The Texas Hospital Association was founded in Fort Worth on March 15, 1930, by representatives from forty Texas hospitals, to provide better health care for Texans through collective action. Dr. Lucius R. Wilson, superintendent of the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, was elected the first president of the new association. A constitution and bylaws were adopted at the organizational meeting. In 1939 Madelyne Sturdavant was appointed as executive secretary of THA, a position she held until 1946, when Ruth Barnhart took the post. The association offices were moved to Austin in 1956. Also in 1956 O. Ray Hurst was hired as executive director to the chief elected officer, who at that time was Boone Powell, Sr. Hurst's title was subsequently changed to president, and he served the association for thirty years. The current headquarters building at 6225 U.S. Highway 290 East in the capital city was completed in 1960. In 1987 Terry Townsend became the president of the organization. THA has held a convention annually since 1930 in various locations around the state. It also presents educational seminars and programs for health care professionals, often in conjunction with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Federation of American Healthcare Organizations, the American Hospital Association, and a number of other professional societies. THA sponsors an annual Hospital Week to recognize health care workers around the state. Publications of the association include a monthly magazine, HealthTexas, formerly Texas Hospitals, which has been published since 1945. The Health Care Advocate ispublished monthly to inform members of the activities of the state legislature, Congress, and state and federal regulatory agencies and the association's efforts to represent the industry before these governmental entities. Other publications are geared to specific health care professionals and keep them informed of trends and issues in their areas. THA also provides a comprehensive report on any bills affecting health care in each state legislative session, as well as special analysis of new legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and its effect on hospitals.
The association is supported by dues, which are assessed of members according to their annual revenues. In 1991–92, 80 percent of the health care institutions in the state, representing 88 percent of the hospital beds in Texas, were members of THA. Hospitals of every size and type of ownership and affiliation are joined under voluntary leadership from within the industry. In addition to dues, the association generates one-third of its revenues from educational programs and publications. THA also has three subsidiaries; the not-for-profit Texas Hospital Education and Research Foundation, which focuses primarily on helping to ensure an adequate supply of skilled health care workers; the THA Insurance Group, which provides a broad range of insurance products specifically for hospitals; and the for-profit HealthShare/THA, which offers a portfolio of fee-based services to hospitals. A board of trustees oversees the association. It includes a chairman, vice chairman, chairman elect, treasurer, immediate past chairman, secretary, eight trustees by district and eight trustees at large, and four ex-officio voting members. A nominating committee presents a slate of trustees for election by the membership, with installation occurring at the annual convention the first week of June. Each year THA presents a hospital administrator with the Earl M. Collier award, named for the 1936 chief elected officer of THA. This award recognizes exemplary leadership and ability in hospital administration and service to the community and the industry.