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Lara Burnside, MHA, CEC

Lara Burnside has spent the last 25 years creating workplaces that honor and value every person – whether they are a patient, employee or clinician.

Her early career in human resources taught her the importance of a people-first mentality throughout organizations. She built HR departments from the ground up – one being recognized as a recipient of the Malcom Baldrige Quality Award, one of the highest national honors.

She honed her skills in healthcare consulting over the course of a dozen years, teaching the value of hiring and training best practices that provide exceptional patient care. By tapping into clients’ passion and purpose, she achieved measurable results in more than 200 hospitals nationwide.

The last decade of Lara’s career has been spent as a senior leader in the hospital setting, where she developed, coached and supported patient experience divisions that embrace best-practice tactics proven to engage patients as partners in their care. With a focus on the physician/clinician engagement, she has helped organizations reduce burnout and increase a sense of community among care teams.

Lara’s love and desire for people to do and be their best motivated her to develop training programs for leaders, employees and clinicians. Program results have brought engagement scores to the highest levels nationally. The Patient Experience Mastery Program for physicians achieved profound results – improving every question on the patient experience survey by 6.5% top box points.

Lara has a strong desire to give back to organizations and those providing care. Her expertise in valuing all people is where her heart and passion have always been.

J.R. Labbe, CEC

After traveling the country for almost two years as a public relations coordinator for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a coin flip determined where J.R. Labbe would put down roots: Fort Worth, Texas.


Her second gamble came almost a decade later when she traded a sales position in the hospitality industry for a newsroom. Years spent digging into the community through Leadership Arlington and volunteerism paid off with the editor’s position at the Grand Prairie Daily News.


Knowing issues and people coupled with an instinct for what’s important led to Labbe’s recruitment four years later by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where she was an award-winning editorial and column writer as well as the first fulltime female editorial writer in the major metropolitan newspaper’s history. Ultimately, she served as the media company’s first female Editorial Director and received the National Conference of Editorial Writers/Association of Opinion Journalists Lifetime Achievement award.


In 2012, hard work, a wicked sense of humor and a wealth of knowledge opened the door to a senior executive position in communications, community affairs and development with Tarrant County’s taxpayer-supported healthcare system. J.R. led the network’s educational campaign that resulted in the passage of an $800 million bond election in 2018, the largest such election in Tarrant County history to that date. Her partnership with her executive colleagues spearheaded an institutional culture change that led to dramatically improved employee engagement and patient satisfaction scores and received Best Hospital for America honors in 2021.


J.R. has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles, including Taste Project, Center for Transforming Lives, Goodwill North Central Texas, USS Fort Worth Support Committee and the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. She believes in using her talents, time and treasure to give back to the community that gave her so many personal and professional opportunities.

Labbe website
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