KANSAS CITY, MO. — Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Ashley McClellan, FACHE, MBA, MHA, was recently named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Class of 2021. An accomplished healthcare executive who led Research Medical Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, which treated more than 2,200 inpatients, initiated new treatments and therapies, and launched community vaccine clinics, McClellan’s vision continues to elevate the high-quality, compassionate patient care tradition of one of Kansas City’s largest hospitals.

For 22 years, the Kansas City Business Journal has recognized outstanding professional women who are making significant strides in their industry and in their community. A panel of six judges selected this year’s 25 honorees from hundreds of nominations.

“Ashley is a remarkable and passionate healthcare leader who defines the key values of HCA Midwest Health,” says HCA Midwest Health President and Chief Executive Officer Mel Lagarde III. “During the time of COVID, her exemplary leadership helped to create a safe and compassionate environment for the Research Medical Center medical staff, colleagues, and patients. Ashley is motivating and inspiring and cares deeply about employees, patients and their families, and the communities that the hospital serves. She is focused not just on today’s patient care, but the very future of healthcare.”

Research Medical Center is a 590-bed quaternary care facility, whose services and specialties include Level 1 Trauma, comprehensive and interventional stroke programs, comprehensive cardiovascular care, Grossman Burn Center, Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center, and an organ transplant program, among others. Research Medical Center has more than 2,200 colleagues and more than 600 physician partners and is part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider. As CEO, McClellan provides administrative, strategic, and financial direction for the operation of Research Medical Center’s four campuses, including the hospital; Research Psychiatric Hospital with 100 beds and outpatient programs; Research Brookside, which includes an outpatient campus with a freestanding emergency department, outpatient surgery center, and medical office buildings; and Research College of Nursing.

Prior to joining Research Medical Center as CEO in July 2019, McClellan served as CEO for HCA Healthcare at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas (2015-2019) and CEO at HCA Healthcare’s Medical City Lewisville (2011-2015).

“I am humbled by this recognition of my work with Research Medical Center and the community and honored to be named among this group of highly accomplished women,” McClellan says. “The decision to return to Kansas City has profoundly changed my life, personally and professionally, as now my husband and I both serve as leaders and volunteers in our hometown community. At Research Medical Center, I have been challenged to grow as a leader in a diverse and complex environment. My passion for service is maximized here, and I’m able to provide leadership for a broad and diverse patient population and surrounding community. This past year through the pandemic I have been — and continue to be — inspired by all frontline workers who cared for our COVID patient population across our communities. When families couldn’t be with their loved ones in the hospital, we were there, continuing to live our mission. I am personally grateful to serve with these Kansas City heroes.”

McClellan attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, where she obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. She received her Master's in Hospital Administration and MBA from Texas Woman's University.

McClellan is a Fellow and Board Certified by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and served as a Board Member and Mentorship Chair for the Southeast Texas Chapter (2017-2019). She was the ACHE 2018 Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award Winner for Young Healthcare Executive of the Year, has been the elected Regent for Missouri for ACHE since 2020, and a Board member for the Missouri ACHE chapter.

McClellan has been appointed as the corporate walk chair of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2021 Light The Night®, LLS’s annual fundraising event to find cures and provide access to treatments for blood cancer patients. Modern Healthcare named McClellan as a “Top 25 Emerging Leaders in Healthcare” in 2020. McClellan serves on the SMU Cox School of Business Alumnae Board and was chair of the 2018 March for Babies Walk, which had more than 30,000 participants and raised more than $2 million and served as vice chair for March of Dimes-Houston (2019). Other professional recognition includes “40 Under 40” by Houston Business Journal (2016), as well as a “Most Admired CEO” (2018), and “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2016” by Houston Woman Magazine.