Former Maricopa resident now heads up Kansas medical center
Chief Executive Officer of Wilson Medical Center, Dennis Shelby, was honored recently as Distinguished Alumni by Hope International University (HUI), Fullerton, California.
Shelby received his Bachelor of Arts in 1976 from HUI known then as Pacific Christian College. His desire was to work in a helping profession and with the guidance of some of his professors he pursued and received his Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree from Fresno State University in 1978.
Dennis grew up in Maricopa, and graduated from Maricopa High School in 1972.
He is the son of Kenneth and Birda (deceased) Shelby of Taft, California, and the spouse of Judy Labrut, an RN, and 1973 graduate of Taft Union High School.
Because of personal experience as a burn patient, it led him to focus on social work in the medical field. While working as a clinician, he discovered an aptitude for leadership. Over his career he has held a number of administrative roles in psychiatric and acute rehabilitation facilities.
Currently, as CEO of Wilson Medical Center (WMC) in Neodesha, Kansas, he is focused on the challenges of rural health care.
“I grew up in a rural community and have developed a passion for rural America,” stated Shelby. “My mission is to ensure quality healthcare is available to rural areas.”
Shelby contributes a lot of his successes to the academic high standards set before him at HIU, his experiences, and support from family and friends. While at HIU in September, he was able to step back in the classroom as a guest lecturer with his daughter, Alison (an HUI graduate, BA ’03), and speak on leadership and their experiences.
“This was a great honor,” said Shelby. “And I encourage anyone interested in pursuing higher education to consider Hope International University. I also want to urge consideration of the medical profession as a possible career path to follow.”