A Salute to Jeff Turner,
CEO University Health System!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
January 15, 2004

One of the great success stories of Bexar County or for that matter of Texas or the United States is our very own University Health System (UHS).  Roughly 25% of the revenues of the UHS come from property tax revenues while the other 75% comes from patient revenues and monies from other governmental entities.  At the helm of this success story is and has been Jeff Turner, the chief executive officer of the System.

Under Turner's leadership, the University Health System earned one of the highest honors in heathcare- the Solucient 100 Top Performing Hospitals award from 2003.  Based on an analysis of more than 6000 U.S. acute care hospitals, the 100 Top Performing Hospitals are recognized for setting the standard across four key areas – quality of care, operational efficiency, financial performance and adaptation to the changing healthcare environment.  Additionally, U.S. News & World Report has included the health System in its annual ranking of America's Best hospitals for the past five years.  Turner's commitment to excellence in patient care led to a record five "U.S. News Top 50" honors for 2004 – in the areas of orthopedics, respiratory care, kidney disease, hormonal disorders (endocrinology) and heart/heart surgery.

Also on Turner's watch, San Antonio AirLife, jointly owned by UHS and the Baptist Health System, was named "Texas Air Medical Transport Service of the Year" for 2002 and recognized by the American Trauma Society as "National First Responder of the Year" in 2001. AirLife operates three medically-configured Bell 412 SP/IFR helicopters and has successfully transported more than 25,000 critically ill and injured patients since its inception in 1991.  On call 24/7, flight nurses and paramedics - with advanced training in emergency and critical care - offer the same level expertise found in a trauma intensive care unit. AirLife primarily serves areas within a 150 mile radius of San Antonio, providing life-saving rapid air medical transport for trauma patients from a 22-county region of south/central Texas.

Turner's leadership expands into our State Capitol as well.  He took the helm as Chairman of the Texas Hospital Association in 2003 and motivated Texas hospitals to work collaboratively and ecumenically to navigate the waves of change for both health care providers and patients left in the wake of the 78th Legislature and its efforts to balance its $10 billion shortfall, with significant help from local units of government.

For Turner, the future is an open book.  "I have many things I would like to do.  The options are many, but I have no plan at this point," said Turner.  He expects to remain in his position for the next five to six months and help with the transition.  "My successor will have a great opportunity.  His is a very attractive job." said Turner.  "There are talented individuals in and outside the organization with qualities the board would want and appreciate.  This job deserves finding the best person."

Finally, Jeff Turner leaves a terrific staff that is very capable of continuing the legacy of leadership that he now leaves with them.  He will be missed greatly by all, but his legacy lives.  We all wish him health, happiness and success as he pursues his future opportunities.  Good luck, Jeff!

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