician education of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 2-Midnight Rule in 2013.

“My background across the continuum of care helps me relate to the struggles of our primary care providers and post-acute providers,” Dr. Stewart said. “Even after patients leave our building, we can help providers and facilities maintain quality through various measures, such as with better handoffs and monitoring quality metrics.”

Education and Northland Ties

Dr. Stewart earned his medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1983 and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1984 and 1986, respectively. He is board certified in healthcare quality and management and internal medicine.

A longtime Northland resident, Dr. Stewart graduated from North Kansas City High School. “It was natural for me to stay in the Northland not only when I was practicing medicine, but also in my role at North Kansas City Hospital,” he said. “I’m a Northlander at heart, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”