Joel Allison wins 2014 CEO of the Year award

Joel Allison D CEO cover

Baylor Scott & White Health’s Joel Allison was named the 2014 CEO of the Year on Tuesday night by D CEO magazine.

“I’m accepting this on behalf of the wonderful people of Baylor Scott & White Health,” Allison said upon receiving the award at Southern Methodist University.

As the winner, Allison is featured on the cover of the December edition of D CEO magazine. In a profile, the magazine wrote of the strategic business focus that led fellow area executives to pick Allison as the recipient of the annual honor. He was selected as part of the CEO Sentiment Survey, conducted by SMU’s Cox School of Business.

Past winners include Nolan Ryan, T. Boone Pickens, Mark Cuban and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.

The magazine writes:

Joel Allison, the CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, has plenty on his mind. He’s chatting about population health management in his office a few blocks east of Baylor’s flagship hospital, which peeks in through the window over his shoulder. 

Allison, 66, is outlining what he believes is the key to redefining American healthcare delivery, and how the system he runs could be a national model for it: Flood communities with access points and primary care physicians. Get private employers to offer their employees an incentivized, data-driven health plan to improve patient health and push down costs. Engage them in their own care. Take care of the ill, and keep the healthy well.

Among the 10 other CEOs selected as tops in the region this year were the leaders of American Airlines Group, AT&T Inc., BNSF Railway, Neiman Marcus Group, The Salvation Army and Texas Instruments.

In an interview with KRLD News Radio, Allison spoke of the state of the health care industry, which he said is changing at a faster pace than he’s seen in his 40-year career.

“We are moving rapidly to a new environment and I really believe that the right way is going to be the ability to not just treat sick patients but really start talking about population health management and keeping people well,” Allison said. “We have to really bend that cost curve. The trajectory we’ve been on is not sustainable on the cost of health care going up and up.”

A key part of the strategy for BSWH, the largest health care provider in Texas, is to “move from sick care to well care,” Allison said.

“We’ll be paid in a different way than we have in the past because I think the reimbursement system has somewhat been perverse,” he said. “We’ve paid more for volume and keeping people sick and coming back rather than saying, ‘how do we treat them in the right setting?'”

Allison stressed that the D CEO honor is a tribute to BSWH employees.

“Our people are absolutely phenomenal,” he told KRLD. “They’re wonderful, they’re committed to our mission, our vision, they’re dedicated. They’re there 24 by 7 meeting the needs of the patients and so many of them come with a sense of calling, they want to serve, servanthood is one of our values. So I really receive this in their honor and on their behalf because they are the ones that make Baylor Scott & White Health what it is.”

Photos By Terry Cockerham

About the author

Scott Goldstein
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Scott is a former Dallas newspaper reporter. His father and two brothers are doctors, so healthcare is his family business.

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Joel Allison wins 2014 CEO of the Year award