David Lopez ’75

Living for Giving

By Donna Parker

The one true thing to be discovered about David Lopez ’75, president and CEO of the Harris County Hospital District in Houston, is that he lives his life to help others.

“We have an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.  Health care is ministry work in a positive, proactive way and besides, scripture says of whom much is given, much is required,” says this father of five who plays saxophone for his church and finds time to sit on six community service boards.

David answers the call for those seeking comfort from the storms of life.

 “We offer hope and help with difficult issues.”

Take the case of the famous heart transplant patient in Houston.  We won’t list his name, but he got famous when another Houston hospital outside David’s district featured him on the cover of its magazine as the all-American success story, living with a new heart.  David made his acquaintance when the man called his office, indigent because he’d lost his job two months prior and couldn’t afford his $50,000 a year anti-rejection medications.  He wanted to live, so that he could raise his three teenage daughters. 

“We deal with ethical dilemmas such as this each day as we face the reality and complexity of health care in a city with one million uninsured residents.”

David answered the call and soon convinced a large pharmaceutical firm to provide the drugs free of charge to the gentleman on a compassionate basis. 

“Aside from my family, the opportunity to make a difference in an environment where people have needs is both my quest and my greatest achievement.  What an individual does really makes a difference.”

It’s all about perspective, says this former Trinity National Alumni Board member who remains active with the Health Care Administration alumni association, while serving as an adjunct faculty member.

“Trinity encourages varying perspectives, and that has been very advantageous to me as I work in the health care industry.  You can get to 24 by either 8 x 3 or 100-76, but it’s critical to recognize and understand there are different approaches to problem solving and you must be willing to accept change and vary your approach, in order to be successful.”

“I’m blessed to have attended Trinity.  I made lifelong friends and studied under great professors such as Albert Herff Beze in the department of music and Richard Burr in the department of business administration.  Most importantly, Trinity provided me with a comfort zone that remains with me today.”