Press Release

Thomas C. Royer, M.D., to Receive AHA Distinguished Service Award

The American Hospital Association (AHA) will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Thomas C. Royer, M.D., CEO Emeritus of CHRISTUS Health.  This award recognizes significant lifetime contributions and service to the nation's health care institutions and associations.  Dr. Royer will receive the award at a ceremony on Monday, April 11 at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington. 

"Tom's passion for patients, generous nature and visionary leadership make him an extraordinary individual.  We honor him for his more than four decades of tireless and dedicated service to patients, students, medicine and the hospital field," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock.  "Tom moved CHRISTUS along the path to excellence, using transparency and data to continuously push for better patient outcomes.  Expanding the reach and influence of CHRISTUS into Mexico has enhanced learning and cooperation between the two nations."

As the founding CEO and President of CHRISTUS Health, Dr. Royer led the system since its inception in 1999.  In his 12 years with the organization, Dr. Royer led CHRISTUS Health through a remarkable period of growth, making it one of the 10 largest Catholic health care systems in the country today.

For three consecutive years (2006-2008), he was named one of the Most Powerful Physician Executives in Health Care by Modern Physician Magazine.  He was also named in 2010 to the Becker's Hospital Reviews' annual list of the 60 best leaders in hospitals and health systems.

Before joining CHRISTUS Health, Dr. Royer served in integral roles at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, the Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation/Wyman Park Medical Associates in Baltimore, and the Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.

Dr. Royer has been an important and active member of the AHA, serving on the board of trustees and chairing task forces on physician engagement, and quality and patient safety. He has also served on the board for the Coalition to Protect America's Health Care and serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

Dr. Royer earned his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  He completed his internship at Geisinger Medical Center.  He also served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy from 1972-1974.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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