Growing up in the Stop Six neighborhood, Charles Williams didn’t see a lot of opportunities presented to him and his community. 

While attending Dunbar High School, his football coach introduced him to a new career path — occupational therapy. Although he wasn’t familiar with health care, it was an instant click. It allowed Williams to tie his passion for servitude and community involvement to a career. 

“That coach did not have to give me that pamphlet, but he saw something in me, and that was the push I needed, Williams said. 

Now, at 52, Williams is the president of Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth.

But it wasn’t a direct path to get to where he is today. 

‘Things I needed to go off and learn’

With support from his parents and mentor, Williams was determined to be the first in his family to pursue a college education. He spent his first two years of college at Texas State University, previously known as Southwest Texas State, playing football. 

After injuring his knee, Williams moved to Denton in 1993 to pursue an undergraduate degree in community health and health studies from Texas Woman’s University. He graduated in 1995, but stayed at TWU to earn his graduate degree in occupational therapy in 1997.

In January 1998, Williams joined Encompass Health Corp., previously known as HealthSouth, where he treated stroke and brain-injured patients and senior residents.

In 1999, he was presented with an opportunity at LifeCare Hospital Fort Worth, but this time for an administrative position — he hesitated. 

“I was like ‘no,’ because all I care about are patients,” he said. “They told me that was the reason. They wanted to have someone in leadership that understands patients and that cares a big deal.” 

After much deliberation, he took on the role of director of rehabilitation at LifeCare until 2006. During that time, Williams received an additional graduate degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Over the next several years, Williams went on to hold executive positions at various North Texas hospitals, including Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, JPS Health Network, where he was born, and Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake. 

Then, he was ready to venture beyond North Texas. 

From 2014 to 2016, Williams served as vice-president of Tenet Healthcare, where he oversaw operations in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Miami and Phoenix. From 2017 to 2020, Williams spent time in South Carolina as CEO and president of Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. 

“When I decided to leave Tarrant County, it was not because I didn’t love the county,” Williams said. “I actually left because I do love Tarrant County. In my mind, there were things I needed to go off and learn and experience because health care is a challenging industry. I learned different ways of adapting things and making an impact.” 

Time to come home

In January 2021, Williams returned to North Texas to serve as president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Hillcrest in Waco. In that role, he oversaw the medical center’s efforts to move forward from COVID-19 and the nurse-family partnership program

Earlier this year, Williams got a call when he least expected it — about an opportunity to come home to Tarrant County. 

On July 17, he officially started in his presidential role at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, which is affiliated with Texas Christian University’s Burnett School of Medicine. He was also named president of Baylor Scott & White’s DFW-West Region, which includes hospitals in Irving and Grapevine. 

Appointing Williams to the role equipped the medical center to better reflect its leadership with the people of Fort Worth, Dr. Jay Herd, chief medical officer at Baylor Scott & White All Saints, said. 

“It’s going to make a big difference,” Dr. Herd said. “He’s going to bring local knowledge, both historically and socially, to the post.”

With his understanding of Tarrant County’s needs, Williams is ready to grow the Fort Worth hospital. He wants to focus on the transplant program and strengthen the academic partnership with TCU to train new physicians. Amid staffing shortages in health care, the hospital needs to invest in retaining workers, he said.

“We have to ensure that we build our programs. Physicians and trainees typically will lay down roots when they do their training,” William said. “It’s ensuring and promoting an environment where they are getting the latest and greatest of innovations.” 

And, one of his biggest goals is getting involved in the community again. Williams knows the work won’t be easy. There are still a lot of accessibility issues in the region, he said. 

“We still have some disparities in communities that we need to address,” Williams said. “One of the things I want to make sure we do is close the gap. There are young people in this city that are growing up every day that have no idea about different professions. There’s an educational component for the next generation that I want to make sure we accomplish as well.” 

Charles Williams bio:

Birthplace: Fort Worth

Family: “I was born to George and Rosie Williams. I had amazing parents, they were God-serving and hardworking people. I’m still blessed to have them here in Fort Worth. I’ve been married to my wife, Demetria Williams, for 23 years. My wife is a registered nurse, so she understands how much I work. We have been blessed with two children, Chase and Lauryn. Chase is a junior at Texas State University and Lauryn is a high school student at Midway in Waco.”

Education: University of Texas at Arlington (2003): Master of Business Administration

Texas Woman’s University (1997): Masters of Occupational Therapy

Texas Woman’s University (1995): Bachelors of Science in community health/health studies

Work experience: President, Baylor Scott & White Health All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth, 2023-present; president, Baylor Scott & White Health – Hillcrest, 2021-2022; CEO and president, Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties, 2017-2020; vice president, Tenet Healthcare, 2014-2016; chief operating officer, Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake, 2011-2014; vice president, JPS Health Network, 2007-2011; director of physical medicine, Methodist Hospital of Mansfield, 2006-2007; director of rehabilitation, LifeCare Hospital of FW, 1999-2006; occupational therapist, Encompass Health Corp. 1998-1999.

Volunteer experience: “I currently serve on the board for the National Juneteenth Museum in Fort Worth.” 

David Moreno is the health reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or via Twitter

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David Moreno is the health reporter at Fort Worth Report. Prior to the FWR, he covered health care and biotech at the Dallas Business Journal. He earned his Bachelors of Arts in broadcast journalism and...