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Josh Conlee

Josh Conlee, 36

President

Lawrence Health Care

Walnut Ridge

Professional achievements
• 2019 Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award, American College of Healthcare Executives.
• 2023 C.E. Melville Young Administrator of the Year Award, Arkansas Hospital Association.
• Certified Rural Hospital CEO, National Rural Health Association.
• State-licensed nursing home administrator.

Community involvement
Member of the boards of Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority, Black River Technical College Foundation and Walnut Ridge Airport Commission; former member of Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board.

First job and lesson learned
“Outside of mowing yards for a few neighbors, my first job was being an umpire for Little League baseball. Why I thought I could do this at 16 is still a mystery to me, but it taught me a few valuable lessons on decision making, dealing with disgruntled people and how to control my emotions under pressure.”

Career dream as a child
“Veterinarian.”

Professional inspiration
“Make a positive impact every day.”

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“We have great health care facilities and providers throughout our state, but we need to ensure affordable, high-quality health care is accessible to all Arkansans. We need to create an environment where all Arkansas have the insurance they need and are able to access the care they need, when they need it.”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Don’t be afraid to take chances and fail. Some of the best lessons happen when you do. Or better yet, you might just succeed.”

Learning from a mentor
“I have been fortunate to have several mentors along my professional journey. One in particular always said a phrase that has stuck with me. “All you can control in life is your attitude and your effort.” I try to focus on what I can control day-to-day with a positive attitude and high effort. If I focus on those, I’ve learned that I can react much better to what the day may throw at me.”

Most valuable lesson learned
“I had coaches in high school and college say that success is created by what you do when you are not on the field. In sports, that is at practice, in the weight room, studying film, taking care of your body, etc. Now this correlates to staying up-to-date on industry trends, preparing for meetings, developing myself as a leader, etc. When the lights are brightest, you are always ready.”

Professional “aha” moment
“Early on in my current role, I experienced ‘imposter syndrome’ and felt like I didn’t have the skills to succeed. I was having a conversation with my boss, and he said, ‘Josh, we put you in this role for a reason because we knew you could do it.’ That little statement gave me all the ‘aha’ confidence to succeed.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“More of a chapter of moments: COVID-19. I am still amazed at our team coming together with so many challenges and unknowns, leading the COVID-19 efforts with city and county leadership, while being an anchor for our community clinically.”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“More cultural/entertainment activities spread evenly throughout the state and not just concentrated in central and northwest Arkansas.”

Best thing about Arkansas
“The outdoors and friendly people.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“In an administrative role within a successful health care system making an impact in my community.”

Advice for your 18-year-old self
“Keep the faith that you will wind up where you are supposed to be in life. Don’t worry about the future and enjoy the present. Life is a journey; enjoy the ride.”

How you define success
“Success is a team sport. Success is doing my part by positioning our facility strategically, providing the equipment and supplies to our team, and removing unnecessary barriers so that our team can provide high-quality care to patients and achieve our larger goals.”

One word to describe you
“Driven.”

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40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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