Tell us about your career at Children’s Health.
I joined Children’s Health during an exciting time of great change and growth. The strategic expansion of the Children’s Health system gives us the unique opportunity to increase access to the highest possible quality of care and partner with communities on wellness programs — all to make life better for children. We are now providing care for more children and families in more places than ever before.
North Texas is an attractive place to work and live for many reasons, including the healthy business climate, which has helped foster our growth. It is a community that has been very generous and supportive to us as we have grown and evolved as a system. It is an honor to lead such a reputable organization with more than a century of providing quality care while remaining committed to the families of North Texas.
What was your career like before you joined Children’s Health?
I have over 30 years of experience in healthcare administration, including military service in the Army Medical Service Corps, when I was stationed in San Antonio and El Paso.
I was recruited to Children’s Health from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where I had spent three years as vice president of operations. Prior to MD Anderson, I served as president and chief operating officer at BaylorMedCare at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I have also held administrative roles at the University of Michigan Health System and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation.
My education includes an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a master’s degree in health/healthcare administration and management from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vermont.
What is your view of the business climate in Texas?
North Texas has a very welcoming business climate — this continues to entice many corporations to move their corporate offices here. This migration is strengthening our economy and transforming how people live and work. The growth is also bringing families — families that require strong pediatric healthcare. In 2014, 7.1 million children under age 18 lived in Texas — that’s about one in nine children in the nation. At Children’s Health, we recognize the importance of taking care of these children and families where they live, work and go to school.
We need to focus on the total health of our children — our future leaders — which starts before they come through our doors. According to our Beyond ABC report, almost 30 percent of Dallas County children live in poverty. In 2014, almost half of children in Dallas County public schools grades 3-12 were overweight or obese. Learning healthy habits should not just begin in kindergarten — it’s a process that should start with their families and at home.
Why did you decide to join YTEXAS?
It came highly recommended to me by people in leadership roles whom I know and trust. Joining YTEXAS made sense given it is a great resource for helping leaders expand businesses throughout the state.
What makes Children’s Health different?
For more than 100 years, Children’s Health has been making life better for children across North Texas. With two full-service hospitals, multiple specialty centers and 20 primary care practices, we are able to provide an expanded breadth of care and meet patients where they are and provide the highest level of care and treatment possible.
Children’s Medical Center Dallas offers the highest level of trauma care in North Texas as a Level I Trauma Center and is the only pediatric hospital in the nation with eight disease-specific care certifications from The Joint Commission for conditions like asthma, autism and diabetes. We also have the only pediatric medical center in North Texas with an academic affiliation through UT Southwestern Medical Center.
As a system, we continue to lead the way with unique and innovative telemedicine programs like the Remote Patient Monitoring Program, our School-Based Telehealth Program and our asthma management app, My Asthma Pal.
In addition to providing quality care, we are focused on educating the next generation of healthcare providers. We are in the business of discovering, evaluating, applying and distributing new knowledge, science and research. Our mission of making life better for children drives everything we do.
What issues are affecting Children’s Health that concern you?
One issue is managing our growth in a way that’s responsive to our community’s health needs. We must consistently look for new ways to engage with our patient families, both in providing quality care and in serving as a resource for raising healthy kids. Our goal has always been to provide the right care in the right place at the right time. We are implementing various programs to bring care outside of the hospital walls and into the community where our patients live, work and play. Our annual Beyond ABC report helps us identify gaps in community health so we can work with our partners to address the unique needs of families in North Texas.
Another area of focus for Children’s Health as a system is recruitment. We strive to be among the very best health systems in the nation and to attract the best and brightest. This includes always improving our educational affiliations, opportunities and the work environment that we offer our employees.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I am an avid reader, especially history and biographies. I have certain authors I am attached to, such as David McCullough.
Many are often surprised by my love for music than spans many genres and generations. I enjoy everything from the golden classics to modern hits, including hip-hop. I also enjoy the outdoors, having grown up in Vermont, and all college sports, especially football and basketball.