On Thursdays, we will highlight an oral history featuring health care leaders who shaped the past and laid the foundation for the future. Since 1978, the AHA has conducted more than 100 interviews as part of this project and transcripts are available in the oral history collection on the AHA’s Resource Center webpage. The following oral history with Ron J. Anderson, M.D., comes from an interview conducted in 2014.
Ron Anderson, M.D., a physician and professor of internal medicine, devoted his career to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and, particularly, to its teaching hospital, Parkland Memorial Hospital. Anderson was president and CEO of Parkland Health & Hospital System for 29 years, a job he assumed in 1982, at the age of 35 after serving for two years as medical director of Parkland’s emergency room and outpatient clinic and head of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Division of Internal Medicine.
In the interview, Anderson discusses his efforts to champion care of the medically indigent and ending the practice of “patient dumping” in the Dallas area, which eventually led to the passage of the federal EMTALA legislation, safeguarding the rights of patients arriving in the emergency room. Anderson also describes the challenges of leadership at Parkland, including the difficulties related to complying with Medicare conditions of participation, and discusses “redefining the hospital” and what those efforts will mean for the future.
Anderson died Sept. 11, 2014 of cancer. He was 68.
To read the full oral history transcript, click here.