Alumni Spotlight: David White

David White.David R. White serves as chairman of the board for IASIS Healthcare, a leading owner and operator of medium-sized acute care hospitals in high-growth urban and suburban markets. White assumed the position in 1999, the same year IASIS began operations with the acquisition of 14 hospital facilities. He was appointed chief executive officer in December of 2000 and held that position until retiring in October of 2010.

Today, IASIS owns or leases 17 acute care hospital facilities and one behavioral health hospital facility with a total of 3,570 licensed beds and has total annual net revenue of approximately $2.6 billion.  These hospital facilities are located in seven regions: Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix, Arizona; Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida; four cities in Texas, including San Antonio; Las Vegas, Nevada; West Monroe, Louisiana; and Woodland Park, Colorado.  IASIS also owns and operates a Medicaid and Medicare managed health plan in Phoenix that serves more than 197,000 members. 

Prior to joining IASIS, White served as CEO of LifeTrust America, Inc., a company that operated 55 assisted living communities in six southwest states. He also served as president of the Atlantic Group of Columbia/HCA, where he was responsible for overseeing the operations of 43 hospitals in nine states.  Before joining Columbia/HCA, White was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Community Health Systems. 

A native of Tennessee, White is a 1970 graduate of the UT College of Business Administration and holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. While White’s master’s degree is not from UT, he had a critical impact on the College of Business Administration’s Physician Executive MBA (PEMBA) program from its earliest stages of inception, leading the program’s leadership to refer to White as the “Godfather” of PEMBA.

Dr. Michael J. Stahl, the head of the PEMBA program, was the college’s associate dean of academic affairs in April of 1996 when he received a call from White, who was the president of the Atlantic Group of Columbia/HCA at the time.

“David had heard that UT was doing some innovative stuff with executive education,” said Stahl, “and asked if our Center for Executive Education team could build and deliver a proprietary ‘distance’ MBA program exclusively for physician leaders.”

Two rigorous focus groups and 25 in-depth interviews later, a core faculty group had worked virtually around the clock, researching and developing a curriculum that no one else had ever heard of or delivered.  With incredible demand, the program premiered in January 1998 and has become the world’s preferred MBA program for physician executives.  Fourteen years later, White is still a loyal advocate of the program, recently making a major gift for PEMBA support. Stahl is thankful for the “Godfather’s” involvement.

“Legacies are often embedded in routine tasks,” said Stahl, “like helping a co-worker or opening a letter.  In this case, I just had to answer the phone.”

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