Healthcare Business News

Doug Hawthorne: 'Connected with the community'

By Ed Finkel
Posted: August 5, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

As CEO of Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Doug Hawthorne has contributed his own time to causes both inside and beyond the healthcare arena—and he's provided paid leave for employees to do the same, resulting in 8,000 hours of community service on their part in 2012.

“When we look at our mission in the communities we serve, it's more than just taking care of the sick inside the walls of our system, it's what are we are doing outside our walls to keep our communities healthy and well,” says Hawthorne, 66, one of 10 finalists for Modern Healthcare's 2013 Community Leadership Award. “It starts with the CEO to be connected with the community, in a variety of ways that share the mission of the organization, and share the passion to create a healthier community.”

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Among his healthcare-oriented involvements, Hawthorne has served as executive committee and board member at the American Hospital Association, regent and committee chair at the American College of Healthcare Executives, and board chair of the American Heart Association's Dallas Division. The most significant piece of the latter will be the Heart Walk scheduled for September, and Hawthorne says he has challenged his counterparts in major metropolitan areas around the country to a contest to see who can raise the most—“a Texas shootout,” he says.

“Doug exemplifies what it truly means to serve, and his transformative impact on our community in North Texas will no doubt be his legacy,” says Susan Holmes, executive director of the American Heart Association's Dallas Division.

Considerably farther from home, Hawthorne and his family in 2011 provided funding to found the Open Arms medical clinic in Tanzania, inspired by employees who had traveled there and seen the needs of the Masai tribe of about 10,000 people. “The family was quite energized and excited about it,” he says.

Outside of healthcare proper, Hawthorne is one of only 12 life members of the Boy Scouts of America's Circle Ten Council Board of Directors and has served as board chair for both the Dallas County Community College District Foundation and North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity (LEAD), which connects senior level minority job seekers with employers lacking leadership diversity.

“There's a stream of things that go on every day outside our walls that make up the community's health,” Hawthorne says. “It does take leadership, and it does take a board, which has been behind us. Then it takes people to go do it.”

Ed Finkel is a freelance writer in Evanston, Ill. Reach him at

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