New Quality Director Applies Distance Running Principles, Experience to Role at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen|
ALLEN, Texas — For Richard Lawhead, improving patient care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen is a lot like long-distance running — it takes a lot of preparation and effort to get in shape yet you’re never done looking ahead to that next goal.
Lawhead joined Texas Health Allen as director of quality services and immediately focused on goals such as working with employees to prepare for regulatory surveys and accreditations.
Lawhead has more than 20 years of health care experience, with nearly six in quality management. A Louisiana native, Lawhead was raised in Bossier City, La., on Barksdale Air Force Base. He began his career in the Army as a lab tech and combat medic, and most recently served as the regional director of Quality Resource Management at CHRISTUS Schumpert in Shreveport, La.
“We are thrilled to have Richard on our team working each day to ensure high quality care is delivered to the patients at Texas Health Allen,” said Dr. Robert Schwab, chief medical officer at Texas Health Allen. “He brings a wealth of experience to the role and has made significant improvements at the hospital already.”
Lawhead holds five academic degrees, including a bachelor of arts in psychology from Louisiana Tech University, a bachelor's in cardiopulmonary science from Louisiana State University Health Science Center, an associate of applied science in nursing from Panola College, bachelor of science in nursing from University of Phoenix and a master's in business administration from the University of Arkansas. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in nursing from Western Governors University.
In addition to R.N. and R.R.T. certifications, Lawhead is a certified neonatal-pediatric specialist, pulmonary function technologist, professional in healthcare quality and asthma educator. He is also Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified.
"Everyone at Texas Health Allen has been incredibly nice," Lawhead said. "I have also enjoyed working with the patients. In my career, I have always been most influenced by the patients we serve. What we do is very difficult, yet nothing is more rewarding."
Lawhead lives in Plano with his family. They are actively involved in their church. An avid runner, Lawhead is a member of the Plano Pacers and the Dallas Running Club. He has twice won the Louisiana five-mile road race, beating his twin brother in 2008 by 19 seconds for the title.
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Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.