On Tuesday, March 25, Trinity University President Dennis A. Ahlburg joined the HCAD alumni community at Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse in Chicago during the ACHE Congress to honor Jon M. Foster '86, FACHE, with the Leonard Duce Award. Ninety-six HCAD alumni, faculty, students, and guests attended the special event. In her introduction of Foster, Ashley Hixon '00, president of the HCAD Alumni Association, noted that Art Linkletter's approach to life describes Foster perfectly: "Do a little more than you're paid to. Try a little harder than you want to. Aim a little higher than you think possible, and give a lot of thanks to God for health, family and friends."
Foster is president of American Group, one of two operating groups for Hospital Corporation of America, the largest hospital system in the world. His responsibilities include oversight of 80 hospitals across Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. He also serves as president of Hospital Corporation of America-Texas, the largest hospital system in Texas. The Hospital Corporation of America's American Group under Foster's purview has annual net revenues of over $17 billion and employs over 80,000 staff members.
Prior to receiving his masters of science in health care administration from Trinity, Foster earned a BBA from Baylor University. His career trajectory began at Methodist Healthcare System in Houston. From there he became executive vice president for operations at the Baptist Health System of East Tennessee. Next came Austin-based St. David's HealthCare, a $1.2 billion, seven-hospital health-care system with 60 locations throughout the central Texas region. There Foster served as president and CEO before assuming his current position in Nashville.
Active in professional organizations, Foster is a past-chair of the Texas Hospital Association Board of Trustees and has served on the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, the Austin Economic Development Corporation, the Texas Quality coalition, the University of Texas College of Pharmacy Advisory Board, the Trinity University HCAD Advisory Board, and the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) - Austin Chapter, among others. Additionally, he continues to serve as vice chairman of St. David's HealthCare.
Widely respected among health care organizations, Foster was recognized in 2000 by the American College of Healthcare Executives, which presented him with the Robert S. Hudgens Award as the young Healthcare Executive of the Year for the United States and Canada. In 2012, Baylor University honored Foster with the President's Medal for Meritorious Service and Contributions to Healthcare.
Foster is also highly regarded by the HCAD department, where he served on the Department of Health Care Administration Advisory Council from 2009 until spring this year, when he stepped down as chair due to his busy schedule. He has also been a preceptor to seven HCAD students and has worked with countless others. Students who have benefitted from his mentorship have high praise for his leadership, integrity, "laser like focus on results," and "relentless passion for excellence."
Foster and his wife, the former Laura Chapman, have two teenage daughters and make their home in Nashville.
The Leonard Duce Award was created in honor of the first dean of the Graduate School at Trinity University. Beginning in 1962, Duce played a key role in establishing the Health Care Administration department, and his tireless dedication contributed significantly to the program becoming one of the best in the nation. The award recognizes leadership and success in the field of health care administration and has been given annually since 1976.
Congratulations to Jon Foster on this award and a lifetime of achievement. An honor very well-deserved!