Lowell C. Kruse is the former CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri. He retired in July 2009 after serving Heartland for 25 years as their CEO. Kruse came to St. Joseph in 1984 when the two existing community hospital boards had decided to come together and form Heartland Health to better serve the needs of the community and the broader region surrounding St. Joseph. With Kruse leading the way, he helped create the organization that became Heartland Health and grew it into not just the major employer in the region but also one of the top healthcare organizations in the United States. He describes the vision of the organization as, “Heartland Health and its service area will be the best and safest place in America to receive healthcare and live a healthy and productive life.” As evidence of the organization’s progress toward that vision, they were the 2009 recipient of both the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. Kruse serves as chair of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for Missouri and co-chairs the state’s Family and Community Trust, whose mission is to promote public and private partnerships and community involvement focused on improving the lives of children and families. He currently serves as Senior Fellow for Healthy Communities at the Heartland Foundation and is a Life member of their Board of Trustees.