30 In Their Thirties: Jason Lockard, Director of Operations, Corewell Health Children’s, Royal Oak

With multiple family members serving as health care providers, Jason Lockard always figured he would go into the field.
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Jason Lockard. // Photograph by Trever Long

With multiple family members serving as health care providers, Jason Lockard always figured he would go into the field.

But while majoring in health sciences at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, his path took a turn when he began learning about business. Lockard soon realized that while he wanted to go into the health care field, he wanted to do it on the business side.

So he supplemented his bachelor’s degree with an MBA from Walsh College in Troy. Following graduation, he moved into administrative positions with health care organizations such as Concentra Medical Centers, Dane Street, and Great Expressions Dental Centers.

When Beaumont Health System (now Corewell Health) came calling in 2019, Lockard initially took a position as a regional practice administrator working with adult care providers. In 2022, he found his true calling when he was appointed director of operations for Corewell Health Children’s in the eastern part of the state.

“My wife and I had just had our second daughter,” Lockard says, “and I have 14 nieces and nephews, including three foster nephews and one foster niece, who are incredibly important to me. So to be able to serve pediatric patients (at a time when) kids are such a big part of my personal life was really important to me.”

While his position in operations doesn’t put Lockard in direct care of pediatric patients, he knows how important it is to run a tight ship and support practicing physicians and their respective teams.

To broaden his perspective, Lockard serves as a volunteer at Hope for the Hungry Pantry in Macomb Township, and he often brings his 6-year-old daughter with him. He’s also active with the American College of Health Care Executives and the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology.

“What has really come to light for me is the tenacity and the tireless resolve of our physicians, who dedicate their lives to the patients they serve,” Lockard says. “They’re unwavering in doing the right thing for our patients at all times, every time, and I think that’s what’s really encouraged me. It’s not just that we’re trying to deliver the best care to patients; it’s how hard our physicians work at doing the right thing and making sure our patients are taken care of.”

Since the Beaumont/Spectrum merger that made Corewell a statewide system, Lockard coordinates closely with his counterparts on the west side of the state. He also has to grapple with the reality that health care finance is unique.

“In a traditional business, the focus is on your bottom line and being a profitable business,” Lockard says. “In health care, the mission is to serve patients and take care of people. So when you move into health care administration, you really have to have that perspective.”