Jessie Everline’s passion for health care stems from his mother’s own 10-year battle with breast cancer. While he’s forever grateful she was able to see her children reach many milestones, his position as Director Of Operations at Baylor Scott & White (BS&W) in Austin is a testament to the attributes that experience had on him.
As the senior leader responsible for day-to-day operations and financials, Everline’ 05 helped open the newest BS&W opened in December 2019.
“I’ve worked with my colleagues across the region to ensure that we have a really good pulse on community needs and what our organization's strategic initiatives and goals are as it relates to us bringing these health care facilities here,” Everline, a marketing major, said.
Prior to working for BS&W, Everline was a team leader and the eventual director of strategic operations for Austin-based Ascension Seton Medical Center where he focused on their ambulatory clinics.
There, Everline was part of a major project involving the move of Brackenridge Hospital to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas campus, including logistics and community-based needs. He and his colleagues quickly discovered there was a definite need for a burn program. Everline then led the efforts to establish the first burn unit program in the Austin area.
“Prior to starting the burn program in August of 2010, patients that had burn care needs had to either go to San Antonio or to Dallas,” he said. “We brought that service to the Austin community, which meant people were able to get care here in their community. That was a very exciting initiative to pursue.”
He was also involved in the creation of Community Care Collaborative—a public/private partnership between Ascension Dell and Central Health that focused on changing health care and improving challenges like rising costs unfair disparities in treatment for vulnerable populations.
After almost 15 years in the industry, Everline says his first venture into health care actually happened when he was a TLU student. He applied for a position at Guadalupe Regional Medical Center working in patient access. That opportunity eventually connected him with GRMC CEO Robert Haynes who would visit the hospital frequently, often chatting with staff.
“I can recall really taking that job seriously and the role I was in was really a customer service role,” he said. “I mean, there were some technical things that I had to learn, but it was really about connecting with patients. Robert Haynes would stop by sometimes and walk through the facility. He asked me where I was from and the rest is history.”
One day, Haynes asked him what he wanted to do in the future. Everline had been curious about what being in hospital administration meant and what the responsibilities of a CEO might be.
“I knew he was the head guy, but when I thought of CEO, I didn't think of health care,” Everline said. “That just didn't dawn on me. But, then I realized health care is a business. And yes, it's a nonprofit organization, but they have to generate a profit to keep the doors open and serve the community. I can remember him asking me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do?’ I looked at him and said, ‘I think I want your job.’ To this day, I still consider him to be a mentor and part of the reason why I went into health care.”
All of his experiences also led Everline to start thinking about how people working in different nonprofit industries could share their experiences with one another. Having seen both the corporate environment and nonprofit side, Everline wanted to launch a platform where nonprofit leaders could share their experiences, successes, failures, and their own personal story about leadership, team building, fundraising, and even faith.
His podcast, Faith Factor Impact, does just that. It also connects people across different industries in similar ways.
“I wanted other leaders to hear these stories and be inspired or offer support,” he said. “I didn't see a platform that was talking about how to leverage strengths from one another, whether it's from one leader to the next or from one organization to the next. Things like bringing together a more united and stronger team to achieve something that's worthwhile without burning out.”
Eveline says the podcast has been at the top of its category on iTunes and they have listeners from all over the world. Despite his busy schedule, he manages to oversee the podcast and continues to connect people.
That energy and commitment to doing more is something Everline says he’s always had, but it really came alive when he visited TLU as a prospective student.
“When I got to campus, there was this spirit that drew me in and I thought, this is a place where I need to be,” he said. “I was very engaged in a lot of different things including sports and Black Student Union. I was a resident advisor and a student ambassador. I was also one of seven members to charter Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.”
Everline served as the first chapter president when there had never been a nationally-recognized social fraternity at TLU or a historically African-American fraternity on campus.
“That experience was phenomenal and really helps me to this day,” he said. “It's helped me to become a leader who cares about people—a leader who understands it's all about relationships and it's all about the people. It reminds me to continue to be humble. I'm excited about all the things that I still continue to be a part of even and super thrilled that I get an opportunity to share this story.”