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2010 Health Care Champion Honoree: Bob Lunn, Ph.D.

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During 20 years as a healthcare executive, Bob Lunn got used to being lumped in with the bean counters and the bureaucrats, with their spreadsheets and devotion to the bottom line.

He didn’t mind, because he understood that someone has to watch the money that funds the mission.

Lunn worked as an administrator in several states, including Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. When he became founding director of Missouri State University’s Master of Health Administration Program 12 years ago, he welcomed the chance to train future health administrators.

“Someone has to provide the workshop where all the wonderful things take place,” Lunn says.

A Massachusetts native, Lunn discovered his interest in health psychology and physiology as an undergraduate at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He thought he’d be a psychologist. Then came Vietnam and the draft.

Lunn satisfied his military obligation by moving into health administration and earning a master’s degree in hospital administration from Duke University.

“Once I really got into health administration, I never looked back,” Lunn says.

He spent 12 years in the military and is a retired officer of the U.S. Navy Reserve, Medical Service Corps.

Lunn recently stepped down as director of the MSU program, though he remains a professor of management. He helps students navigate information while educating them on real-world issues,
such as the consequences of low-quality care.

“We need to run scared,” Lunn says. “We need to be consistently concerned with quality and care.”

Former student Brianna Vestal credits Lunn with giving her direction after she decided she didn’t want to go to medical school.

“He was so welcoming in terms of leaving the door open and answering questions,” says Vestal, manager of strategic initiatives at St. John’s. “He can relate to you on so many levels and really takes that time to have that one-on-one relationship with students.”
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