Congratulations to Dr. Micheal Williams to assume the interim presidency of UNTHSC. It is with pride that a TCOM graduate of class 81 is assuming the top job of his alma mater, which has grown into a health science center.
Dr. Williams has led a successful career with the continuing education to acquire MBA and Master of Health Care Management. The kinds of the physicians in management like himself are particularly needed because they know what is best for doctor-patient’ s care. Unfortunately; there are only a few physicians in the management positions.
In 1981, osteopathic profession was very small and still subjected to unjustified prejudices or lack of public recognition of the title DO degree. Dr. Williams was self-driven person
as while he was performing a busy surgical residency, he obtained the M.D. in 1984 from Ross University, a respected off-shore Caribbean medical school, through some weekend lectures and a hefty fee. He should be commended to do what it took and best for him to advance his medical career.
Over the past three decades, osteopathic profession has enjoyed the greatest growth among any occupation. In 1980, there were 17,620 practicing D.O.s and 1,059 D.O. graduates, whereas there are more than 70,000 practicing DOs and 4,777 DO graduates in 2012. One out of five medical students in the USA are DO students. The DO brand will become a household name soon!
Old habits are just die hard and ignorance cannot help either. In 2015, allopathic and osteopathic professions will create a single unified accreditation of residency programs in the nation.
The United States is a free country and people can choose freely the direction of life they want to live. It goes the same for education; there are presently 141 accredited MD-granting institutions and 29 accredited DO-granting institutions in the U.S.
Just be proud of the choice you have made and be proud the title behind your name! As physicians, we are life-long learners in order to provide the best care to our patients. That should be our main goal.
“Let’s the light so shine before men that the world will know that you are an Osteopath pure and simple, and that no prouder title can follow a human name.” A.T. Still.
I hope that Dr. Williams, who had experienced the profession’s past struggles and its best and its worst, have a better understanding to do the best to preserve and promote the osteopathic heritage of UNTHSC and help the future DO generations to have the best opportunity to become the best physicians to tender care of their patients.
A Fort Worth native, Dr. Williams has served on the UNT System Board of Regents for the past 15 months and has been CEO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas, since 2008. Under his leadership the hospital has received numerous awards for quality, including being named one of the Nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.
Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, a Medical Degree from Ross University, a Master of Business Administration from Duke University, and a master’s degree in Health Care Management from Harvard University.
“I am pleased and honored to be able to return to my home town and lead the Health Science Center in this capacity,” said Dr. Williams. “We have a number of opportunities to further elevate our national profile, academic quality, breadth of programs and cooperation with other healthcare providers.”
Dr. Williams, 58, is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology in anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and he is a member of the Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, Texas Osteopathic Medical Association, American College of Physician Executives, American College of Health Care Executives, and is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. He is also past vice president of the Fredericksburg Independent School District Board of Trustees.
“The Board is confident that Dr. Williams will serve as a successful and stabilizing force in moving this institution forward,” said Jack Wall, board chairman. “He brings remarkable academic, clinical and executive leadership experience to this role. His communication skills, first-hand knowledge in fostering a network of high-quality primary care services, proven abilities in financial management, and perspectives of both M.D. and D.O. medical training will be valuable assets for this institution.”
Today’s announcement follows the Board’s earlier action in terminating the employment contract of Dr. Scott Ransom. Dr. Ransom had served as president of the UNTHSC since 2006. The Board will conduct an evaluation and search process prior to naming a new president.
Mr. Wall noted the system remains focused on gaining an MD program as part of the HSC’s comprehensive degree offerings in Osteopathic Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Public Health and Health Professions, and pending launch of the College of Pharmacy.
“The pursuit and establishment of the MD program will further enhance our ability to deliver quality health care, conduct ground-breaking research and provide broad-based education and training to future physicians,” said Wall.
As one of the nation’s distinguished academic health science centers, dedicated to education, research, patient care and service, the UNT Health Science Center began when the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine accepted its first students in 1970. With the establishment of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1993, the name was changed to the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. In 1999, UNTHSC joined UNT’s Denton and Dallas campuses to form the UNT System.
Interview May 16, 2012 with Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.
Hill Country Memorial Hospital’s CEO, Michael Williams, MD, MBA, practiced as an anesthesiologist in Dallas and Fredericksburg, is experienced in business, and leads what was recently named one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S., as ranked by Thomson Reuters. He answered questions in an interview and through follow-up information.
HCM recently was recognized as one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S. What does that mean for the facility?
It is an award given by Thomson Reuters for a broad spectrum of performance in many areas of care-giving, including financial performance and patient satisfaction. In my opinion, it is the highest award a hospital can receive. We didn’t apply for it or pay for anything related to the assessment. But what it really means to be a Top 100 in our community is that we have a remarkable team.
I believe remarkable by definition is something that is extraordinary, set apart from all of the others. Something that people want to experience or be part of, and in our case it is the care our patients and their loved ones want to travel to and experience when they need it.
How do you see HCM as different than other hospitals?
I see an amazing group of dedicated persons who care about giving of themselves to others and in addition to our team, we have a very giving and supporting community –that makes us strong. In 1971, 93 percent of all Gillespie County households gave money to have the hospital built.
How long have you been at Hill Country Memorial?
My family and I moved to Fredericksburg 17 years ago to continue my practice as an anesthesiologist and I served in that role for 13 years. Toward the end of that time, beginning in 2003, I also served as a trustee on HCM’s board. And in 2008, I was offered the role as CEO.
How did you come to be the CEO of Hill Country Memorial?
As a physician, I believe I had a unique perspective in the practice of health care, and that, coupled with being a former HCM Board of Trustees member, gave me a perspective of what Hill Country Memorial was becoming and at that time I was concerned. Along with many, I was seeing a growing complacency and a comfort level around just being a good hospital.
There is nothing wrong with being a good hospital, if that is what you want. But I believed we could be a great hospital. If I am a patient, I don’t want to be in a good hospital, I want to be in a great hospital — a remarkable place. I was concerned we were drifting toward good, which in my mind is average.
So I was asked to fill the interim CEO position for 90 days in 2008. After that time and a national search for a new CEO, the board of trustees asked me to apply. After much thought, prayer and family discussion, I said yes, and eventually was selected.
What did you discover as you took the CEO role?
As the interim CEO, I was beginning to see some great things that could happen. I have a love for this hospital, and it was very hard for me to see our team members discouraged and I saw it was an opportunity to lead and serve by giving back to the community and hospital in the role of CEO.
For me, change never stops, and sometimes, change has to be accelerated. In 2008, with the economy in a tailspin and morale low internally, we had immediate challenges and had to get the hospital to a better place.
How did you address those challenges?
With a very supportive staff and physicians, we went to work.
We were going to change from being a good hospital to a remarkable hospital. We rewrote our vision and mission statements and values to focus on the changes. We defined remarkable as being in the top 10 percent of the 5,800 hospitals in the U.S. — our benchmark, our ultimate goal.
What became your focus?
The patient. We needed to change the industry focus from the provider to the patient.
As it relates to the team, giving care is a calling and we started working from that perspective.
We also started working diligently on financial management and operations.
Source Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.