March 30, 2017

Health care and community leaders welcome new SCHS president & CEO at GCHI event

Cleveland and Northeast Ohio medical and community leaders recently gathered at the Global Center for Health Innovation to welcome Thomas J. Strauss as president & CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System. More than 300 community, industry and ministry leaders gathered for the event, which featured a keynote from Tom, as well as remarks from Sister Judith Ann Karam CSA, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine; Robert Spangler M.D., board chair of the Sisters of Charity Health System; and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. 

Highly regarded in the health care industry nationally, Tom joined the Sisters of Charity Health System in January 2017. Headquartered in Cleveland, the health system includes two Catholic hospitals, two elder care facilities, three grantmaking foundations, and five outreach organizations in Ohio and South Carolina. These ministries include: St. Vincent Charity Medical Center; Mercy Medical Center; Regina Health Center; Light of Hearts Villa; Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton; Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland; Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina; Building Healthy Communities; Joseph's Home; Early Childhood Resource Center; Healthy Learners; South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families & Catholic Community Connection.

Prior, Tom was the managing member and co-founder of CEO Advisory Network. Consisting of five highly accomplished health care leaders who provide consulting services locally and nationally, CEO Advisory Network is affiliated with DHG Healthcare, which was ranked by Modern Healthcare as one of the top 10 private consulting firms nationally.

Tom is the former president & CEO of Summa Health System. During his 15-year tenure and under his leadership, Summa grew into a leading integrated health care system generating a $2.86 billion economic impact, making it the largest employer in all five counties it serves. Tom’s strategic vision enabled Summa to grow through new ventures, service lines and acquisitions.

A dynamic leader, Tom consistently led the organization in achieving excellence in care, quality, growth and employee engagement. Summa achieved NorthCoast 99 Award for best workplaces in Northeast Ohio 11 straight years. A builder of winning teams with his servant leader management style, his vision extended beyond Summa and into the community where he was a member and chaired many boards. He also developed Centers for Health Equity at New Seasons to provide care to the underserved population. 

Prior, Tom spent ten years in leadership roles at Meridia Cleveland Clinic, where he successfully established new ventures, turned around programs and services, and increased market share. In addition, he worked at Baxter Healthcare and was a trendsetter in home therapy.

Tom received his Doctor of Pharmacy and his Bachelor of Science both from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Tom has dedicated his time as board chair at the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, and as a board member at Premier, Austen BioInnovation Institute, United Way of Summit County, TeamNEO, BioEnterprise and Akron Tomorrow. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Fundraiser Award, Community Service Award, Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame and was named Nonprofit Executive of the Year in the 2008 Medical Mutual Pillar Awards for Community Service. 


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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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