Methodist Healthcare System Announces Appointment of New President and CEO

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Allen Harrison

The Board of Governors of the Methodist Healthcare System has selected Allen Harrison as the health system’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Harrison brings achievements in operational efficiency, financial growth and quality outcomes as well as a deep understanding of the unique partnership between HCA and Methodist Healthcare Ministries, as he currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital.

“Allen’s career offered him a certain combination of experiences that helped him develop a special skill set that uniquely positioned him for this position. His background in business development, physician relations, biomedical engineering and his clinical work situated him well as CEO for our flagship campus and now positions him for this next pinnacle role as leader of the entire Methodist Healthcare System,” says Dan Johnson, Chair of the Methodist Healthcare search committee and Chair of the Methodist Healthcare Board of Governors. “This position is highly desirable as Methodist has earned and maintained an excellent reputation and is known for its quality of care throughout South Texas. Close to 100 applications were received, consisting of an outstanding pool of internal candidates as well as qualified individuals from around the country.

“In the end, Allen was our unanimous decision as he clearly demonstrated his business acumen, his strong belief in faith and humanity, and his ability to identify exceptional talent and be an unwavering servant leader,” Johnson adds. “The search committee also placed great importance in choosing a leader who clearly understands the power and potential of our System ownership structure which is very unique as a 50-50 co-ownership between investor-owned HCA and locally owned not-for-profit Methodist Healthcare Ministries.”

Harrison started his career as a clinical engineer and was responsible for overseeing a service line delivering custom medical equipment to persons with disabilities. He has worked in health care since 2002, starting as the vice president of business development at the Medical Center of Aurora. Prior to joining Methodist Hospital, he served as the CEO of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center from 2011 to 2017. He has served as CEO of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital since 2017 where, in a short time, he has made great strides in quality, growth and physician relations. He has also made positive changes internally by evolving the hospital culture to one of ownership, empowerment and accountability.

“Being chosen to lead Methodist Healthcare System represents by far the greatest opportunity of my professional life,” Harrison says. “I am extremely humbled to lead this unique partnership between HCA and Methodist Healthcare Ministries, as I am convinced this is the optimal structure for maximizing benefits to patients and to the community. You achieve the best of all outcomes — leverage and scale on the hospital side to implement best practices in an efficient cost structure, and local investment in the community of a magnitude that far outstrips any non-profit system. I look forward to leading Methodist’s continued journey to excellence in quality and patient experience, service line growth and geographic expansion.”

Harrison’s predecessor is Jaime Wesolowski, who announced his retirement early this year after serving 12 years as Methodist Healthcare’s CEO. Recently, Wesolowski made a life decision to accept the position as President and CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries, an equal owner of Methodist Healthcare System.

“Methodist Healthcare is blessed to have Allen Harrison as its new President and CEO. I have followed Allen’s career over the years and have been impressed with his authentic leadership style, his faith and his overall knowledge of the healthcare industry,” Wesolowski says. “I look forward to working with him while sitting in my role at Methodist Healthcare Ministries. I believe we can together help transform the delivery of health care for all in South Texas.”

Harrison holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Oral Roberts University, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver. Allen and his wife, Stephanie, have been married for 30 years and have four children.

The announcement comes after a nationwide search conducted by Witt/Kieffer, a leading healthcare executive search firm. This search was led by the team of Senior Partner Nelson Mann and Margaret Bass.

A search for a new CEO for the Methodist Hospital campus will begin immediately and Harrison’s start date in his new role will align with a proper transition of him and Wesolowski.