Northern Arizona Healthcare had the good fortune to attract Rob Thames as its President and CEO during my tenure as chairman of the board. At the time, NAH was in the midst of a very challenging, but necessary, transition from a dispersed three board model to single board governance. Not an easy task, but one that had been contemplated for years. With Rob’s leadership and persistence the dream became a reality. Consequently, the excellent leadership group Rob assembled was able to unify a geographically and, to some degree, philosophically diverse body of board members and employees into a collaborating and efficient system wide team.
As a former mayor of Flagstaff I know that it’s important for high-profile executives to remember they have a responsibility to their communities beyond providing quality healthcare. Rob and his wonderful family understand that responsibility and continue to be huge supporters of northern Arizona.
With Rob you can expect honesty, intelligence and thoughtful collaboration. Thanks Rob, your positive impact on our region will be fondly remembered. — Chris Bavasi, Executive Director of the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation (Worked with Rob Thames as chair of the Northern Arizona Healthcare and Flagstaff Medical Center boards.)
Serving on the Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) Board of Directors I had the honor of working closely with Rob Thames during his tenure as CEO of NAH. Through Rob’s leadership he turned the tide on a fragmented organization. NAH is a better organization today because of Rob’s leadership.
Rob successfully built a senior leadership team, moved the organization into a stronger and sustainable financial position and led development of joint ventures and new physician partnerships, including the restructuring provider agreements that were poorly aligned. Indeed, NAH continues to benefit from Rob’s leadership.
Rob Thames brings a rigorous level of accountability to healthcare that assures quality and sustainability for the future.
I came to appreciate Rob’s dedicated professionalism as we faced the many challenges moving the NAH organization to new frontiers in healthcare delivery. — Dick Kruse, CPA, NFP Chief Investment Analyst (Worked with Rob Thames on the Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) Board of Directors.)
Rob Thames is a visionary leader who has a keen sense of the ever-changing healthcare landscape. He effectively translates those keen insights into actionable strategies to drive high performance and cultural change. He accomplishes this through a system approach using evidence-based methods combined with innovation and self-empowerment. Rob is thoughtful while at the same time setting high expectations for those around him and himself. It was a pleasure to work for and with Rob Thames. - Dr. Robert Thompson, Executive Medical Director at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (Worked with Rob Thames at Northern Arizona Healthcare.)
Rob Thames is an excellent CEO and Leader. He is an expert in integrated healthcare systems, and innovative in his approach to successfully implementing changes to improve performance. He is a strategic leader, and outstanding at building leadership teams. He was a mentor and partner for me at Northern Arizona Healthcare, and I would highly recommend him for a CEO role. - Jeffrey Treasure, CFO, Northern Arizona Healthcare (Worked with Rob Thames at Northern Arizona Healthcare.)
Having met Rob over three years ago, I was initially struck by his openness and accessibility as a hospital administrator. I found him uniquely refreshing in his role as our new CEO and president of Northern Arizona Healthcare. Taking the helm of an uninspired health care program, he was able to embrace the needs of our changing health care system moving forward. His strategic thinking connects innovative insight, design and direction to our future planning. Most importantly, he designated a program that facilitates a network of integrated care and communication, expanding from just our hospital to an organized, aligned and unified community of health care providers and institutions throughout northern Arizona. A program as such will be the future of healthcare provision, and I applaud Rob’s vision and insight to planning such a strategy. It has been a privilege to work with Rob during his tenure in Flagstaff. He sets the standards for commitment and integrity on both a personal and professional level. - Dr. Bradford Croft, DO, MBA (Worked with Rob Thames at Northern Arizona Healthcare.)
Rob is a laser focused leader who I had the pleasure to serve with for over four years at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. While other executives are talking in a room, Rob is listening and strategizing on how to develop a plan to reach the needed operational goals. He led initiatives at St. Anthony’s to improve patient satisfaction to top decile and decrease operational expenses in a dynamic healthcare industry with ever-changing reimbursement. He is an asset to an executive team and employee population. - Ann Bollone, Vice President Human Resources at Indiana University Health Adult Academic Health Center (Worked with Rob Thames at St. Anthony’s Medical Center.)
Rob is a gifted leader, administrator, and human being. From the moment we first interacted, I knew that he was a strong communicator and held an exceptional desire to understand issues and problem-solve. It is truly a rarity and blessing to find his high level of intelligence, compassion, and ability to make things happen in any organization. — Dr. Ed Ferguson, Emergency Physician at Mercy Hospital St. Louis (Worked with Rob Thames while at St. Anthony’s Medical Center.)
I worked with Rob for over four years. Rob adheres to ethical principles that reflect the highest standards of organizational and individual behavior. He was always supportive even in the most stressful situations. Rob sets goals for high achievement both fiscally and clinically. He is able to attain them by coaching leaders to work effectively as a team. — Ora Wood, Senior Managing Consultant at Berkeley Research Group (Worked with Rob Thames while at St. Anthony’s Medical Center.)
Rob's work at St Anthony was identified by our research team as top quartile performance in 2008. During the 3 years that we researched Rob's organization, he remained in the top quartile and aided ACHE in identifying those characteristics of top performing organizations. Due to Rob's leadership, he pioneered many innovative applications of Lean-Six Sigma & distinguished himself through the mastery of lean staffing approaches now known as In Quality Staffing. Further, he pioneered a rapid In Quality Staffing variance response system unequaled in the healthcare field that produced over $25 millions bottom line contribution. As a result of his success, Rob was selected by ACHE to present his work at the Congress on Administration from among hundreds of potential innovators. Throughout this period, I became personally familiar with Rob's professional abilities, his work ethic, his commitment to excellence, and his leadership style. As a former CEO of HCA's 7th largest hospital and regional HCA market manager of one of its top 5 markets, I could not provide a higher recommendation for Rob's abilities to lead an organization to its next level of potential. — Chip Caldwell, Chairman at Caldwell Butler International (Worked with Rob Thames while at Caldwell Butler International.)
Dr. Edward L. Burns, MA, FACP, Medical Director, St. Anthony’s Palliative Medicine Service and
Medical Director, St. Anthony’s Hospice and Home Care
I have had the pleasure to work with Rob for the past seven (7) years at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. Rob provided a strong strategic leadership that brought together diverse constituencies to conceptualize, articulate and implement a shared vision for our organization. Rob had successfully led the development and execution of business strategies in both the inpatient and outpatient departments of our organization. This included, but was not limited to, program development and expansion, physician relationships, outreach activities, fiscal management and clinical management measures.
In my opinion, Rob always maintained his most important objective, which was providing quality health care to the community we serve in the most cost-effective manner feasible. Rob has a strong ability to maintain flexibility and preparedness to respond to shifting threats and opportunities with the highest of ethical standards. His verbal ability to effectively express ideas and views in a group setting is superb. His leadership style exhibits integrity, collaboration, flexibility and result-orientation.
Rob is a seasoned and highly qualified executive whose experience, integrity and dedication would be an asset to any organization. — Dr. Edward L. Burns, Medical Director, St. Anthony’s Palliative Medicine Service and
Medical Director, St. Anthony’s Hospice and Home Care