“It was important to make sure that we had the right direction,” Thompson says.
These days, the clinic is financially healthy—it has reduced expenses by 10%, had its fourth consecutive year of operating surpluses in fiscal 2012 and has received $16 million in federal, state and local grants—and is gearing up for an expansion. A second site is expected to open this year and plans for a third facility are also underway. “Those are some of the things that will create sustainability for the future,” Thompson says. “You're able to show your partners, whether it's at the federal level, state level or the community or citywide (level), that you are a sound company and here are some things you bring to the table.”
For his accomplishments, Thompson won a place in Modern Healthcare's 2013 class of Up and Comers.
The center serves a community that has a half-million residents who are increasingly composed of new immigrants to New York City, with the number of patient visits more than doubling from 10,000 in 2006 to 25,000 in 2010. While there are two private hospitals on Staten Island, the bankruptcy of St. Vincent's led to the closure of the borough's only public acute-care hospital.
Thompson, who turns 40 in January, previously worked as a turnaround specialist for the Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center and spent a decade in various operational roles at the Jessie Trice Community Health Center in Miami. He started work this fall on an executive doctorate in administration-health services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
While consulting with the Syracuse (N.Y.) Community Health Center in 2009, Thompson first began to be mentored by Dr. Ruben Cowart, the center's president and CEO. “He's weathered the storm, he's adjusted to the environment and he's ... worked with all the appropriate entities to stabilize the institution,” Cowart says. “He is committed to the cause, mission and purpose of the organization.”