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Caring for a caring community
Wordon following lifetime healthcare journey
COURTESY PHOTO John Wordon, administrator of the University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus, said he was excited when he had the opportunity come to Great Bend.

John Wordon knew he wanted serve in the healthcare field since he was a student at Norton High School. Now, that professional arc has taken him from a career in pharmacy to being the administrator of the University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus, a post he has held since August 2021.

For him, its about caring for people in a caring community.

“I started my career in pharmacy,” Wordon said.  “This path is something I became very interested in when I was in high school.”

He attended a pharmacy camp hosted by the School of Pharmacy – University of Kansas for junior and senior high school students interested in a healthcare and wanting to serve people. The camp is still in existence and runs for a week in the summer where students get to see and learn about the various career options within pharmacy.

While  he looks back fondly on those days, “I have since moved into healthcare administration and leadership.” 

Born and raised in Norton, he attended Kansas State University in Manhattan for undergraduate work, and then the School of Pharmacy – University of Kansas for my professional degree. He followed up those degrees with a residency and masters in health administration, and has subsequently attended Harvard Business School and is an alumni of its executive education program

His career journey

“Prior to accepting the Great Bend Campus administrator role, I worked as the executive director of system integration for clinical operations at The University of Kansas Health System,” he said. “When the opportunity to lead the Great Bend Campus came open, I was excited to join a great team in a wonderful community.

“When I first came to Great Bend I heard a lot about the effects of a changing healthcare landscape over the past decade on patients and staff,” he said. “It has been fascinating to watch the transformation over the past year. 

“Healthcare is very personal and as a health system we always focus on providing the highest quality service to all of our patients,” he said.  “When I ask patients and people within the community ‘How are we doing?,’  it’s genuinely coming from a caring place and I really want to know.”

As a health system, he said their team is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of this community including access to a higher level of care, if needed. “I am proud we also contribute to the health of  the regional economy through great employment and educational opportunities to attract and grow talented healthcare providers in Barton County.”

Beyond the hospital

As for what keeps him here, “the people are what always make a community special and that is true of Great Bend,” he said. “The sense of community here is strong. The people have a sense of pride to be from Great Bend, and truly want to give back to others in this community.” 

He takes this civic involvement to heart.

“I am actively involved in Great Bend Economic Development Inc. Board of Directors, Pheasants Forever, high school trap shooting, and church programs,” he said. “I am a member of the First United Methodist Church and have served in a number of leadership roles within the church over the past 10 years.”

When he isn’t on the job, he enjoys outdoor activities, including shooting sporting clays, fishing and boating.  “In the summer, I can be found most weekends at Wilson Lake pulling my teenage girls around the lake with all their friends.”

In the fall and spring months, he likes to be in the field turkey hunting or upland bird hunting. 

Community Connections is a regular feature of the Great Bend Tribune, showcasing people who live in the Golden Belt. We welcome readers to submit names of individuals who are active in the community that they would like to see featured in a future story. Send suggestions to and explain their “community connections.”