SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Warner L. Thomas was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare of 2022. The complete ranking can be found in the Dec. 5 issue of MH magazine. Profiles of all the honorees are available online at ModernHealthcare.com/100MostInfluential.
Thomas most recently joined Northern California’s not-for-profit Sutter Health as president and CEO, where he brings his strategic vision and fresh perspective to build on the health system’s history, legacy and strengths. For the past 10 years, Thomas served as president and CEO of Louisiana-based Ochsner Health.
Modern Healthcare’s recognition 100 Most Influential program acknowledges and honors individuals who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of the news organization to be the most influential figures in the industry in terms of leadership and impact.
“The past year had been one in which disrupters turned into major players and industry leaders raised their voices to effect change within their organizations and the broader community,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor of Modern Healthcare. “Our 2022 ranking of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare recognizes these individuals who are transforming a major sector of the nation’s economy and are focused on improving care and payment models.”
In his 30-year career, Thomas has earned a reputation as a people-focused and visionary leader known for his ability to develop new and innovative partnerships – engaging with physicians, health plans, technology companies and others to expand Ochsner Health’s physician network and care services to serve more than 1.4 million patients each year.
Thomas and his teams helped grow Ochsner’s digital health capabilities, building a robust platform allowing patients to keep track of their information to a comprehensive telemedicine platform. He also created the team that launched innovationOchsner, a think tank and health tech incubator focused on digital health, advanced analytics and personalized medicine.
Thomas is also passionate about community impact and has made critical investments and commitments to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. This includes the development of a population health focus leading Ochsner to unprecedented performance in nationally ranked quality results.
Additionally, Thomas has demonstrated the ability to connect with the physician community by engaging them in the strategic decision-making process, as well as building physician, clinician and administrative leadership programs to support the improved delivery of care.
“I am humbled by the recognition and am privileged to have worked alongside the Ochsner teams to make a positive impact on healthcare in the Gulf South,” he said. “As I focus on this next chapter, I look forward to working alongside the teams at Sutter Health who have deep roots in the communities they serve and a strong legacy of patient care. Together with other partners across California and the nation, we will help shape an era of more equitable, accessible and affordable healthcare with long-lasting benefits to patients and families.”