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Biography of Doug Lawson

T. Douglas Lawson, PhD - Biography

Doug Lawson is currently responsible for the South Division of CommonSpirit Health. In this role, he leads a team of more than 40,000 employees, providers, caregivers, medical staff and volunteers in an integrated health network of 35 acute care hospitals, more than 8,000 employed and aligned providers, and over 500 ambulatory access points serving Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas

Lawson began his health care career at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas. He served five years at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City as System Vice President, followed by three years at Cabell-Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, as Chief Operating Officer.

Lawson returned to Texas in 2007 as President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine. In 2012, he took on the Chief Operating Officer role at Baylor University Medical Center; and in 2015, he was named President of the medical center and the North Texas Central Region. In 2018, Lawson joined Catholic Health Initiatives, now CommonSpirit Health, as Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke’s Health System - Texas Division. In July 2023, he assumed responsibility for the CommonSpirit Health newly combined South Division.

Lawson serves on a number of boards across Houston, including the American Heart Association for the Greater Houston Division, where he serves as President. Lawson also is a board member of the Texas Hospital Association, where he works in collaboration with other members on key state and federal health policy issues; the Greater Houston Partnership, where he sits on the Racial Equity Committee; and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, where he serves as Secretary.

Lawson was named a Most Admired CEO in Texas in 2021 by the Houston Business Journal and received the 2020 Exceptional Leader Award from Texas CEO Magazine. In 2021, he was presented with a Special Recognition Award from the Latino Learning Center for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawson also led a 12-part video series collaboration between St. Luke’s Health and Houston Public Media. The series - TESTED - provides an in-depth view of how the COVID-19 pandemic changed Houston’s health care landscape. In 2021, the series earned an Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Art and Sciences in the category of Health/Medical Short or Long Form Content.

In 2022, the Texas Hospital Association presented Lawson with its highest honor: the Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration. The career achievement award recognizes executives who have set themselves apart through their contributions to the health care industry. 

Lawson attended Texas A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in political science. He went on to earn a Masters degree in health care administration from Trinity University, and a PhD in Leadership Studies from Dallas Baptist University.

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  • Ensure Equitable Access to Care

  • Build and Maintain a Culture of Empathetic Communications 

  • Deliver High-Value, High-Quality Care

U.S. News & World Report

U.S News & World Report has recognized Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties.