Institute Prepares Students to Solve Healthcare Issues


The new class of Bluford Leadership Scholars.

Greensboro, N.C. (Aug. 15, 2017) – A group of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University scholars experienced unique opportunities last summer through the university’s partnership with the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI), a program developed by current Board of Trustees Member John W. Bluford to cultivate the next generation of healthcare leaders. Bluford is a national innovative leader in the healthcare field whose career has spanned four decades.

As members of the 2017 BHLI Cohort, Aggies Kailyn Price, bioengineering (2020); Myles Ross, electrical and biomedical engineering (2020); James Washburn, business management (2019); and Teeghan Wiggins, bioengineering (2020), spent two weeks in Kansas City, Missouri, for a comprehensive overview to healthcare leadership from leading executives in the field.

Through a series of experiential activities, national presenters, site visits, and internships, BHLI exposes scholars to today’s healthcare landscape and challenges the future leaders to develop innovative solutions and policies to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations. 

The scholars’ activities included a luncheon hosted by Esther George, president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. George shared important leadership principles to help the scholars prepare for their future roles.

Joan Evans, executive vice president of Innovation and Transformation for Cone Health System was a featured presenter. Sharing the scholars’ profile results from their Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, she taught students how to recognize their own strengths and the strength of others when collaborating on group projects.

In addition to the presentations, the cohort discussed current issues with Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, during the event’s Public Policy Day and with Mayor Pro Tem Viola Lyles of Charlotte, North Carolina, for Social Determinants of Health Day. Additional topics of discussion included health law, community health, physician leadership, integration of healthcare services, mental health, healthcare information technology and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Former members of the cohort credit BHLI with expanding their knowledge and cite their experiences with Bluford and the institute as critical to their success.

“The Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute introduced me to dynamic and powerful leaders within my field of interest. My fellow scholars and I were able to develop an unmatched executive presence through participation in the program. My internship provided me with valuable relationships and direction for a career as a leader in the field of pharmacy, said Mariah Franklin, a 2016 member of the cohort. Franklin is slated to graduate in May 2018, with a degree in chemistry and a minor in biology.

Sixteen N.C. A&T scholars have participated in BHLI since its initial 2013 cohort. For more information, about BHLI or to apply, visit www.blufordinstitute.org.