Parkland Board chair named a Trustee of the Year

Modern Healthcare recognizes Debbie Branson for leadership

February 18, 2014

Debbie Dudley Branson, chair of Parkland Health & Hospital System’s Board of Managers, has been named a Trustee of the Year by Modern Healthcare magazine. The honor recognizes trustees who have made remarkable achievements in community relations, leadership, ethics, strategy and finance. She is one of only three recipients of the nationwide honor and is profiled in the magazine’s Feb. 17 issue.

Branson, an attorney, was appointed to Parkland’s volunteer Board in February 2011 by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. The following year and again last week, her colleagues unanimously elected Branson to serve as chair of the Board of Managers. During this time, the Board, hospital leadership, physicians and staff were working diligently on the Corrective Action Plan put in place as part of Systems Improvement Agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Throughout the entire process, Branson worked tirelessly alongside hospital leadership and physicians to ensure that Parkland was focused on improving quality and safety for patients. In describing his appointee, Judge Jenkins said, “Debbie Branson brought unwavering patience, compassion and courage to the position of Board chair. Her leadership was and continues to be instrumental in the tremendous turnaround of Parkland.”

In February 2013, Branson was unanimously re-elected chair of Parkland’s Board. “It is an honor to do this job with the support of my colleagues on the Board,” she said at the time. “It is also an honor to represent the thousands of people who come to Parkland every day.”

Parkland underwent a resurvey with CMS over this past summer and, on August 7, 2013, the health system was notified that the SIA had officially ended but the focus remained on sustaining the improvements made during the CAP.

“I am truly humbled to receive this recognition from one of the nation’s leading health care industry journals, but it’s one shared with my colleagues and the entire Parkland staff,” Branson said. “I am fortunate to serve as Parkland’s Board chair because its mission of service to our community is so close to my heart and it is a vital resource for the health and well-being of millions in our area.”

In 2012, she was the recipient of a Woman That Soars award and in 2011, she was named one of the Dallas Bar Association’s “Inspiring Women.” Branson has also received the Gayle Pettus Pontz Award, which recognizes the achievements of a lawyer who best represents excellence and achievement of women in the legal profession, and The University of Texas at Dallas’ Achievement Award.

Branson is past president of the Dallas Women’s Foundation and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and an active member of many other legal organizations, including the American Association for Justice, the Dallas Women Lawyers Association, the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism, the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association. She has also served by appointment to the Federal Aviation Management Advisory Council and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

To read the full article published in the Feb. 17, 2014 edition of Modern Healthcare, visit

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