Lawrence named outstanding leader

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) presented McLaren Central Michigan President & CEO Bill Lawrence with the 2012 MHA Health Care Leadership Award  Sunday, Oct. 7, during the MHA Health Foundation Governance Leadership Forum in Acme, Mich.

“This award recognizes the commitment of the entire McLaren Central Michigan family—our Board, employees, medical staff and volunteers—to our patients and their families, as well as to initiatives such as the Free Clinic,”Lawrencesaid upon receiving the news. “We are so fortunate to have careers in healthcare, where our ultimate reward is the care we provide to those in need—particularly those who cannot care for themselves.”

Each autumn, the MHA honors outstanding individuals who have provided exceptional leadership to health care organizations and to the health and well-being of the community.

Bill Lawrence first joined McLaren Central Michigan, then known as Central Michigan Community Hospital (CMCH), in 2008, and has made quality of care and patient satisfaction hallmarks of his administration. 

Such priorities led to the hospital being named a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospital® in both 2009 and 2011.  McLaren Central Michigan is also building a reputation within the McLaren organization for consistently receiving top box scores in quality and patient safety.  In recognition of these efforts, the hospital was awarded McLaren Health System’s top honor, the President’s Trophy, in 2011, just one year after joining the McLaren family. 

In addition to his contributions to the hospital, Lawrence has made a tremendous impact on the community.  To provide care to the medically underserved in the area, he and hospital Board Chair, Steven Martineau, convened a small group of local leaders and formed the non-profit organization, Isabella Citizens for Health, which began to pursue the establishment of a Federally Qualified Health Center.  When further investigation revealed implementation of such a center could take nearly two years,Lawrencedecided something needed to be done sooner.  Six months later, in January 2012, the McLaren Central Michigan Free Clinic opened its doors.  Since then, the Free Clinic has served nearly 500 patients in need inIsabellaCounty.  The clinic is run entirely by volunteers, includingLawrence, who can be seen at the clinic most Thursday night coordinating the discharge of patients who have been seen at the clinic.

“Not only is Bill deserving of this award for his tremendous leadership skills, but also because he is simply a pleasure to be around,” said Steven Martineau, Chairman of McLaren Central Michigan’s Board of Directors. “He is gracious, open-minded, creative, has the spirit of an entrepreneur, and is willing to defend his position—great qualities if you’re running a hospital.”