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New Chief At Parkland Hospital

Ron Anderson (l) Thomas Royer (r)
Ron Anderson (l) Thomas Royer (r)

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Parkland Hospital gets a new CEO this week. Dr. Thomas Royer will take over Thursday. Longtime CEO Dr. Ron Anderson steps aside to become a "Senior Adviser" to the new CEO. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Dr. Thomas Royer was one of three finalists for the "interim" job. He retired from an Irving based health system earlier this year after 43 years in health care leadership positions. He says he's got good health, a lot of energy, and welcomes the challenge of "fixing" Parkland after two failed federal inspections.

Royer: I'm actually excited about getting back on a campus again where actually we're serving people and I can interact with the people and the staff on a daily basis.

Dr. Royer says he welcomes that interaction. He says he'll encourage what he calls "professional back-talk". The new Parkland leader says he wants to hear what he needs to hear, not what people think he wants to hear.

Dr. Ron Anderson, CEO of Parkland since 1982, now becomes a "Senior Advisor" to Dr. Royer December first. The Parkland Board declined to renew his contract after the critical audits from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Two of Anderson's new priorities involve "money".

Anderson: Assist with the fundraising efforts of the Parkland Foundation to finish the building program. To deal with Medicaid waiver, 1115 waiver which is important for all of North Texas to bring needed dollars into the community.

Anderson also plans to develop a community health institute to study disparities in health care and population-based medicine. And he'll do it for half his annual CEO salary: 303 thousand dollars. The other half will go to Dr. Royer for the next six months, the length of his "interim" contract.

Parkland Board Chair Dr. Lauren McDonald says they're counting on Dr. Royer to bring Parkland into full compliance with federal, CMS "care standards".

McDonald: You know, if you're trying to attract the best talent, there are people who will look at Parkland because the CMS issue and say, I don't want anything to do it.

McDonald says the CEO search will ramp up in the New Year.

Email BJ Austin


Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.