Houston, March 22, 2022 - The Texas Hospital Association (THA), the leading professional and advocacy organization representing acute-care hospitals and healthcare systems across the state of Texas, has named Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke's Health and Senior Vice President of Operations for CommonSpirit Health, T. Douglas Lawson, Ph.D., the recipient of the 2021 Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration.
“This award represents much more than my own accomplishment. It honors all of the dedicated people on our team who have made St. Luke’s Health an exemplar in patient care,” stated Dr. Lawson.
“To be this year’s recipient of the Earl M. Collier Award is a great honor, especially at this time in history, as a global pandemic has tested the readiness, resilience and resolve of all healthcare providers,” Dr. Lawson continued.
Dr. Lawson leads a team of more than 20,000 employees, caregivers, medical staff and doctors in an integrated provider health network of 16 acute care hospitals and more than 270 access points serving Greater Houston, East Texas, and the Brazos Valley.
He has built a long-tenured career in healthcare administration in a variety of leadership roles, with a solid track record for vastly improving the patient experience by turning around underperforming hospitals. In just three years under his leadership, St. Luke’s Health has been nationally recognized as one of the top health systems in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, the American College of Cardiology and the Leapfrog Group.
Dr. Lawson’s career began with the development of the cancer program at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas. He went on to serve in Kansas City with Saint Luke’s Health System, and was later was named COO of Cabell-Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, where over the course of three years his team brought patient satisfaction ratings from the single digits to the 90th percentile and earned the ranking of most preferred hospital in the region by Forrester Research.
Dr. Lawson returned to Texas in 2007 to become President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine, where in just four years, he and his team elevated the hospital to a top performer in the region. In 2012, he took on the Chief Operating Officer role at Baylor University Medical Center; and in 2015 was named President of the center and of the North Texas Central Region.
Dr. Lawson has been in his current role with St. Luke’s Health and CommonSpirit Health (St. Luke’s Health’s parent ministry) since 2018 and currently serves on various boards. He was recently elected as president of the Board of the American Heart Association for the Greater Houston Division.
He is also a board member of the THA, where he works in collaboration with other members on key federal health policy issues. During the 87th Legislative Session, his advocacy helped lead to the passage of Texas Senate Bill 1876, which requires dialysis centers to have emergency planning measures in place in the event of a disaster that disrupts the water supply. He was also involved in supporting the 2019 passage of Texas House Bill 2059 which requires human trafficking prevention training for frontline health care providers.
Dr. Lawson is also deeply committed to addressing social justice issues that impact access to health care. During the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, he led a partnership between St. Luke’s Health and Texas Southern University — a historically Black college with a reputation for service within its community — to inoculate thousands of at-risk patients.
A Texas native, Dr. Lawson received his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Dallas Baptist University and his Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Trinity University. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is on faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.
For all these accomplishments and many more, Dr. Lawson was recognized in the Houston Business Journal as a 2021 Most Admired CEO and received the 2020 Exceptional Leader Award from Texas CEO Magazine.
“In the time I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Doug, I’ve witnessed his passion for health care and his innate ability to lead firsthand. Doug’s impact on St. Luke’s Health and on Texas health care makes him incredibly deserving of the Collier Award,” said John Hawkins, president and CEO of THA.
Dr. Lawson was presented with the Earl M. Collier Award on March 21, 2022 during THA’s Annual Education Conference and Expo. To learn more about the conference, visit www.tha.org/conference.