Retirement 1

Dr. David Pate ~ St. Luke's Health System

When David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., became president and chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Health System in August 2009, he told the board that he would turn St. Luke’s into a national leader in health care quality. He proceeded to make good on his pledge. Under Dr. Pate’s leadership, St. Luke’s was named an IBM Watson Health Top 15 Health System six consecutive times, putting it in a league of only a handful of the preeminent health care organizations in America. Prior to joining St. Luke’s, Dr. Pate served in executive roles at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in Houston, Texas. After a nearly 40-year career as a nationally renowned, board-certified internist, health care visionary and oft-cited health policy expert, he retired in January.

Dr. Pate worked to transform St. Luke’s into an integrated system that includes service partnerships and relationships with other health care organizations in the region. Even as St. Luke’s quality and outcomes improved, Dr. Pate also successfully led the transformation of the health system’s business model, expanding value-based care in the region; more than one-third of St. Luke’s revenue is now under risk-based agreements.

“Dr. Pate has a passion for quality and patient safety, and he took great pride and interest in driving our efforts in improving quality and safety throughout the St. Luke’s Health System, to great effect,” said St. Luke’s Vice President of Medical Affairs Frank Johnson, M.D.

“As a result of his leadership, St. Luke’s received numerous awards for the quality of care that we delivered,” he said. “Dr. Pate would always reflect on the fact that the awards were not really what he was after. He was after the great patient experience and the great quality. We have examples, too numerous to count, of individual patients whose quality of care and outcomes of care have benefited from the leadership Dr. Pate displayed in this area.”

Dr. Pate received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Rice University, his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and his law degree cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center. He also completed the Healthcare Executive Fellowship Program in management at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He completed his residency training at Baylor College of Medicine and served as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Pate has been named one of “110 Physician Leaders to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review and a “Top Doctor” by the International Association of Internists. He has been called one of “The 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare and was named one of “America’s Top Physicians” in the Guide to American’s Top Physicians from the Consumer Research Council of America.

Dr. Pate has served on multiple committees, locally, regionally and nationally. He was appointed to the State of Idaho’s Health Quality Planning Commission and the Idaho Healthcare Coalition by former Gov. C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter. He has served on the President’s Advisory Council at Northwest Nazarene University and the Health Law and Policy Institute’s Advisory Board at the University of Houston Law Center, has been active with the Policy Advisory Committee with America’s Essential Hospitals and has served as the honorary chair of the March of Dimes campaign in Idaho.

Since February, he has served on the Governor’s Coronavirus Work Group. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and chairs the college’s budget and finance committee. He is of counsel to the Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock health care consultancy group.

A prolific writer and speaker, Dr. Pate maintains a popular blog that is the successor to his long-standing St. Luke’s online communications, examining issues facing health care on the state and national levels. He is a frequent and popular guest on radio and television issues and news programs.

When Dr. Pate said goodbye to the nearly 15,000 St. Luke’s employees, he reminded the team of the privilege they have in providing care for those in need – and challenged them to settle for nothing less than excellence.

“Complacency is our enemy,” he wrote. “No matter how good we are, we must always strive to get better and achieve excellence.” He added: “This has always been more than a job for me. It has been personal. I have also kept in mind, every day, that there are many other people’s children, grandchildren, spouses and loved ones that we are incredibly honored to care for throughout our health system.”