Ascension Texas executive to retire

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Health care leader Jesús Garza to lead recruitment of successor

Longtime Austin health care leader Jesús Garza has announced his intention to retire effective Aug. 1, 2017, from his position as Senior Vice President, Ascension Healthcare, and Texas Ministry Market Executive for Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system. In this role he also serves as President and CEO of Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. Ascension Texas includes Providence Healthcare Network in Waco.

“Jesús has served Ascension and Seton Healthcare Family for 15 years with compassion, generosity, unmatched professionalism and skill,” said Patricia A. Maryland, President, Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension Healthcare, a division of Ascension.

Ascension and Seton have begun a nationwide search for a new leader for the Texas Ministry Market.

“Ascension Texas was an early adopter of health management strategies that are becoming the norm across health care,” Garza noted. “Now that the ministries in Waco and Austin are participating in integrated systems of care that connect people to the right care in the right setting, I feel it’s the right time to insert a leader with a new perspective.”

Garza joined the Seton Family of Hospitals as President and CEO for Brackenridge Hospital and Seton Highland Lakes, Seton Edgar B. Davis and Seton Shoal Creek Hospitals in 2002 following a distinguished career in private and public sector leadership. He was named Chief Operating Officer for Seton Healthcare Family in 2006.

In 2012, Garza began serving as interim President and CEO of the Seton Healthcare Family and assumed additional responsibility to provide strategic and operational leadership for the Ascension Texas Ministry Market, encompassing Seton Healthcare Family and Providence Healthcare Network in Waco, ensuring alignment on issues related to Mission and Vision. He was formally appointed to that role in 2013.

“As part of our One Ascension journey, Jesús has led the ongoing integration of the Texas Ministry Market, working to coordinate strategies and approaches; promote alignment with community physicians; enroll more consumers in insurance products; and lead the market to value-based care,” Dr. Maryland said.

An experienced manager of complex organizations, Garza is also known for implementing strong community partnerships. Most recently, he has led the effort to establish and build Dell Seton Medical Center, which will open this spring and serve as the principal teaching hospital for the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The new hospital will replace University Medical Center Brackenridge.

”The new academic medical center will be the public facing part of intensive collaboration among very different organizations that share our desire to create better value for consumers of health care,” Garza said. “I’m delighted that it also represents something of a capstone for my efforts to serve the people of Central Texas, especially those living in poverty or otherwise vulnerable.

Prior to joining Seton and Ascension, Garza served as deputy general manager for the Lower Colorado River Authority, following eight years of service as city manager for the City of Austin. He led the city during a period of economic and population expansion. His tenure included business development, downtown revitalization and the opening of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. He was responsible for the leadership of city-owned Brackenridge Hospital during the time when it was named a regional trauma center, and was the city’s negotiator in the lease agreement that brought the facility, now University Medical Center Brackenridge, into the Seton fold.

Garza began his government career in Austin in 1978 and attained increasingly responsible roles. He later served as assistant city manager and deputy city manager in Corpus Christi and then returned to Central Texas to become executive director of the Texas Water Commission before taking up an executive role in City of Austin government.

Last February, Garza was appointed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to a three-year term on the bank’s San Antonio Branch Board of Directors. He also serves on the American Hospital Association Governing Council, the LBJ School of Public Affairs Advisory Council and the Catholic Foundation–Diocese of Austin Board of Directors. He previously served on the boards of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Headliners Club, American Heart Association–Austin, United Way of Greater Austin and Capital Idea.

Recognized for many accomplishments, Garza was named Public Administrator of the Year by the American Society for Public Administration/Centex Chapter and Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

“Jesús has been a blessing to our ministry for many years, and to the people of Texas for much longer,” Dr. Maryland said. “The leadership of Ascension thanks him for sharing his gifts to advance our Mission and wish him all the best as he prepares the ministry for his departure this summer.”