SCHA names Gerald Schulze 2014's Distinguished Hospital Trustee of the Year

Gerald Schulze of Beaufort Memorial Hospital is given the highest honor in hospital trustee leadership.

SCHA has named Gerald (Jerry) H. Schulze, of Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH), the 2014 Distinguished Hospital Trustee of the Year, the highest honor given in hospital trustee leadership. Schulze was recognized at SCHA’s annual Trustee Administrator and Physician (TAP) Conference, held September 18-19 in Hilton Head, S.C.

Over the last 12 years, BMH has seen growth without precedent across its service spectrum. To no one’s surprise, this period of sweeping facility expansion and community outreach coincides precisely with the tenure of Schulze on the hospital’s board of trustees. 

A veteran health care executive with extensive domestic and international experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer medicinals, Schulze came prepared to contribute to the well-being of his new community and its residents. From the beginning, Schulze’s vision for BMH was both broad and deep. Viewing the hospital as a singular community asset with a potential for excellence far exceeding that of the traditional small-town hospital, he proposed, advocated for and supported a wide range of service-line and community-health-improvement enhancements and initiatives during his board tenure. Despite the roiling national health care climate and growing financial pressures on hospitals everywhere, Schulze’s guidance kept BMH moving ever forward.

Schulze had made many meaningful contributions to his hospital as a member of its board of trustees. The following are a few of the specific areas in which he left a lasting mark on Beaufort Memorial and the community it serves. As chairman, Schulze championed:

  • a new, 20,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art Level 3 emergency room with capacity for 50,000 patient visits annually; 
  • a new, 80,400-square-foot medical and administrative building that brings under one roof for purposes of efficiency and collaboration the accounting, medical records, care coordination, education, human resources, marketing and communications and IS departments as well as the BMH Foundation and administration offices and LifeFit Wellness Services, which includes outpatient rehabilitation; (capital investment during Schulze’s tenure as board chairman totaled $86,650,205);
  • formation of the Beaufort Memorial Culture Team, designed to identify and promote employee adherence to core organization values; 
  • enhancement and increased standardization of electronic medical records systems;
  • ongoing technological upgrades (for 11 years in a row, BMH has been recognized as a “Most Wired” hospital by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine);  
  • acquisition of the da Vinci Si Surgical System and expansion of minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgical capabilities;
  • introduction of life-saving emergency percutaneous coronary intervention for victims of ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, the deadliest type of heart attack;
  • expansion of Beaufort Memorial Physician Partners to include 11 hospital-owned practices, among them the recently acquired 16-provider, multispecialty Lowcountry Medical Group and six-provider Harrison Peeples Health Care Center, which specializes in primary care for the medically underserved rural population of Hampton County.

About Jerry Schulze

Schulze has held positions of responsibility in executive management, strategic planning, business development, marketing and sales, including as the president and CEO of Medeva Americas Inc., a NYSE-listed, London-based pharmaceutical company, and as a vice president and elected corporate officer of Pfizer Inc. 

Born in Germany, he emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 8. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration. 

Schulze is a graduate of Leadership Beaufort, class of 2001, and a member and past president of Sea Island Rotary Club. He has mentored junior and senior high school students as part of Rotary’s Junior Achievement Program.  

About the Distinguished Trustee Award

The Distinguished Trustee Award is presented annually at the association’s annual TAP (Trustees, Administrator, Physicians) Conference. The recipients exemplify service to their hospitals, patients and community and demonstrate leadership and service at the state level on behalf of hospitals and health care. Nominations for this award are presented to a committee of hospital executives and trustees from across the state. The committee recommends recipients after careful review of each nomination. Click here to learn more about the award.