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Jim Walton – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award
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Jim Walton – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award



Jim Walton – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award. ...

Jim Walton – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award.

The success of the healthcare industry depends on leaders who define themselves by leading efforts to change lives and contribute to their communities through their work. But many go above and beyond commitments central to their roles, reaching out to support causes that may be wholly unrelated to healthcare, but which build and sustain strong communities and the quality of life within them. Modern Healthcare's Community Leadership Awards was established to recognize these leaders while bringing attention to the worthy causes they support. Modern Healthcare's Community Leadership Awards was established to recognize these leaders while bringing attention to the worthy causes they support.




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Jim Walton – 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s Community Leadership Award Document Transcript

  • 1. Letter of Nomination Her home was dilapidated, the siding worn and its paint chipping. Inside, Maria, a woman in her early 60s, sat on a faded armchair, and greeted him with a smile that contrasted the shabby furnishings. As the medical director of Project Access Dallas (PAD), James “Jim” Walton, DO, MBA, often visited the dwellings of Dallas’ underserved, all of whom were homebound after surviving devastating neurological traumas. He offered these patients healthcare services that would be otherwise out of reach. Taking a seat across from her on a threadbare sofa, Dr. Walton felt the connection that had come to guide his personal journey. The power of the personal physician relationship, which could catalyze change for people experiencing avoidable health risks and death. As Project Access Medical Director, Dr. Walton served as the executive of clinical oversight in the volunteer service program, which sought to connect 2,000 volunteer primary and specialty physicians—in addition to hospitals, laboratories, radiology, pharmaceutical and care navigational services—with 3,000 uninsured residents of Dallas County. Despite Dallas-Fort Worth’s abundance of world-class health care services, many of the facilities are unattainable to residents like Maria. The persistence of this inequality is a key factor in the area’s high healthcare expenditures and oftentimes substandard quality of care. This inequality is not only difficult for patients, but to doctors who are straddling the gap between volume-based and value-based care. Dr. Walton seeks to bridge the gap during his hours at the office. In March 2013, Dr. Walton became CEO and President of Genesis Physicians Group, the largest independent physicians association in North Texas. He promptly noticed a chasm faced by his physician members. The healthcare environment suggests the necessity of a preventive, patient-centered care delivery system, but physicians are often financially dependent on the fee-for-service care model. In May 2013, Dr. Walton launched an accountable care organization—the first independent physician-based ACO in North Texas. While the ACO’s care model is critical for patients, Dr. Walton remained keenly aware of the toll it would take on physicians who are being asked to simultaneously develop population health management capabilities while maintaining their volume-based practice model. To guide this transition, Dr. Walton constructed a disciplined business model with a mission to provide care for the caregivers. Through perpetually proactive approaches, such as education, incentives, and constant communication, Dr. Walton ensures that the already over-burdened physician workforce remains supported in the complex transition from volume-based to value-based care. After hours, Dr. Walton once again trades his suit jacket for a lab coat and steps into the communities that so desperately need his care. It’s Tuesday evening, and Dr. Walton greets a patient at Healing Hands Ministries Clinic. Below the poverty line, she can’t afford her prescriptions and doesn’t yet have the education to care for her condition. But she smiles at him, and he continues his personal mission to bridge the gap in healthcare—one patient, and one physician, at a time. Genesis Physicians Group 5501 LBJ Freeway, Suite 950 | Dallas, Texas 75240 972-419-0000 | www.genesisdocs.org
  • 2. William L. Roberts Senior Vice President Chief Strategy and Development Officer 8080 N. Central Expressway Suite 600 Dallas, Texas 75206 May 29, 2014 Dear Modern Healthcare, Please accept this letter as my most heartfelt recommendation that Dr. Jim Walton be considered for the Community Leadership 2014 award. I have known Jim for almost twenty years. For eighteen of those years, it was my privilege to work with him at Baylor Health Care System. Our organization has a 110 year history of arranging for the care of all those in need in the communities we serve regardless of their ability to pay. We conduct this ministry challenged by our state’s comparatively low investment in public health resources. Yet even with this culture, we need leaders, torchbearers to remind us of our commitment and creative enough to find ways for us to meet this obligation when the resources are scarce or when others favor bricks and mortar market expansion. Jim is this kind of leader, a quiet, resolute champion for equity completely unwilling to allow our System to provide something less to any patient under the banner of uncompensated or undercompensated care. I have known Jim as a very capable and caring Family Physician dedicated to bringing his best clinical talents and our best administrative solution to the underserved in our community. Partnering with faith-based and secular community support organizations, Jim established a network of eleven primary care clinics that became the medical homes for thousands of our highest risk indigent patients. His devotion to these patients was demonstrated daily in his willingness to meet them in their homes, in their culture, and in their languages. These clinics were mainly operated by volunteers. It is a testament to Jim’s leadership that so many of his fellow physicians and administrators were willing to give up their nights and weekends to serve alongside him. I have also known Jim as a statesman, skillfully bringing together otherwise staunchly competitive health care systems into a single voluntary delivery network called
  • 3. Modern Healthcare Page 2 “Project Access Dallas.” This network leveled the socio-economic playing field, linking non-profit, for-profit and public facilities together to provide our most vulnerable patients access to the highest quality care available in North Texas. Through Jim’s efforts, the burden of care was redistributed from our over-taxed downtown hospital emergency departments to the ambulatory and inpatient resources waiting in the suburbs. Millions of dollars of the very best care available was freely given. In all of these roles, Jim has demonstrated a selfless devotion to the ministry of healing. I cannot imagine a more worthy candidate for this award. If I can provide any additional information or be of any further service, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, William L. Roberts Senior Vice-President Chief Strategy & Development Officer Baylor Health Care System