Since 2017, Jim Hinton has served as the CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health. From deep in the heart of one Texan, he shares his background and thoughts on leading a large Baptist health care institution. To suggest a Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated leader to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.
Where else have you worked, and what were your positions?
Prior to coming to Baylor Scott & White Health, I spent my entire career at Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS) in Albuquerque, another not-for-profit health care system and New Mexico’s largest provider of health care. I held the following positions:
- 1995 – 2016: president and chief executive officer
- 1992 – 1995: vice president/chief operating officer
- 1987 – 1992: executive director of Presbyterian Physician Resources
- 1985 – 1987: director of business development of Southwest Business Ventures, Inc. (for-profit subsidiary of PHS)
- 1983 – 1985: assistant administrator of Presbyterian Hospital
Where did you grow up?
Albuquerque, New Mexico
How did you come to faith in Christ?
My brothers and I grew up in a Christian home and attended church with my parents every Sunday. My faith in Christ grew from an early age.
Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?
I hold a master’s degree in health care administration with honors from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Why do you feel called to your particular vocation?
I know that there has been a convergence of divine guidance that has caused me to be in health care. From early experiences with using health care myself to exploring various career options, I can look in the rearview mirror of my life and know that God’s hands were guiding me. To be in a position to lead faith-based health care organizations and to support the mission of healing is that culmination.
Please tell us about your BGCT institution—the breadth and nature of its work, including its mission, measures of scope, etc.
Baylor Scott & White is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas. It has 48 hospitals, more than 1,000 clinics and other access points for care, which are staffed by 9,600 active physicians and 48,000 employees across Texas. More than 10.8 million Texans live in the communities we serve, and we are here not just to provide a full range of medical care for them when they are sick, but to offer services and programs to keep people healthy and out of the hospital too.
Baylor Scott & White exists to serve all people by providing personalized health and wellness through exemplary care, education and research as a Christian ministry of healing.
Every day, we strive to be a leader and innovator in a rapidly changing health care environment. Our goal is to deliver the best possible health care at the lowest possible cost.
What aspect(s) of your institution and/or its mission do you wish more people understood?
Most people know us for health care, but we do a tremendous amount of research to bring innovative treatments from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. We currently conduct more than 2,000 active clinical trials. In addition, we have many clinical education programs to train the next generation of caregivers for Texas.
How do you expect your institution and/or its mission to change in the next 10 to 20 years?
Baylor Scott & White’s mission is timeless. It reflects a deep and enduring commitment to a faith-based ministry of healing that welcomes everyone in the communities we serve. In that spirit, the application of the mission may change but our focus will not.
Name the three most significant challenges and/or influences facing your institution.
The most significant challenges include:
- scaling technology to improve the customer experience,
- providing access to high-quality health care across a diverse geographic area,
- and operating in an environment of federal and state uncertainty about health care.
What one aspect of your job gives you the greatest joy or fulfillment?
I’m passionate about making a difference in the lives of patients. I’m really most comfortable in a not-for-profit system that has a broader context for healing through its mission and purpose. That is very important to me.
Who were/are your mentors, and how did/do they influence you?
I feel so blessed to have had so many incredible people throughout my life whom I would consider mentors. When I was young, I worked for a man who owned a shoe store. He was the one who taught me about customer service and how to take great care of customers. My first boss when I entered health care really taught me the value of respectful dialogue and interaction with people.
Their example underscored for me the importance of respect in how you treat people regardless of who they are, and that no matter where you are at in life or in your career, that having mentors is an important part of growing as a person—spiritually, personally and professionally.
Other than the Bible, name some of your favorite books or authors, and explain why.
One of my favorite authors is Jim Collins, who writes a lot about business and leadership. One of the most meaningful concepts he talks about is having good “Who Luck.” That means you become lucky by having great people in your life who can help you learn and progress in ways that you couldn’t on your own. I think that is so important, and I know it has been a driving force in my career. I’ve been very fortunate to have been surrounded and taught by many tremendously talented and caring people, and that’s something I seek out in life.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?
“To whom much has been given, much shall be required” (Luke 12:48).
This passage reminds me of both the trust that God has placed in each of us and the expectation that we use his gifts for their intended purpose. I have been given gifts and they are not mine to use selfishly. Similarly, Baylor Scott & White has gifts that must be devoted to those we serve and to our mission.
Name something about you that would surprise people who know you well.
I’m pretty good with a chainsaw. We have a cabin in the mountains in New Mexico, and one of the things I do to relax is to go out and thin the forest.
Write and answer a question you wish we had asked.
How do you motivate others?
I try to be genuine and appreciative. Growing up, I learned the value of respect. I try to be respectful of people, lead from within and be somebody that others can know and trust. Being authentic is important to me.
I’m also a very inclusive leader. I actively try to create structures to engage as many people as possible in key decisions—to make sure that all perspectives are represented in decisions.