The Trinity University Health Care Alumni Association honored Bruce Lawrence ’82, FACHE with the 2016 Duce Award at its annual dinner in Chicago on March 28. As President and CEO of INTEGRIS Health, Bruce oversees Oklahoma’s largest health care system with more than 8,000 employees statewide. Humbled and honored by the award, he says, “To be recognized by my peers and join the excellent former awardees is truly a highlight of my career.”
His career, which spans 35 years, has been impressive. Immediately prior to his current role, Bruce spent nine years as COO and President of INTEGRIS’ Oklahoma City metropolitan hospitals. That was preceded by six years as COO for Baptist Health in Montgomery, Alabama and 12 years with Baptist Health System in Little Rock, Arkansas. Along the way, particularly early in his career, he credits Trinity’s HCAD Program with opening doors that would have been difficult otherwise. Indeed, he cites the strength of the HCAD alumni network and residency program as significant factors in his choice of graduate programs.
As for the health care industry, Bruce sees the transition from a wholesale model to a retail model as providing new opportunities to impact wellness and connectivity with consumers; however, he cautions, not without challenges. His most recent and perhaps biggest challenge was the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which forced him to reconcile negatively impacted revenue with increased quality expectations. “This provided a true rallying point for INTEGRIS,” he reports, “and our team rose to the occasion and has not looked back.”
Active in the industry and his community, Bruce is a member of the American Hospital Association Board of Directors and serves as Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee and Chair of the Regional Policy Board, VII. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Vizient, Inc., and Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee. He is Secretary of the Board of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and serves on the boards of Vizient Oklahoma/Arkansas, Oklahoma State Fair Park, Central Oklahoma United Way and is a past Chair of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. He is an active member of Crossings Community Church and a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XX.
His leadership and service to the industry have been recognized with the Cleveland Rogers Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the George Nigh Oklahoma Appreciation Award from the Jim Thorpe Association and the Russell M. Perry Award of Excellence from the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City.
When his busy schedule permits, Bruce enjoys golf, fly fishing, reading and travel. He and his wife, Donna, also enjoy spending time with their four children (including daughter, Meghan Jordan ’09) and two grandchildren.
For HCAD students and residents starting out, Bruce foresees an “incredible career” and one that involves a lot of change. “The learning never ends,” he says, “and in my opinion that creates the atmosphere for excellence in oneself.” Speaking from the perspective of a long-term industry leader, Bruce adds, “Even with all the challenges in health care, I’m still excited to have a leadership role in the field.”
By Mary Denny