Rob Thames, FACHE, FHFMA, Healthcare Executive
Rob Thames, Healthcare System Executive, FACHE, FHFMA    Connect on LinkedIn

Rob Thames, Healthcare System Executive, FACHE, FHFMA

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Rob Thames, Healthcare System Executive
CEO | COO | Consultant | FACHE | FHFMA

Versatile Servant Leader Who Excels in System Integration to Improve Performance in Complex, Innovative Healthcare Organizations

Servant leader and change agent who excels in system integration to drive high-performance and culture of ownership in complex, innovative healthcare organizations. Well-respected for progressive, stakeholder partnering to integrate systems and accelerate margin and Quadruple Aim performance. Strategic thinker and doer who turns strategy into reality with repeated success in delivering financial and operational efficiencies, executing clinical strategy into operation, and driving revenue growth in not-for-profit and for-profit healthcare organizations.

Collaborative leader who is passionate about leading, motivating, and inspiring teams to achieve world-class performance. Areas of strength and expertise include: Strategic Execution, Transformation & Growth | Care System Integration | Physician Partnerships | Performance Acceleration for Results | Value-Based Care | Population Health & Accountable Care | Continuous Improvement & Clinical Practice Development | Cultural Transformation | Consulting


Career Highlights

  • As CEO, transformed Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) into an integrated care system, unifying three boards into one, strengthening governance and moving organization from a holding to an operating company. Installed a high-performing operating model and team to improve value and advanced a system-wide approach to signature service lines. Turned around a failing ACO, reduced corporate overhead and earned AA bond rating for three years, a level attained by only ten similar sized systems.

  • As COO at St. Anthony’s Medical Center (767-bed), increased patient experience from worst-to-first quartile, improved CMS quality measures and cut safety events by one-third while becoming best-quartile in cost performance nationally during $150+ million construction and Epic EMR installation. Grew multi-site ambulatory business from one-third to over one-half of total net revenues in four years.

  • Retained by national healthcare systems to help elicit and leverage their system’s unique value. Facilitated statewide collaboration for all Catholic hospitals; developed and implemented a care system improvement service for providers to succeed under fixed payments. Helped senior teams nationally achieve significant margin and quality improvement using evidence-based methods with an ownership culture.

  • Passionate about helping teams achieve world-class performance. Known for progressive partnering to integrate systems and accelerate performance, especially in time- and politically-sensitive environments.



Global Health Ministries (GHM) (2019-Present)

Faith-based NGO improving health in low resource countries. Partner with health systems in Africa, Central America and SE Asia leveraging economically sustainable empowerment/social change methods and international resources to advance health. Lead consultation services to enhance governance, leadership and finance to improve population health and strengthen partner health systems.

Northern Arizona Healthcare, Flagstaff, AZ (2015-2018)
President and Chief Executive Officer

The largest, non-profit healthcare system in Northern Arizona ($650M) that owns 4-star Flagstaff Medical Center and 5-star Verde Valley Medical Center, and manages a critical access hospital, air ambulance, and 30 ambulatory sites. A Top 100, Level I Trauma Center with top decile outcomes. Serves 700,000+ residents in 500,000 square miles, including the largest Native American reservation and Grand Canyon National Park. Provided daily leadership to eight direct reports, and approximately 3,500 associates. Reported directly to the Board of Directors.

Parkview Health System, Pueblo, CO (2013-2015)
President, Incendant, 2014-2015

Patient engagement start-up company co-founded by two physicians and invested in by Parkview Health System. Advanced commercialization process to support value-based care and population health.      

Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, 2013-2014 

Largest provider in southern CO; Best Regional Hospital - U.S. News & WR. Recruited to effect changes to integrate system (physicians/IPA, hospital operations, and JVs), improve value in time-limited period.  

Caldwell Butler & Associates, St. Louis, Mo (2011-2013)

Senior Consultant to CEOs and their executive Teams

Recruited by Chip Caldwell for two-year assignment to help organizations apply “Secrets of Top Performers” evidence (implemented at St. Anthony’s Medical Center, below) to achieve mission-critical goals. Coached $900M flagship of West Coast system to remove $60M from system in seven months.  

St. Anthony’s Medical Center,St. Louis, Mo (2004-2011)
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, 2008-2011

A 767-bed, $500M+ care system with 4,300 employees. A Level II Trauma Center, with 65,000+ ED visits. A “Top 100 Best Performance Improvement” hospital for three years, and rated “Top 5%” in patient safety. Ten direct reports including CNO, CMO, CIO.   

Executive Vice President, Ambulatory Services & Strategic Partnerships, 2004-2008

Ascension Health - Partners first, Health Evolutions, St. Louis, MO & Indianapolis, IN (1995-2004)
Vice President Network and Managed Care Services and Senior Consultant

The Partners First subsidiary of Ascension Health was acquired in 2001 by Health Evolutions, Inc. Advised Consortium of Ten multi-hospital Catholic Systems and their local leadership. Helped 150 hospitals in 40 states to transform and integrate. Retained by large systems to help elicit and leverage the system’s unique value. Assisted more than 150 hospitals in 40 states with cultural transformation, integration, and statewide collaboration.


General Health System (GHS), Baton Rouge, LA (1990-1995)

Vice President - Managed Care: GHS Delivery System, 1993-1995
Vice President - Operations: Baton Rouge General Medical Center, 1990-1992

Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (1986-1990)

Assistant Hospital Director

Fairview Health System, Minneapolis, MN (1984-1986)

Administrative Fellow

Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL (1983)

Administrative Resident



MBA, Strategic Management, 1986, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Mgmt.; Honor Society

MHA, Operations & Planning, 1984, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health; Class President  

BS, Finance & Management, 1982, University of Minnesota, School of Management