Donald Baker


Donald Baker has been named president of UT Health East Texas, the health system’s parent company Ardent Health Services announced Sept. 24.

Baker, who has been serving as interim president since March, became the official officeholder this past Monday.

He began serving as the interim leader when former president Moody Chisholm resigned after serving in the role for about two years.

Baker joined UT Health East Texas in 2019 as the chief operating officer and chief financial officer. He has provided strong leadership during the pandemic and through the recent successful Epic activation. Baker has developed a close working relationship with UT Health’s joint venture partner, the University of Texas, which has resulted in a stronger presence of the health system in the region.

Baker has played an integral part in the University’s planning to develop a medical school in Tyler.

“I am incredibly proud of the UT Health East Texas team who, along with our UT partners, heroically impact our East Texas region and communities in ways that are impossible to measure,” Barker said. “We will continue to implement innovative patient access and experience strategies, and our joint work with UT’s new medical school will ensure that the best clinical professionals will be living and working in our communities for generations to come.”

Previously serving as chief financial officer of Ardent’s Hillcrest HealthCare System in Oklahoma, Baker began his career at Hillcrest nearly 30 years ago.

“Donald’s leadership skills, financial expertise and proven results in two Ardent markets made him the best choice to lead our East Texas market,” said Ardent President and CEO Marty Bonick. “We are excited about the opportunities to grow our presence and compete for patient loyalty as we expand our services throughout the region.”


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I cover COVID-19 and health in the East Texas area for Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Longview News-Journal and Tyler Paper Español. Stephen F. Austin State University alumna. For story ideas, email me at