Earl M. Collier Award

Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration

The Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration is the highest honor bestowed by the Texas Hospital Association. It recognizes outstanding executives who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to the health care industry and their profession, who are leaders in providing quality health care services and active in THA and other industry groups. Recipients have set a standard of excellence in leadership, service and professional achievement that exemplifies THA’s commitment to the health care industry.

Ollie Jo Bozeman, 512/465-1007

2020 Award Winner

photo of Phyllis Cowling

Phyllis Cowling has spent the last 30 years as a tireless advocate for Texans’ access to quality health care. Cowling, described by colleagues as a natural leader, translates her goals into actions. Cowling knows that change is necessary and that there is a need to evolve and grow in the health care industry. Driving change and growing is a standard she holds for herself, her staff and her colleagues across Texas.

Over the last 16 years at United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Cowling has had many accomplishments. Cowling oversaw a large expansion of the hospital’s campus and capabilities and earned national recognition for excellence in patient care. In 2013 and 2014, United Regional was named one of the Top 100 Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics. It was also named an Everest Award winner in 2014, one of only 14 hospitals in the nation awarded the designation, which measures long-term improvement of a hospital.

Colleagues will describe Cowling as an engaged and hands-on CEO. She cares for her staff and does everything she can to ensure they have all they need for success. She has transitioned the workplace culture to create high staff engagement levels, boosting morale and enhancing work ethic. Her close communications with physicians have improved the safety and quality of patient care.

Cowling’s accomplishments reach far beyond the hospital walls. United Regional serves as the only comparably capable hospital for 200 miles west of Wichita Falls and is the only Level II Trauma Center in the region. Cowling emphasizes community health, ensuring that those in her area can get high-quality health care without traveling to a big city. She believes that no matter where in the state you live, you deserve access to excellent health care.

“I’ve had the honor of knowing and working with Phyllis for the last few decades. She is a dedicated, hard worker who exemplifies excellence in health care. She is a fervent advocate for access to quality health care. I cannot think of someone more deserving of this year’s Collier Award,” said Ted Shaw, president and CEO of THA.

In addition to serving as president and CEO at United Regional, Cowling currently serves on the American Hospital Association’s board of trustees. In 2018, Cowling served as the Texas Hospital Association’s board chair. Cowling is an active member of the Health Care Financial Management Association, serving various leadership roles, including national chair in 2002.

A Texas native, Cowling received her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from East Texas State University. She is a certified public accountant in Texas and a Fellow of HFMA.

Please join THA in congratulating Cowling on her selection as the 2020 recipient of the Earl M. Collier Award.

Established in 1965, the Collier Award was first presented to Earl M. Collier, LL.D., FACHE, a past THA president who served as CEO of Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene for 41 years. Collier is considered the dean of hospital administration in Texas. He was respected for his philosophy of improving patient care, the driving force behind his administrative acts and decisions. Because of Earl M. Collier’s dedication to his profession, the Collier Award has come to symbolize excellence in health care administration.

Earl M. Collier,
Earl M. Collier

The nominee must be a senior executive employed by an active THA institutional member hospital or health care system who has made significant contributions to THA and to the health care industry.

Selection Criteria
Contributions to the health care industry and the profession will be evaluated by the nominee’s participation in national, state and/or metropolitan associations. These include THA and its affiliated organizations, divisions, committees or councils; the American Hospital Association; metropolitan associations; or any other local or regional organizations.

The nominee’s role of providing health care services to the general public will be measured by the excellence of his or her institution’s staff and employees as well as the quality of health care services provided.

Leadership and service may be exemplified by total career achievements or by highly visible contributions to THA and/or the health care industry and profession in a relatively short period of time, such as rendering distinguished leadership on a special project or program.

In the event of equal contributions to the health care industry by more than one nominee, the selection committee shall consider distinguishable leadership qualities such as honors or awards within the health care industry; community, civic, religious and service organization activities; and educational and/or experience qualifications.

Selection Process
The selection committee is composed of the THA chairman and appointed past recipients active in health care administration. No member of the committee will be eligible to receive the award.

The honoree will be featured in THA publications and recognized at the THA 2022 Annual Conference and Expo, Feb. 7-9.

Step 1. Complete the nomination form

Step 2. Attach up to 15 pages of supporting documents, including a one-page summary of the nominee’s professional achievements and contributions to the health care industry.

Step 3. Be sure all materials are completed and submitted by September 30, 2021.

Questions? Contact Ollie Jo Bozeman at obozeman@tha.org or 512/465-1007.

2020 Phyllis Cowling
2019 George B. Hernandez, Jr., JD
2018 David Huffstutler
2017 Tim Lancaster
2016 Gary Brock
2015Jon M. Foster
2014 Michael D. Williams
2013 Barclay E. Berdan
2012 Dan Wolterman
2011 Robert L. Smith
2010 Ernest Flores Jr.
2009 Don Beeler
2008 Joel Allison
2007 Tucker Bonner
2006 Elmer Ellis
2005 Mark Wallace
2004 J. Lindsey Bradley
2003 Michael Jhin
2002 Don Richey
2001 Jim B. Smith
2000 Donald L. Stewart
1999 John A. Guest
1998 Kenneth Poteete
1997 Dan S. Wilford
1996 Boone Powell Jr.
1995 Michael C. Waters
1994 Douglas D. Hawthorne
1993 Bob L. Bybee
1992 Ron J. Anderson, M.D.
1991 Larry L. Mathis
1990 F. S. Walters Jr.
1989 Ronald L. Smith
1988 Gordon H. Russell
1987 James J. Farnsworth
1986 George M. Fleming, ED.D.
1985 Sister Mary Eustace Farrell
1984 Wendell O. Barber
1983 Alton Pearson
1982 Gordon W. Epperson
1981 Roderic M. Bell
1980 Richard L. Epperson
1979 George M. Brewer
1978 Arthur L. McElmurry
1977 C. Jack Price
1976 W. P. Earngey Jr.
1975 Guy H. Dalrymple
1974 W. Wilson Turner
1973 David H. Hitt
1972 George B. Pearson
1971 T. H. Morrison Jr.
1970 Horace Cardwell
1969 Boone Powell
1968 Ted Bowen
1967 Bolton Boone, D.D.
1966 Tol Terrell
1965 Earl M. Collier