Earl M. Collier Award

Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration

The Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration is the highest honor bestowed by the Texas Hospital Association. It recognizes outstanding executives who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to the health care industry and their profession, who are leaders in providing quality health care services and active in THA and other industry groups. Recipients have set a standard of excellence in leadership, service and professional achievement that exemplifies THA’s commitment to the health care industry.

Sharon Beasley, 512/465-1030

2021 Award Winner

photo of Doug Lawson

T. Douglas Lawson, Ph.D., serves as chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Health and as senior vice president of operations, for CommonSpirit Health (St. Luke’s Health’s parent ministry). 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.

Dr. Lawson has built a nearly 25-year career in health care 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.

He began his health care career heading the cancer program at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas, and served in Kansas City with Saint Luke’s Health System. He later was named COO of Cabell-Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, where within 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. Over the next 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 since 2018. Under his leadership, St. Luke’s became the first cardiovascular center in Houston to earn the American College of Cardiology (ACC) HeartCARE Center Designation. It has also been named Healthgrades' Best Hospital for cardiac care, one of four hospitals in Texas and among only 102 nationally to receive this distinction in 2021. St. Luke’s ranks among the Top Three hospitals in Texas, receiving “A” ratings from the Leapfrog Group for patient safety.

As a cancer survivor himself, Dr. Lawson has lived the patient experience first-hand and understands how critical transparent and empathetic communication is for positive patient outcomes. His proactive communication style extends beyond the walls of St. Luke’s Health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was widely praised for forging partnerships with other hospital CEOs within the Texas Medical Center to share resources, best practices and collaborate on messaging to the public.

Dr. Lawson currently serves on various boards and 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 Texas Hospital Association. 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 public historically black university, 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 the 2021 Most Admired CEO and received the 2020 Exceptional Leader Award from Texas CEO Magazine.

Established in 1965, the Collier Award was first presented to Earl M. Collier, LL.D., FACHE, a past THA president who served as CEO of Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene for 41 years. Collier is considered the dean of hospital administration in Texas. He was respected for his philosophy of improving patient care, the driving force behind his administrative acts and decisions. Because of Earl M. Collier’s dedication to his profession, the Collier Award has come to symbolize excellence in health care administration.

Earl M. Collier,
Earl M. Collier

The nominee must be a senior executive employed by an active THA institutional member hospital or health care system who has made significant contributions to THA and to the health care industry.

Selection Criteria
Contributions to the health care industry and the profession will be evaluated by the nominee’s participation in national, state and/or metropolitan associations. These include THA and its affiliated organizations, divisions, committees or councils; the American Hospital Association; metropolitan associations; or any other local or regional organizations.

The nominee’s role of providing health care services to the general public will be measured by the excellence of his or her institution’s staff and employees as well as the quality of health care services provided.

Leadership and service may be exemplified by total career achievements or by highly visible contributions to THA and/or the health care industry and profession in a relatively short period of time, such as rendering distinguished leadership on a special project or program.

In the event of equal contributions to the health care industry by more than one nominee, the selection committee shall consider distinguishable leadership qualities such as honors or awards within the health care industry; community, civic, religious and service organization activities; and educational and/or experience qualifications.

Selection Process
The selection committee is composed of the THA chairman and appointed past recipients active in health care administration. No member of the committee will be eligible to receive the award.

The honoree will be featured in THA publications and recognized at the THA Annual Conference and Expo.

Step 1. Complete the nomination form

Step 2. Attach up to 15 pages of supporting documents, including a one-page summary of the nominee’s professional achievements and contributions to the health care industry.

Step 3. Be sure all materials are completed and SUBMITTED by the deadline.

Questions? Contact Sharon Beasley at sbeasley@tha.org or 512/465-1030.

2020 Phyllis A. Cowling
2019 George B. Hernandez, Jr., JD
2018 David Huffstutler
2017 Tim Lancaster
2016 Gary Brock
2015 Jon M. Foster
2014 Michael D. Williams
2013 Barclay E. Berdan
2012 Dan Wolterman
2011 Robert L. Smith
2010 Ernest Flores Jr.
2009 Don Beeler
2008 Joel Allison
2007 Tucker Bonner
2006 Elmer Ellis
2005 Mark Wallace
2004 J. Lindsey Bradley
2003 Michael Jhin
2002 Don Richey
2001 Jim B. Smith
2000 Donald L. Stewart
1999 John A. Guest
1998 Kenneth Poteete
1997 Dan S. Wilford
1996 Boone Powell Jr.
1995 Michael C. Waters
1994 Douglas D. Hawthorne
1993 Bob L. Bybee
1992 Ron J. Anderson, M.D.
1991 Larry L. Mathis
1990 F. S. Walters Jr.
1989 Ronald L. Smith
1988 Gordon H. Russell
1987 James J. Farnsworth
1986 George M. Fleming, ED.D.
1985 Sister Mary Eustace Farrell
1984 Wendell O. Barber
1983 Alton Pearson
1982 Gordon W. Epperson
1981 Roderic M. Bell
1980 Richard L. Epperson
1979 George M. Brewer
1978 Arthur L. McElmurry
1977 C. Jack Price
1976 W. P. Earngey Jr.
1975 Guy H. Dalrymple
1974 W. Wilson Turner
1973 David H. Hitt
1972 George B. Pearson
1971 T. H. Morrison Jr.
1970 Horace Cardwell
1969 Boone Powell
1968 Ted Bowen
1967 Bolton Boone, D.D.
1966 Tol Terrell
1965 Earl M. Collier