“For 43 years, my family and I have been blessed to serve Texas Health Resources,” said Hawthorne in a letter to the board and other leaders of Texas Health. “This has been an amazing journey and one for which I am extremely grateful. After much prayer and discernment—and with the blessing of the Board of Trustees—Martha and I have decided that it is time for us to spend more time with our children and grandchildren. We will also devote more time to serving the community in areas that are close to our hearts.”
Hawthorne has served as CEO of Texas Health Resources since its inception in 1997, when he orchestrated the consolidation of Presbyterian Healthcare Resources, Harris Methodist Health System, and Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Hawthorne will continue on as CEO until a replacement is found, officials said. Board chair Anne Bass is leading a board committee in the nationwide search that will include internal and external candidates with the intention of having the new leader in place by the fall of 2014.
“Texas Health has one of the strongest leadership teams of any healthcare system in the country – and this will not change,” Bass said in a statement. “We are financially stable and have the necessary resources and expertise to complete a successful realization of our strategy to transform healthcare in North Texas and become a nationally recognized health leader. Doug’s influence can be seen throughout the organization—from his strong relationships with employees, volunteers, and physicians to leaders throughout the community.”
Hawthorne began his healthcare leadership career in 1970, as an administrative resident with Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Over the years, he continually rose through the leadership ranks to become president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare System and Presbyterian Healthcare Resources, a position he held when Texas Health Resources was formed.
As soon as the announcement was made public, recognition of his leadership and intelligence began to pour in.
“Doug has made countless contributions to the healthcare field and has been a well-respected industry leader for decades,” said Baylor Scott and White CEO Joel Allison. “Throughout his career he has been dedicated to improving the quality of health care for patients in North Texas and beyond. It has been a privilege to call him a colleague and I wish him and Martha the very best as they enjoy more time with their children and grandchildren.”
“Doug’s integrity, leadership, and collaborative spirit with other providers have been instrumental in making North Texas a healthcare delivery region that represents the gold standard for the rest of the nation,” Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council president and CEO Steve Love said in an email. “We wish him well in his well-deserved retirement and thank him for his tremendous contributions to our healthcare system.”
“Doug is one of the brightest, big picture thinkers I have had the pleasure to work with,” said Texas Health Institute CEO Camille Miller, who has worked with Hawthorne in various capacities for 20 years. “He is a visionary with a heart and mind to match the visions with reality and make change in the challenging world of healthcare.”
In a lifetime full of accolades, he was recently named one of the most influential people in healthcare by Modern Healthcare, and a finalist for CEO of the Year by D CEO. In an interview for the latter piece, he was asked what he had planned for 2014: ““The greatest opportunities lie in advancing our physician-directed population health initiatives and becoming the vanguard of well-being in North Texas,” he said. No mention of retirement.