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Chamber honors president of UNTHSC with Halsey award

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Dr. Michael R. “Mike” Williams, president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center, was honored April 17 with the fourth annual Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Susan Halsey Executive Leadership Award at the Chamber’s 137th Annual Meeting luncheon, presented by Frost, at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

The award is named after the late attorney Susan Halsey who served as chairman of the Chamber board in 2013.

It recognizes presidents, principals or chief executive officers who strengthen and transform the organization they lead.

“In leading the establishment of the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, Dr. Williams has opened a new chapter in Fort Worth history,” said Lonnie Nicholson, Chamber board chairman and president/CEO of EECU. “His visionary leadership and entrepreneurial genius exemplify every attribute for which the Halsey Award stands.”

Williams, a Fort Worth native, holds DO, MD and MBA degrees. He was appointed as UNTHSC president in 2013. He is the first alumnus of UNTHSC to lead the institution. He has led TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine to national accreditation. First classes will begin in July.

“I couldn’t be more gratified to have this award named for Susan, and in the city of my roots,” said Williams. “There’s a sense of community, the same character, same richness, same welcoming spirit.”

Halsey Award recipients meet exacting criteria in six categories: Supporting Business Advancement; Creating a Vision and Inspiring Others; Establishing a Positive Image; Encouraging Innovation; Giving Back to the Community; Mentor, the chamber said in a news release.

Williams restructured UNTHSC’s research division to better manage programs and resources. Annual awards increased to $54 million, growing by 63.6 percent in just five years. Last year, the Institutional Advancement team raised more than $21 million in private donations, increasing philanthropic growth by 100 percent. Both achievements are records for UNTHSC.

Williams helped broker a deal among Medical City Healthcare, TCU and UNTHSC to create approximately 500 new residency positions across North Texas over the next seven years. Other hospitals and health care systems are also planning residency partnerships with UNTHSC and TCU.

Meanwhile, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine received 10-year accreditation with exceptional outcome, and is producing more primary care physicians than any medical school in Texas.

Additionally, the School of Health Professions elevated its Physician Assistant program into a Texas powerhouse, with all of its graduates maintaining a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the national certification exam, the news release said.

Susan Halsey was known as a master of negotiation and diplomacy and a leader dedicated to extensive community service., the chamber said. In 2013, she served as only the second woman in the chamber’s history to serve as board chairman.

Halsey died in December 2014. She was managing partner in the real estate section of the Jackson Walker law firm.

– FWBP Staff

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