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Earley announces retirement after 13 years as JPS Health Network leader

🕐 3 min read

Robert Earley has announced his retirement as president and CEO of the JPS Health Network. Earley has been leading the public health system for 13 years.

Earley, 61, shared the news with his staff via video message on Nov. 2.

“Life and work still boil down to three simple rules: owning the role you have to play, seeking joy in your work, and not being a jerk to the people around you. That code of conduct, embraced by 7,200 team members, has allowed us to do great things at JPS,” said Earley.

The JPS Board of Managers is expected to launch a national search for his replacement immediately. Earley will stay on as president and CEO through March.

Earley became interim president and CEO in 2008, and the JPS Board of Managers named him to the role permanently nine months later. Since then, the health network has seen tremendous growth in both the number of patients it serves and the services it provides.

In the middle of the pandemic, JPS was recognized by Washington Monthly magazine and Lown Institute as the Best Hospital for America, topping rankings for its service to the community, civic engagement and teaching programs. This follows a string of high-profile call-outs as a best place to work and an Outstanding Health System by Modern Healthcare, Dallas Morning News and D CEO Magazine.

“At JPS, we’re not here for the praise, though it is certainly appreciated and keeps us going on our darkest days. We are here to serve. Whether you’re a nurse, a radiologist, a med surg clerk, a food services worker or the president and CEO, you sign up with JPS for a higher calling,” Earley said. “All 7,200 team members come to work every day to help someone else. And our patients know it because they feel it as soon as they arrive. We are here to help our community.”

That dedication to public service is a thread in Earley’s professional life. At age 23, he became the youngest person to serve at that time in the Texas State Legislature. He has taught at universities, spoken to what seems like every civic group in Tarrant County, and is regularly called on by national and international organizations to explain how he led the JPS team in a culture transformation that resulted in improved patient care and outcomes.

“What Robert has done at JPS is extraordinary. To take a culture and turn it around so people find their passion is no easy task,” said Lara Burnside, SVP and Chief Experience Officer at JPS. “He created an environment where our team found pride in the organization, which led us to become one of the best places for employees to work, physicians to practice, and patients to receive care.”

Dr. Jay Haynes, MD, senior medical director of innovation and integration for the physician group Acclaim, has known Earley since he started at JPS. “He is mission driven, has tremendous energy, and leads with a passionate commitment to improving the lives of our patients, our healthcare workers, and our employees,” said Haynes. “He genuinely shares our concerns and challenges, and actively celebrates our wins and accomplishments…his positive impact will continue to last for decades to come.”

Future projects to improve healthcare in Tarrant County will be supported by the landslide bond referendum passed by voters before the pandemic.

In his retirement announcement, Earley expressed his deep appreciation to all those who supported and worked alongside him at JPS.

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