Michael Cruz has been elected the new CEO of BSA Health System. He succeeds former CEO Bob Williams, who retires in March.
Cruz has long had fond memories of the way the BSA worked since he was a child, and his father fell ill.
“I never thought I would have such a role when I was younger. When I was 13, my father was in BSA because he was diagnosed with leukemia and was really sick. Even a long time ago, I remember how the staff was so kind and compassionate not only to my father but also to my family, and that left a lasting impression on me. That was part of the reason I decided much later in my career that maybe this was an opportunity for me, because it’s cool to be among people who care so much and are compassionate and thorough in the work they do. ” said Cruz.
Williams had 42 years of experience in the healthcare system, with 13 as CEO. Cruz joined the BSA team in 2003 as Vice President of Operations, and later rose to Chief Operating Officer.
“We will make sure that we create an environment that is supportive, inclusive and that people feel a sense of belonging to the place they care about or work for,” Cruz said.
Cruz was born in Amarillo. After graduating from the Alamo Catholic High School, he spread his wings, earning a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in arts from Yale University with a degree in ethics, politics and economics and international studies with a concentration in Latin America.
After a while, the spirit of Panhandle brought Cruise back to Amarillo. He and his wife, Sean, have three children, Brooklyn, Britley and Luke.
Cruz said he has no big plans to change things at BSA, but rather wants to build on the strong foundation that has already been established.
“We are so blessed to have such an amazing staff of suppliers. Whether they are by the bed or supporting those by the bed, they are doing an amazing job. “My job as CEO is to ensure that we support and allow these people to do the job they are called to do,” Cruz said.
The pandemic has brought new challenges to the healthcare system by burdening workers. Cruz remembers that the number of people who were acutely ill was something he had never seen.
“The staff did a phenomenal job of learning how to best treat and respond to patients in an environment where we all learned so much about COVID. We learned how to treat it and how to react to it, and I can’t be more proud. Much of this is due to the resilience of our staff and leaders and the spirit of the Texas Panhandle. “People here understand how to make things work and stay positive,” Cruz said.
During the pandemic, Cruz saw how much he supported the community. Elementary school children sent drawings to the hospital to keep their spirits up. Local businesses and churches also helped and supported staff during difficult times.
“The good thing about it is that it showed that the human spirit is still alive and strong and that the spirit of the Texas Panhandle and the way we do things at BSA is still evolving, and that’s an amazing thing to see.” said Cruz.
Cruz also served on the boards of the Amarillo Area Foundation and the St. Andrews Episcopal School. These groups help a number of non-profit organizations around the Texas Panhandle. The focus is on providing healthcare, education and development in the way of the Texas Panhandle.
He also chairs the BSA’s Diversity, Justice and Inclusion Council, where Cruz emphasizes the importance of feeling supported and included. The health system environment can be powerful, but Cruz emphasizes that the individual must be able to attract everyone to BSA, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender identity or ability.
“When a nurse comes to work, she’s not just an oncology nurse. They have a family to go home to. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. This applies to both our nurses and our patients. We will make sure we create an environment that is supportive and inclusive so that people feel a sense of belonging to the place where they receive care or the place they work for, ”Cruz said.
“We are committed to identifying a leader who shares Bob (Williams’) commitment to excellence and commitment to our mission of providing quality health care in Christian love, service and dignity,” said BSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Lamantir. , in a press release. “Michael is an example of that spirit.”
Cruz said he was honored and humble to be able to continue to lead the BSA’s strong legacy of faith in a successful direction, while maintaining the health care that the BSA provides personally and locally.