Health Care Hall of Fame Past Inductees
C. Thomas Smith
Inducted in 2006
After being introduced to the field of healthcare by a fraternity brother and getting a job as an intern at what is now known as Baptist Health, Little Rock, Ark., Smith would develop a love for healthcare that would last throughout his 30 years in hospital administration. Fourteen of those years were spent as president of Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital. At Yale-New Haven, Smith oversaw physical improvements to the hospital while at the same time producing stronger results. He also introduced one of the first diversity training programs in the country back in the 1980s. In 1991, he became president and CEO of VHA, Irving, Texas, where he remained until his retirement in 2003. During his tenure, he would focus hospitals on improving clinical performance. When he started, VHA had roughly 700 members and the alliance was handling about $4 billion in procurements annually. By the time Smith retired, it had some 2,200 hospitals and $22 billion worth of purchasing.