The Class of 2017 profiles the women and men who joined the AHA board this year.

Every hospital is pursuing its own pathway to a more performance-driven future, says Thomas Miller, who is president of Division V Operations for Community Health Systems in Franklin, Tenn.

He sees the AHA playing an important role in helping prepare the field for a “future that will be less about hospitals as inpatient facilities and more about becoming accountable for health care within our communities. It is a transition we all have to make, and the AHA is getting members to rethink what their priorities ought to be.”  

Miller joined Community Health Systems through its 2007 acquisition of Triad Hospitals. He was president and CEO of Triad’s Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Community Health Systems owns, operates or leases 200 hospitals, 59 surgery centers, 41 urgent care centers, six freestanding emergency facilities, 148 diagnostic centers and 1,600 physician clinics in 29 states. Miller oversees strategy and operations for 33 affiliated hospitals in Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

He observes that hospital realignment is about preparing for the future and for care that is coordinated enough to achieve the “Triple Aim” of improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of health care.

“We are focusing on how we integrate our hospitals in some form of network where we can be relevant and improve care in the communities we serve,” Miller says of his organization. “We are trying to think regionally and nationally in how we provide health care.”

To succeed in a changing health care world, hospitals need to promote transparency in everything they do, Miller says.

“We have to be much more transparent in regard to who we are, what we are, pricing structures and our outcomes,” he says.  “I think that is something that is happening in every state across the United States.” 

Asked what he enjoys most about serving on the AHA board, Miller say it’s his colleagues’ dedication to improving health care. “They have a passion for improving care and making a difference,” he says. “They take off their individual hats and come together to say, ‘what can we do to make our hospitals and the care we provide in the community better.’”