Health Notes: Allison to step down at Baylor Scott & White

Joel T. Allison, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Baylor Scott & White Health (PRNewsFoto/Baylor Health Care System)

Joel T. Allison, CEO and president of Baylor Scott & White Health will transition to a new role next year as senior advisor to chairman of the board, setting the stage for a national search for a successor.

The transition is set for Feb. 1, 2017, when Allison turns 69. In his new role, Allison will advise the board chairman in the areas of advocacy, philanthropy and medical education.

In 2013, Allison was a key force in the merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scoot & White Healthcare, creating Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White, the largest not-for-profit health system in the state with 48 hospitals, a health insurance company, more than 5,800 affiliated physicians and 40,000 employees. In Fort Worth, Baylor Scott & White has several locations, including a hospital in Fort Worth and Grapevine.

“I’ve been blessed — I was called into this career that I love. So while I’ve spent the past 40-plus years working in health care, I feel I haven’t worked a day in my life,” said Allison in a news release. “Now, I’m looking forward to the next phase — one in which I’ll still remain engaged in an advisory role to the chairman, while enjoying more time with my wife and six grandchildren.”

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Allison joined legacy Baylor Health Care System as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1993, and was promoted to president and CEO in 2000. He became CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health following the 2013 merger of Baylor and Scott & White Healthcare. Over his 23 years with the organization, he has worked to grow the system from five hospitals and a few outpatient facilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to 48 hospitals and more than 900 other centers in North and Central Texas.

He has also left his mark on Baylor Scott & White by creating several recognized programs designed to build and enhance a strong culture where employees feel valued, empowered and encouraged to find meaning in their work.

Under Allison’s leadership, the organization become a nationally recognized leader in health care including creating an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) — the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance, now one of the largest ACOs in the country.

“There is no doubt that Joel has helped shape the health care landscape not only in Texas, but in the country,” said Turner. “In our national search for the next CEO, the Board will be looking for someone who can continue to carry the exceptional momentum he has built. We know we are on the right course with the right strategy, and we plan to consider both internal and external candidates who are also high-integrity servant leaders.”

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Allison has received numerous honors and accolades through the course of his career including the B’nai B’rith “National Healthcare Award.” He serves nationally on the Healthcare Leadership Council, the WSJ CEO Roundtable and the United Surgical Partners, International board. Locally, he has chaired the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Dallas Citizens Council boards. He has been ranked annually by Modern Healthcare as one of the “Most Influential People in Healthcare.” In 2014, he was named D Magazine’s “D CEO of the Year” — the first health care CEO and the first CEO of a not-for-profit to earn that honor.

Alcon buys California medical device company, undergoes overhaul

Alcon, the Fort Worth-based eye care division of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis International AG, said Feb. 18 it has entered into an agreement to acquire Transcend Medical Inc., a venture-backed, privately-held company that develops minimally-invasive surgical devices to treat glaucoma.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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Transcend Medical, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is a pioneer in micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). The goal of MIGS is to reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma medications. In 2005, the company was the first to spin out of ForSight Labs, an incubator exclusively for ophthalmic innovations. Transcend Medical developed the CyPass Micro-Stent that treats mild to moderate glaucoma. The company currently has CE Mark approval for the micro-stent in Europe and is awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the device.

Alcon’s acquisition of Transcend Medical will expand its leadership in treating glaucoma and cataract treatment as part of its surgical business. Alcon’s core businesses include surgical, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and vision care.

“We expect the MIGS technology to be a great addition to our device pipeline and to establish Alcon’s presence in this new surgical category to treat glaucoma,” said Mike Ball, — photo – division head and CEO of Alcon.

Ball took the lead at Alcon on Feb. 1, succeeding Jeff George. The appointment comes as the drug maker shifts its focus to the surgical and vision care business at Alcon, moving Alcon’s ophthalmic pharmaceutical products to the pharmaceuticals division.

“We intend to return the Alcon business to growth and strengthen our leading competitive position,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, in a Jan. 27 news release. “We will further focus our divisions, create even greater innovation by integrating drug development and lower our costs by centralizing our manufacturing across divisions.”

Ball, who has expertise in ophthalmology and medical devices, most recently was CEO of Hospira from 2011-2015 and spent 16 years in various leadership roles at Allergan. He successfully turned Hospira around and grew it by focusing on product and quality improvements, and expanding its global footprint.

Before joining Allergan, Ball served in marketing and sales at Syntex Corp. and Eli Lilly. He began his career in the health care industry in 1981.

Alcon has more than 25,000 employees worldwide – including 5,000 employees in the Fort Worth-Dallas area – with operations in 75 countries and products available in 180 markets.

Texas Health Care adds nine physician members

Texas Health Care, a multispecialty physician group practice with more than 150 physicians practicing throughout Tarrant County, added nine new members: Drs. Ryan Balogh, Brittney Culp, Paul Gray, Abdul Keylani, Jennifer McLeland, Mallikarjuna Mukka, Sam J. Nassar, Jeremy P. Parcells and Mohanakrishnan Sathyamoorthy. – photos —

Balogh is a general surgeon in Grapevine and graduate of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He completed his residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he received the Baylor Scott and White Resident Research Poster Award in 2015. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons.

Culp is a general and acute care surgeon who also practices in Grapevine. She earned her degree from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and completed her residency at Baylor University Medical Center.

A general surgeon with a practice in Fort Worth, Gray graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his residency in general surgery at Baylor University Medical Center. He previously practiced as a trauma/urgent care surgeon in Dallas.

Keylani is a Fort Worth cardiologist. He graduated from medical school in Aleppo, Syria, and completed an internal medicine residency, cardiology fellowship and interventional cardiology fellowship at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine program at Hartford hospital in Connecticut.

McLeland is a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology with practices in Fort Worth and Willow Park. She earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at Marshall University and completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Mukka, a doctor of internal medicine and hospitalist, moved to Fort Worth in 2004 after completing his residency program at Saint Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, New York. He attended medical school at Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad, India. He has extensive experience as a hospitalist and primary care physician working at several hospitals in the Fort Worth area.

Nassar is a board certified cardiologist with a practice in Fort Worth. He earned his medical degree from Michigan State University and completed an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship there. Nassar is an Eagle Scout and a Fellow of both the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Osteopathic Internists.

Parcells is a general and bariatric surgeon with a practice in Mansfield. He attended Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, completed his residency at the University of Kentucky, and completed a fellowship at University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he was trained in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. He is a practicing surgeon with privileges at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Baylor Surgicare of Mansfield, USMD Hospital in Arlington, Medical Center of Arlington and Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Sathyamoorthy is a board certified cardiologist practicing in Fort Worth. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and master’s degree in engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He went on to earn his medical degree with distinction in research from the SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. He currently serves as the vice chief of the medical staff and chief of the cardiovascular division at Baylor All Saints Medical Center, and also serves as the medical director of cardiology at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital Fort Worth. Nationally recognized in the fields of cardiovascular thrombosis and echocardiography, “Dr. Mo” has served as the president of the board of the Tarrant County Division of the North Texas Chapter of the American Heart Association for the last several years.

Texas Health Care has added a total of 12 new physician members in the last year.

JPS, MHMR partner on mental health program

JPS Health Network and MHMR Tarrant recently launched the first dual diagnosis intensive outpatient behavioral health program in a JPS community health center.

The dual diagnosis intensive outpatient (IOP) program, which opened on Feb. 15 at the Stop Six/Walter B. Barbour Health Center in southeast Fort Worth, provides care for patients diagnosed with primary mental health condition and co-occurring substance use disorder.

The IOP program was started in response to comments shared at a community meeting sponsored last fall by Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth). A resident attending the forum asked about the availability of intensive behavioral health services at the Stop Six clinic. Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks, along with Collier, requested JPS Health Network review data to determine what level of behavioral health care could be supported at the Stop Six clinic. “Commissioner Brooks continually looks for innovative ways to meet the health care needs of county residents,” said JPS President and CEO Robert Earley. “From his early support of health care services for the homeless to hosting annual health fairs and prostate screening events, Commissioner Brooks is a crucial partner in making sure people have access to important medical services.”

JPS Health Network’s 17 adult primary care neighborhood health centers allow the system and its care partners to tailor services to fit the needs of the people living closest to the clinics. JPS offers services throughout Tarrant County, including mental health specialists embedded at primary care clinics, universal depression screening, co-located structured outpatient programs and joint medication management.

The IOP program is available three hours a day, three days a week at the Stop Six clinic, located at 3301 Stalcup Road. JPS provides mental health services while MHMR Tarrant County provides a substance use disorder counselor.

Blue Zones Project receives national award

The Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from the nation’s leading health care companies and organizations, honored Blue Zones Project Fort Worth with the organization’s 2016 Wellness Frontiers Award.

The award recognizes innovative entities that are contributing to the transformation and improvement of American health care. Blue Zones Project was selected because of its successful implementation of an evidence-based wellness program that prevents disease and improves population well-being.

HLC President Mary Grealy presented the award at a reception on Feb. 23 in Fort Worth. On hand for the presentation were Barclay Berdan, chief executive officer of Texas Health Resources and a member of the Healthcare Leadership Council, and Paul Pearson, HLC regional director. Mayor Betsy Price accepted the award.

“Blue Zones Project Fort Worth is demonstrating that a successful wellness initiative can change an entire city,” said Grealy. “Fort Worth has set an important example, demonstrating what the collective efforts of health care providers, businesses, philanthropic foundations and other nonprofits can do for the well-being of their community.”