Magic at McLane Children's

Drayton McLane Jr. is presented with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ prestigious Founder’s Award.

Mr. McLane received the Founder’s Award in a ceremony on April 6, 2023.
Mr. McLane received the Founder’s Award in a ceremony on April 6, 2023.

To honor his decades of generous support for children’s healthcare, Drayton McLane Jr. was awarded the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s (CMN Hospitals) highly prestigious Founder’s Award as part of the organization’s 40th anniversary celebration.

The Founder’s Award is presented annually to a distinguished individual who has made outstanding contributions of time, effort, talent, personal commitment or leadership to CMN Hospitals.

“Drayton McLane Jr. is one-of-a-kind,” said Jack Martin, Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board chairman. “For decades, he has poured his heart and resources into furthering healthcare for children, and it has made a difference in so many lives. No one deserves this recognition more than he does. It’s wonderful to see him honored in this way.”

Driven by faith and grit

Mr. McLane says his parents raised him with a strong Christian faith and a sense of obligation to leverage their prosperity to help others thrive.

“My dad said before you start a career or you start any event, review your Christian ethics, and that should dictate what you do,” Mr. McLane says. “Your integrity, your values are lasting. Give charitably, but also give ideas and leadership and work to inspire others.”

Mr. McLane recalls returning home after college with a plan to help lead the family grocery business, McLane Company. “I thought I was going to be his assistant,” he says. “So I said, ‘Dad, what’s my job?’ and he said, ‘You’re going to work the third shift at night loading trucks.’ I was crushed. In hindsight, that was the best thing he could have done for me. I learned how to work with people and inspire them, and I learned how the business really flowed.”

After a year and a half on the third shift, Mr. McLane became vice president of purchasing. He then spent 14 years as general manager of operations before becoming president and CEO in 1978 and then chairman in 1992.

Hope and healing

In the 1970s, Mr. McLane joined the Scott & White Healthcare board of directors—serving as chairman of the board for 14 years—and was the first chairman of the unified board of trustees after the merger of Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare in 2013. He was deeply involved in bringing specialized pediatric care to the Central Texas region and establishing the free-standing children’s hospital and clinic in Temple. He continues his involvement as a trustee and active supporter.

“Drayton McLane Jr. continues to make his mark on Texas through his generosity,” said Pete McCanna, chief executive officer of Baylor Scott & White Health. “His passion for helping children and families has made a huge impact. And at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s hospital and clinics, families throughout Central Texas will continue to benefit for generations to come.”

Mr. McLane became involved with CMN Hospitals in 1987, serving on its board and helping to launch a fundraising campaign at McLane Company, which has since raised more than $100 million to aid local children’s hospitals all over the United States.

“It was exciting to get our employees involved in it, and our customers,” Mr. McLane said. “It’s easy to get excited about helping children.”

“Mr. McLane caught the vision of our organization many years ago,” said Teri Nestel, president and CEO of CMN Hospitals. “As a founding member of our Board of Governors years ago, and as an advocate for children’s health still today, we’re honored to present this award to him.”

“Keep Charging”

Mr. McLane still springs out of bed at 4:30 AM, ready to seize the day.

“My wife says, ‘Slow down, slow down,’ but I like big goals,” he says. “I say, ‘Keep charging.’ Now that I’m older, I don’t hop quite as fast. But I stand up and think, keep charging. You’ve got to have a reason to get up, and then you take off.”

On Thursday, April 6, 2023, Mr. McLane accepted the Founder’s Award at the facility named in honor of a generous gift by himself, his wife Elizabeth, their sons and their sons’ families.

“The joy of seeing this hospital and the impact it has had is just immeasurable,” Mr. McLane said. “I’ve heard several parents say if they had not had a children’s hospital in Temple, that young person would not have made it to Dallas or Houston to get hospital treatment, so it saved their life. That fires you up.”

Since its opening in 2011, the staff at McLane Children’s has cared for tens of thousands of children, covering 40 pediatric specialties.

“Children are magic,” Mr. McLane said. “It’s so important to help someone who’s just starting their life.”

Thank you, Mr. McLane and family, for sharing a bit of your own magic with the children of Central Texas.


Our CMN Hospitals Champion: Kutter Shed

Kutter Shed wasn’t expected to live after a riding lawnmower mangled his leg and destroyed roughly 80 percent of his intestines. Multiple teams at McLane Children’s worked tirelessly to rebuild Kutter’s leg and abdomen and cared for his body and spirit during the six weeks he spent in the hospital. He is now running, jumping and eating tacos like any five-year-old should.

At the ceremony, Kutter bounded onto the stage along with his family. Mr. McLane presented him with a medal to mark the beginning of Kutter’s service as this year’s CMN Hospitals Champion for McLane Children’s, an ambassador and advocate in the community for the charitable needs of local children’s hospitals.

Help kids like Kutter


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