Dean Institute recognizes HCA's Jack Bovender with inaugural award for business ethics

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Pictured above from left to right: Turney Stevens, dean of the College of Business and founder of the Dean Institute; award-winning singer Amy Grant; Barbara Bovender, wife of Jack; Jack Bovender, retired HCA CEO and recipient of the Dean Award; David Miller, founding director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative; L. Randolph Lowry, president of Lipscomb University; and Dan Harrell, chairman of the Dean Institute Advisory Board.
Lipscomb University’s Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity honored Jack O. Bovender Jr., retired chairman and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), as the recipient of the first annual Dean Institute Award for Corporate Governance and Integrity at a dinner on November 1.
Bovender, who instituted a comprehensive, nationally-recognized ethics and compliance program at HCA while president and COO, was presented his award by singer Amy Grant and was honored by an audience of local business leaders.
Earlier this year, the Ethisphere Institute recognized HCA as “One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.”
“Jack Bovender is a perfect example of the type of leader we had in mind when Charles Bone, Trace Blankenship and I established the Dean Institute in 2008,” said Turney Stevens, dean of the Lipscomb University College of Business. “In today’s economic climate, many Americans have come to distrust our corporate leaders, but Bovender is proof that a culture of integrity can be built in a workplace and make a company successful. He shows that if a leader uses character and integrity to inform the decisions, actions and culture of a corporation, it will result in a positive bottom line.”
Bovender, an HCA leader for 32 years, began his career at the company as a hospital administrator and retired in 2009 after serving as chairman and CEO. While he was the company’s president and COO, HCA instituted an ethics and compliance program that includes the HCA Code of Conduct, an ethics phone line and innovative programs to create awareness of HCA’s ethical standards.
In addition, under Bovender’s leadership, the company established an industry-leading focus on improving diversity in health care through education and awareness, workforce development and support of minority-owned businesses. The company’s efforts include HCA’s COO Development Program, which identifies, trains and places multicultural talent in leadership positions in its hospitals.
The Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity at Lipscomb University is a national forum for integrating best practices in governance with integrity and faith to benefit public and private company executives, board members and other top-tier corporate leaders. The institute seeks to address the root issues at play, namely, how character and integrity inform the decisions, actions, culture and performance of corporations.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing that (Lipscomb University) is doing. An institute like this is very much needed right now,” Bovender said of the Dean Institute. “Corporate responsibility and good behavior has to be taught. Parents do that, but we also need to emphasize this in schools and colleges especially in business schools. I think the Dean Institute will play a key role in this endeavor.”
The awards ceremony, themed “Creating Company Cultures of High Integrity,” recognized the challenges in ethical business practices and innovative ways to overcome them through Bovender’s award and a talk by guest speaker Dr. David W. Miller, founding director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative.
“There are not many programs available today geared for higher-ranking execs on deep- seated issues of personal integrity and corporate governance.  Bovender was a pioneer in establishing programs at HCA that worked to achieve a higher goal than merely profits, and the Dean Institute is proud to hold him up as an excellent example for the executives and board members leading corporations today,” said Dan Harrell, chairman of the Dean Institute Advisory Board.