More detail on this person: Michael Edward Bruce, the soft-spoken leader credited for
reinvigorating the A.G. Holley State Hospital's mission to fight tuberculosis, died of a heart
attack at age 46 Monday.
As superintendent of the nation's last free-standing tuberculosis hospital since 1992, Mr. Bruce championed the idea of finding social as well as medical solutions for A.G. Holley's patients.
''Mike was the driving force behind what was going on here,'' said Dr. David Ashkin, director of medical services.
He was a calm man who could explain the disease's resurgence because of AIDS and immigration from developing countries with high tuberculosis rates.
Under his leadership, the hospital started counseling patients on their lifestyles, showing them how to take better care of themselves.
State legislators were ready to close A.G. Holley the year before Mr. Bruce was hired. The state is now renovating the hospital, which opened in 1950, and officials have approved money for more patients and research.
Mr. Bruce also was the point man for the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, which runs the hospital, when neighbors complained about juvenile justice programs on its 160-acre campus.
Although the issue is still not settled, residents at the time credited him for being more honest than others had been.
A West Point graduate with a master's degree in social work from the University of Texas, Mr. Bruce was hired as an HRS district manager in 1988. He had previously worked for the Texas Department of Human Services.
Monday, staff at A.G. Holley were shocked by the death of the man who eschewed junk food and jogged in the mornings at his Wellington home.
''Everyone liked him,'' said Carolyn Weir, director of medical records. ''I never saw him lose his temper and we had some tough patients.''
Said Ashkin: ''He made everybody - the staff and the patients - feel that we were in this together.''
Mr. Bruce is survived by his wife, Beverly Black, and two children. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
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Date posted on this site: 04/14/2021
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