Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, today received the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce's inaugural Susan Halsey Executive Leadership Award.
The Halsey Award recognizes a president, principal or chief executive officer who has devoted their time and energy to strengthening and transforming the organization they lead. It is named after the late Fort Worth attorney and Chamber chairman in 2013-2014. Halsey died from colon cancer in December 2014.
“Lillie's magnetic personality and leadership talent has made her a go-to person in the North Texas Region,” said Marilyn Gilbert, executive vice president of marketing for the Chamber, in a statement. “From overseeing the strategic growth of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth to two terms on the DFW Airport board as member and chair, her influence has significantly impacted the lives of many local businesses and residents.”
The award was being presented today before more than 800 people attending the Chamber’s 134th annual meeting at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. Acme Brick Co. was presented the annual Spirit of Enterprise Award.
According to the chamber, when Biggins learned she was to be honored with the award, she responded, “My first thought was one of gratefulness. My next thought was of the woman for whom this award was created and how proud I was of the many accomplishments she attained, her strengths and grace, and the impact this one woman made to our community.”
“I also thought of my great company, Texas Health Resources, allowing me the freedom to serve in many volunteer capacities both locally and throughout the country. I love Fort Worth and the Fort Worth way of caring for others,” she said.
The chamber said it received 30 nominations for the inaugural award.
Biggins has been in health care for 45 years, mostly as a critical care nurse before she joined Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in 1997 as vice president and senior vice president of operations.
She became the hospital’s first female president in 2012 and is credited with improving hospital operations and playing a role in enhancing performance in the areas of strategic planning, program development, cost effectiveness, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction, the chamber said.
Award judges were impressed with Biggins’ results from her emergency preparedness initiative and the establishment in 2014 of Texas Health Fort Worth's Senior Health & Wellness Center, the chamber said.
Using grant money, the hospital purchased the nation’s first portable, inflatable surge capacity unit, a civilian version of a military portable surge hospital for response to a mass casualty event.
She also found a new way to better serve the aging when Texas Health began discussions about construction of a new emergency care center, the chamber said. She included a clinic for seniors within that space, providing many health and support services, ranging from comprehensive wellness exams to education for patients and their families on areas such as mental health, dementia, diabetes and medication management.
Biggins has served Dallas Fort Worth Airport board since 2005. She was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.
In his nomination letter, airport CEO Sean Donohue called Biggins “an insightful and supportive leader” and said she is “a powerful force in moving organizations forward, with utmost respect to people, cultures and with a goal of achieving top business results.”