Louis Bedford III is the Executive Director, Environmental Services, Textile, and Transportation. He is responsible for managing vehicle transportation, mail operations, and working with contracts for real estate facilities engineering.
Bedford gives credit to his father, Louis Bedford, Jr., for his work ethic and impacting how he leads his team daily. His father overcame many obstacles growing up in the 1920s. Still, he pushed past his adversities, graduated from Law School, and became the first black judge in Dallas, Texas, in 1966. Bedford speaks of the lessons his dad taught him throughout life. His path would eventually lead him to JPS Health Network, where he applies his father's guidance to impact the lives of many of his team members.
"When I first started with JPS, I was a vendor. I was working for a company that did environmental services here. And I decided to add other things to my career, so I went to Houston and worked at St. David’s Hospital. I came back and went to Baylor Scott & White All Saints, then the opportunity arose here at JPS, and it was at a very interesting time in my life. My mother had just passed in 2010, and my dad decided to retire,” Bedford said. “My dad said, ‘Hey, son, if they want you to come back, you need to look at that.'”
Bedford said he sought a job in an environment that was understanding and nurturing. For him, JPS was that because they allowed him to provide support to his family when he needed to.
"JPS has been home,” Bedford said. “I've appreciated what it has provided me and what I have been able to offer them. When I needed to leave to tend to my father, I was able to, and they were understanding. I've even had a family member who was very ill, and they came to JPS for several years. They would allow me to go and check on that person from time to time."
The mindset Bedford's father taught him as a child influenced his leadership today. He grew up seeing his dad achieve things that were deemed impossible for Black Americans during that time. His father showed him that it is possible to excel with hard work and dedication. There were three essential practices his father shared with him about leadership, and he uses that to maintain a healthy work environment for his team.
"My dad influenced me in many ways by teaching me that if you take care of your staff, they will take care of you. So I made it a mission to always look out for the people I managed," Bedford said. "He would say, 'listen to the people you're working with and who work for you to ensure you're able to take care of their needs. Once you listen, you better understand what to address. Try to be patient in your role, look at what's needed, and move accordingly to get things done. Remember, it doesn't always work out the way you want it to. Always try your best.'"
Listening and being patient allowed Bedford to build rapport with many departments around JPS. These relationships ensure that our patients receive the proper care during their visits and that our staff gets the support they need. These qualities have allowed him to achieve many goals, like being named a JPS Excellence Award Winner in 2015. Although he is proud of these accomplishments, he recognizes his team members’ contributions to his achievements.
"I love my team because we are the hidden people who make things run smoothly," Bedford said. "They take care of patients and staff, deliver supplies, and mail, get medications to different clinics on time, and pick up specimens from the various clinics so the lab can run them. They do many things within the network that I could not do alone. That is why I ensure they develop and grow to reach the heights of their careers so they can take that next step up."