University Health president and CEO Dr. George B. Hernández Jr. will retire in 2024 after 19 years with the San Antonio-based health system. Hernández also served as chair of the board of trustees of Teaching Hospitals of Texas from 2005 to 2008.
“George’s leadership skills advanced University Health’s position as a trusted health care leader in the community and guided the health system towards national recognition,” said Maureen Milligan, president and CEO, Teaching Hospitals of Texas. “He was not only dedicated to excellent medical care, but to advancing the skills and opportunities for future Texas health leaders and providers.”
Hernández joined University Health in 1983 as the health system’s attorney and was promoted to executive vice president in 2000 before becoming president and CEO in 2005. He oversaw numerous expansions during his tenure as CEO, including the 1 million-square-foot, high-tech Sky Tower and multiple expansions at the system’s Robert B. Green campus.
“I have been very fortunate and blessed to have worked with all of my University Health colleagues, the members of the Bexar County Hospital District Board of Managers and Bexar County Commissioners Court during my tenure here,” said Hernández in a statement. “I am extremely proud of how we have approached our work, all we have accomplished, and how we have grown exponentially to meet the needs of our community.”
“His steadfast commitment to the mission of THOT set a standard for our leadership to aspire to,” said Milligan. “I want to thank him for his service to our organization and the support and dedication he showed for his fellow hospital leaders and hospitals across Texas.”
In addition to his professional commitment to health care, he was personally engaged and actively participated in improving the care environment in his hometown of San Antonio. He served on the boards of the United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, the Center for Health Care Services, St. Mary’s University, and as an advisory board member of the San Antonio Medical Foundation. At the state level, Hernández served as a member of the Medicaid Medical Care Advisory Committee and the Code Red Task Force on the Critical Condition of Health in Texas.
University Health is South Texas’ first Magnet healthcare organization, a status designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and earned only by 10 percent of U.S. hospitals. University Health ranks in the top 1 percent of U.S. health organizations for achieving a high level of information technology integration and was named a Digital Health Most Wired level 10 hospital for the last three years by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Hernández and University Health’s chief information officer were joint recipients of the 2008 Transformational Leadership Award from the American Hospital Association and CHIME.
In 2009, the Texas Council of Community MHMR Centers selected Hernández as the recipient of the Frank M. Adams Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. He was named a Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2010 by Modern Healthcare Magazine. In 2016, Hernández received the Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award by the State Bar of Texas, Hispanic Issues Section, for his commitment to addressing concerns affecting the Hispanic community and for advancing diversity and access to justice in the practice of law. In 2021, he received the Living the Chaminade Legacy Award from St. Mary’s University and he received the Pathfinder Award from the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in 2022.