It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Gene D. Burton (left), GBA Founder, healthcare executive and industry leader. He was 89 years old.
Mr. Burton’s esteemed career spanned more than a half century of healthcare leadership – including 18 years at the helm of Gene Burton & Associates and 10 years as its chairman, as well as 20 years directing the purchasing, materials management and equipment planning departments for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and Humana.
As one of the pioneers in the industry, Mr. Burton literally created the field of medical equipment and technology planning by bringing together the two disciplines.
For many years, GBA was the only firm in the country to offer both equipment planning and technology/communications planning for healthcare facilities. Mr. Burton envisioned “hospitals of the future” that would rely on system-wide, advanced communications technology, and he urged healthcare architects and hospital executives to build the infrastructure years before the technology was available.
In the late 1990s, healthcare equipment and communications technology converged, and GBA led the dramatic change in helping architects and engineers design and build today’s technology-centered facilities. Under his leadership, GBA established and maintained its position as the largest independent healthcare technology consulting firm in the country.
When Mr. Burton retired to the role of chairman in 2006, GBA had grown to 60 highly skilled healthcare consultants and staff in three offices, and the firm had completed more than 700 projects of all types and sizes, with the nation’s top healthcare systems and leading firms in healthcare architecture, engineering, construction and contracting. In the years following his retirement, Mr. Burton remained a close advisor to GBA President and CEO Suzan Logan and mentor to nearly all of the firm’s long-time employees.
“Mr. Burton was a legend in his industry and beloved by his colleagues,” said Logan, principal at Mazzetti GBA, who led GBA’s merger with Mazzetti earlier this year. “Always the innovator, Mr. Burton leaves behind a great legacy in the healthcare technologies industry. He was a remarkable leader and a mentor to his employees as well as countless students and young professionals pursuing a career in our industry.
“My colleagues and I in the technology division at Mazzetti GBA are truly grateful we had the privilege to call Mr. Burton our mentor and friend. He will be dearly missed and always honored.”
Mr. Burton is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jamie Burton, their three sons and a granddaughter.
- Chairman of GBA, 10 years
- Founder and CEO of Gene Burton & Associates, 18 years
- The Gene D. Burton Endowed Scholarship for Integration of Clinical Technology in Healthcare Design established in 2008 and awarded annually to students pursuing a degree in the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University
- Honored as a Supply Chain Hall of Fame Leader by the Bellwether League
- Gene Burton & Associates listed as one of the early market leaders on the Nashville Health Care Council Family Tree, showing Nashville’s evolution as an unparalleled health care industry capital
- Longtime member of the National Association of Purchasing Management, the American Society of Hospital Materiels Management, the Federation of American Healthcare Systems and the American Hospital Association
- Vice President of Materiel Management for Hospital Corporation of America, 12 years
- Negotiated HCA’s annual contracts totaling more than $1 billion for supplies and $500 million for equipment, and saved the company millions each year through volume purchasing agreements
- Director of Purchasing for Humana, Inc., in Louisville, Kentucky, 8 years
- Started the first full-service hospital shared-service organization, Western Kentucky Hospital Services, in 1968
- Director of Purchasing at facilities in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kentucky, 15 years
- B.A. from North Texas State University
- Served with distinction as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division in Korea and Italy