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President & CEO, Sutter Health
Warner Thomas is president and CEO of Sutter Health, a Northern California based not-for-profit integrated health system that cares for more than 3 million patients in one of the most diverse and innovative regions of the country. In his role, Thomas leads more than 50,000 employees and 12,000 physicians and 2,000 advance practice clinicians in Sutter Health’s nationally recognized integrated delivery system of hospitals, outpatient care centers, home health and hospice care, laboratory and pharmacy services, research facilities and Sutter’s Institute for Advancing Health Equity.
In 2022, seven Sutter hospital campuses earned the highest possible rating – 5 stars – from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and 13 Sutter hospital campuses were recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the Best Hospitals in the country. Additionally, five of Sutter’s affiliated physician organizations achieved the Elite rating by America’s Physician Group, marking eight years running. Forbes also named Sutter Health as one of America’s Best Employers for Women.
Thomas, who has over 30 years’ experience in healthcare, took the reins at Sutter Health in late November 2022 after serving for 10 years as president and CEO of Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider, employer and educator of medical professionals. Prior to becoming CEO, Thomas was Ochsner Health’s president and chief operating officer from 1998-2012.
A grounded-yet-visionary leader, Thomas has demonstrated the capability to navigate the dynamic healthcare landscape at every level – from outstanding patient care to organizational strategy to public policy at both the state and national levels. At Ochsner he led a partnership strategy with physicians, health plans, technology companies and others to expand the system’s physician network and care services, enhance digital health capabilities and technology integration, and improve health outcomes with a focus on equitable care.
Additionally, Thomas was instrumental in developing a population health focus at Ochsner, delivering programs and resources that empower patients to effectively manage chronic conditions while also maintaining focus on preventive measures, screenings, and education. He also worked to launch innovationOchsner in 2015, an Ochsner lab designed to create health advancements as well as to support and partner with companies working to revolutionize patient-centered care.
Thomas was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in 2014 where he continues to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicare. He is a current member of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Trustees and has served as Chairman of AHA’s Health Systems Governing Council. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Additionally, Thomas is a past member of both the Board of the American Medical Group Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges Advisory Panel for Health Care and Council of Teaching Hospitals.
He is a recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award and the Anti-Defamation League 2018 A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award. He also was named a Glassdoor Top CEO, Ernst & Young’s 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year® in the Healthcare & Related Services category for the Gulf Coast Area, and the 2017 CEO of the Year by Biz New Orleans magazine.
Thomas received an undergraduate degree in accounting and computer information systems from New Hampshire College in Manchester, N.H., and a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University Graduate School of Management. He is also a certified public accountant.