Robert Earley, president and CEO of JPS Health Network, received the 2016 Communicator of the Year award Thursday night at the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA GFW) Worthy Award event.
During his tenure, JPS Health Network reports that patient satisfaction rates have improved — from the third percentile in 2008 to the 86th percentile for 2016 year to date. Employee engagement participation went from zero in 2008 (surveys were not conducted prior to Earley’s arrival) to 91 percent in 2016.
As one nominator said: “Thanks to the heart, wisdom, and superior communication skills of Robert Earley, employees of this once denigrated public institution feel pride in their jobs, and patients (of all income levels) are beginning to understand the significance of having such an important and caring resource in the community.”
Earley oversees more than 60 sites of care and 6,500 employees. He is credited with leading improvements in communication and trust among employees, providers, the Tarrant County Hospital District Board of Managers, elected officials in Tarrant County and the community at large, according to a news release from the PRSA GFW.
A committee selected Earley as Communicator of the Year in large part due to his ability to lead substantial, significant, positive change in turning around the once poor reputation of JPS Health Network, an important community resource, according to the news release.
This year, several nominations for Communicator of the Year were received. The following nominees are eligible to be nominated again next year: Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Arlington ISD Superintendent, who has sought out partnerships with business, civic, faith-based and higher education organizations to directly impact AISD students; Elliot Goldman, owner of Gl2 Partners And Liberty Bags, brainchild and founder of The Greatest Gift Catalog Ever, an integral part of charitable giving in Fort Worth; and Janet St. James, former medical reporter for WFAA-TV and current AVP of Communications for HCA North Texas, who told her personal story of battling invasive breast cancer.
Previous Communicator of the Year award winners are Patsy Thomas, president of Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County (2015), former Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Walter Dansby (2014), Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (2013) and former Councilman Joel Burns, who received the inaugural award (2012).
In addition to the Communicator of the Year Award, GFWPRSA presented more than 60 awards to area public relations and communications professionals for strategic communications programs and campaigns, including Best of Show. Sportsradio 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket’s Donovan Lewis served as Master of Ceremonies for the awards presentation.
The program was sponsored by: Balcom Agency, PAVLOV, Crown Printed Products & Services, Ware & Associates, Glen E. Ellman Photography and the Fort Worth Business Press. This was the fifth annual Worthy Awards. The event was held at the Fort Worth Club.