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Modern Healthcare Honors Debbie Branson as ‘Guiding Force’ for Positive Change at Parkland Health & Hospital System

DALLAS – Modern Healthcare magazine has named attorney Debbie Branson of Dallas’ Law Offices of Frank L. Branson as its Trustee of the Year, describing her as a “guiding force” leading the Parkland Health & Hospital System through a series of “life or death challenges.”

In a February 2014 cover story highlighting the national honor, Modern Healthcare describes Ms. Branson as “unwilling to accept defeat” in her role as chair of the Parkland Health & Hospital System Board of Managers. The article recounts how Ms. Branson somewhat reluctantly agreed to join the beleaguered hospital system’s board at the request of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. 

Told initially that the position would require a commitment of 10 to 12 hours per week, Ms. Branson quickly found herself devoting 60-hour weeks to the volunteer position as the Parkland system faced make-or-break compliance issues. At the same time, Ms. Branson continued her role as a key member of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson.

In July 2011, five months after Ms. Branson joined the board, Parkland was put on notice that if it did not correct a list of quality and safety issues, it would face loss of reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, which could have shut down the county safety-net hospital.

Writes Modern Healthcare: 

“Branson became the guiding force leading Dallas County’s all-important safety net system through life-or-death challenges. But Parkland emerged on the other side with significantly improved quality of care and a soon-to-be-opened new central facility.

Last August, after more than two years of intensive work by Branson and her fellow leaders, the CMS removed the 769-bed hospital from probation and said it was in substantial compliance with federal conditions of participation. During those years of crisis, Branson and the board were instrumental in replacing Parkland’s long-standing and nationally known CEO, Dr. Ron Anderson, and in bringing in interim executives to address the system’s wide-ranging quality and safety problems.”

Colleagues described Ms. Branson as “unwilling to accept defeat” on behalf of Parkland.

The Modern Healthcare article continues:

“Branson’s level of commitment comes as no surprise to her friends and colleagues, who describe her as a natural leader with a tireless work ethic and gift for connecting with people and identifying their strengths. Branson said she is motivated by the opportunity to make a difference. She found that in spades as board chair at the venerable Parkland, which opened its doors in 1894 and came to the brink of being shut down soon after she joined the board.”

The Law Office of Frank L. Branson congratulates Ms. Branson for her tireless work and the significant achievements that she has earned on behalf of the Parkland Health & Hospital System and the people of Dallas County who rely on the facility and its services.