Joel Allison '73

Ministry of Healing

By Donna Parker

“It’s all about relationships.  The people with whom you stay in touch, along with a good network of colleagues, will give you a great assist in following your passion,” says Joel Allison, president and chief executive officer of Baylor Health Care System. Joel received his master of science degree in health care administration from Trinity in 1973.

“Much of my professional journey ties back to Trinity and the program in Health Care Administration, which required an administrative residency for one year in a hospital system.   My administrative residency was at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene headed by Boone Powell Jr.”

Mr. Powell has been a strong influence in Joel’s life—a mentor responsible for bringing him to Baylor as the System’s first chief operating officer.

“He had confidence in me that I was ready for this role.  It was very humbling and an honor to be asked to serve in this position.  In fact, my relationship with Boone Powell Jr. has been a major factor  in my professional career,” states Joel.

Joel, who’s been honored annually since 2004, as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare,” is following his life’s passion.

“I view my being in healthcare as a calling.  The Lord called me into the ministry of healing and after my undergraduate years at Baylor University majoring in religion and journalism, I was led to the field of healthcare administration and my course was set.”

“I love serving others through the Christian ministry of healing.  I love what I do and hope I’ve been able to make a contribution by being of service to others. I want to be a servant leader.”

Joel walks that same walk in the Dallas community by serving as a deacon in Park Cities Baptist Church, sitting on the board and as a past board chair of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, as a board member of the Dallas Citizen’s Council and past board chairman of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, as well as serving as chair of the annual campaign.

He is most proud, however, of his family, including wife Diane, sons Brent and Blake, daughter Celeste, and five grandchildren who are all under the age of five.   His oldest son, Brent, is a maritime attorney, Blake is a health care administrator, and Celeste is a junior in high school.

“She’s keeping us young,” jokes Joel. 

Enough so that he still enjoys a quick nine holes on the golf course and keeping up with the latest movies, such as Australia.  He also loves a good thriller mystery, mostly John Grisham books.

Joel remains connected to Trinity, serving on the Health Care Administration Department's capital campaign steering committee for the Campaign for Trinity University and returning to be a guest lecturer in graduate student classes, as well as overseeing students who come to Baylor Health Care System for their  administrative residency .

He credits Paul Golliher, department of health care administration, with helping him select his administrative residency.

“He related very well to his students, as did Leonard Duce, dean of the graduate school who taught the Philosophy of Management course and Barry Greene, a professor in the department of health care administration.”

“Where else but Trinity could you take summer courses, as I did with seminars in the morning and afternoon, and then break for a few games of tennis with Paul and Barry during lunch?” he muses.

“I am truly blessed.”

You may e-mail Joel at Joel.Allison@baylorhealth.edu.