Press Release

AHA Award of Honor to be Presented to Joel T. Allison

The American Hospital Association (AHA) will present its 2017 Award of Honor to Joel T. Allison, retired president and CEO, Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas for making outstanding contributions to improve the health status of individuals, communities and the nation. The award, presented on May 8 as part of the AHA’s Annual Meeting, is given to individuals or organizations in recognition of exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of our nation through leadership on major health policy or social initiatives.

Allison has been a key contributor to excellence in health care for more than 40 years. Allison joined Baylor's health system in 1993 as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer and became president and CEO in 2000. After his retirement in February 2017, Allison is now serving as a senior advisor to the chairman of the Board of Trustees with a focus on philanthropy, advocacy, medical education and other areas outside of the day-to-day business. Before joining Baylor Health Care System in 1993, he served in public hospitals, children’s hospitals and a rural hospital.

“For Joel, working in health care is a calling, and he has spent his career spreading the passion of caring for every patient in the best ways possible,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “His commitment to providing high quality care has not wavered. In fact, it has led him to explore innovative models and partnerships that resulted in enhanced coordination of care and ultimately the establishment of an integrated delivery network that promotes health and wellness.”

Allison spearheaded Baylor’s successful merger with Scott & White Healthcare in 2013, and during the following year, led the affiliation with Cleveland Clinic’s heart and vascular institute. In 2016, Allison guided a formal partnership between Baylor Scott & White Health and Baylor College of Medicine to expand biomedical research in North and Central Texas.

Allison has been active in AHA since 2000, when he joined the Section for Health Care Systems Governing Council (2000-2003). He also served as an alternate (2002-2003) and delegate (2003-2004) to Regional Policy Board 7. In addition, Allison served on the Task Force on Delivery System Fragmentation (2004-2006), the AHA Advisory Committee on Health Care Reform (2009-2010), the Committee of Commissioners to the Joint Commission (2011-2013), the President’s Forum: Large Health Care Systems (2013), the Medicare DSH Advisory Group (2013-2016) and the President’s Forum: System Leaders (2014-2015).

Allison received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and religion from Baylor University, a master’s degree in health care administration from Trinity University and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. He is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives.

Previous Award of Honor winners include organizations such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ohio Hospital Association’s Energy and Sustainability Program, Reach Out and Read, Ronald McDonald House Charities®, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and Habitat for Humanity. Individuals such as Spencer Johnson, past president of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association in Okemos, Mich.; Rhonda Anderson, R.N., DNSc, chief executive officer, Cardon Children’s Medical Center; George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente; and Donald M. Berwick, M.D., former administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement have also been honored.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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