David serves as Chief Quality Officer of Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), the largest health care system in Texas which includes 49 hospitals, >1,000 patient care sites, 6,000 affiliated and/or employed physicians, >44,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan and has an annual operating budget of $10 billion. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, David graduated with Academic Distinction from the Lawrenceville School where he was selected as its outstanding junior (Harvard Prize) and senior (Brainard Prize) by the faculty and as its outstanding senior (Yale Aurelian Award) by his classmates, was All-State in baseball and football and was chosen by the National Football Foundation’s Delaware Valley Chapter as its outstanding secondary school Scholar-Athlete in 1974. A board-certified internist, he trained at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine following completion of degrees in chemistry, economics, epidemiology and medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) where he was a Morehead Scholar, North Carolina Fellow and junior year Phi Beta Kappa inductee. David held progressive academic appointments as Assistant and then Associate Professor at the Mayo Medical School, as Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and as Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Emory University School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology in The Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. He joined the Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) in 1999 as its first Chief Quality Officer. He serves on the Board of Managers of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, the BSWH-Kessler/Select rehabilitation and long term care joint venture board, the High Value Health Care Collaborative board, Ascension’s Gulf Coast Health Ministry Board (and Quality Committee chair) and xG Health’s Advisory Board associated with Geisinger Health System. BHCS has been recognized by many organizations for its health care improvement accomplishments under David’s leadership, including the 2007 Leapfrog Patient-Centered Care Award, the 2008 National Quality Healthcare Award of the National Quality Forum and several annual Medical Group Acclaim Awards of the American Medical Group Association. In 2011 David was appointed as President, BHCS (now BSWH) STEEEP Global Institute to provide health care performance improvement solutions to health care organizations throughout the world. In 2012 Dr. Ballard was selected to chair the inaugural BHCS STEEEP Governance Council to set strategy and direction for operational functions related to STEEEP (Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, Patient-Centered) care, now scaled across BSWH under David’s leadership.
David serves on several editorial boards, including the Mayo Clinic Proceedings as Healthcare Policy Section Editor. He is a 1995 recipient of the AcademyHealth New Investigator Award (given annually to the outstanding health services research scholar in the United States less than 40 years of age) and received in 2012 the John M. Eisenberg Article-of-the-Year in Health Services Research. His books, Achieving STEEEP Health Care and The Guide to Achieving STEEEP Health Care, both received the Shingo Research Award for their contributions to operational excellence. David’s leadership roles have included service as founding Head of the Mayo Section of Health Services Evaluation and as Senior Associate Consultant and then Consultant in the Mayo Department of Health Science Research (1986-91), founding President, Kerr L. White Institute for Health Services Research (1991-9), President (2001-3) of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, Chair of AHRQ’s Health Care Quality and Effectiveness Research study section (2006-10) and Review Panel Chair for the Patient Centered Care Outcomes Research Institute and for AHRQ’s RFA-HS-12-004 (Building the Science of Public Reporting). He was chair of AHRQ’s Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics Steering Committee and member of AHRQ’s National Advisory Council. He was a member of the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award Blue Ribbon Review Panel and the National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Hospital Care: Specialty Physician Measures Panel which he co-chaired. He co-chaired the Joint Commission’s Blood Management Performance Measures Technical Advisory Panel and was expert panelist for the American Idol in Medicine project funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. David served on the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Foundation Board and is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Lawrenceville School and of the Texas Hospital Association. He received in 2008 the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award of the UNC School of Medicine and was named in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of “50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety”.
David lives in Dallas with his wife, Michela Caruso, MD, a native of Rome and graduate with Honors of Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" and of the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, who is a radiation oncologist and former board member of Texas Oncology, the largest independent oncology practice in the United States with more than 375 physician partners and 150 practice sites. Their children are Elisa, a 2011 BA/MBA graduate of the University of Denver where she was a University Academic Scholar and Cherrington Global Scholar, who is a business entrepreneur based in Dallas and Alessandro, a 2014 graduate in molecular biology and Italian of the University of Denver where he was also a Cherrington Global Scholar, who is an MBA student at Southern Methodist University. Among other philanthropic commitments, David and Michela are Mayo Laureates and Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund endowment donors and fund a scholarship for dual degree students in honor of David’s mentors, Edward H. Wagner and Kerr L. White in the UNC Schools of Medicine and Public Health where David is also a UNC Capital Campaign Executive Committee member.
Dr. Ballard's Publications on ResearchGate