My name is Teresa Thomas. I began my healthcare career in 1985 where I was employed by a large health insurance carrier in the Finance Department. After a few years learning healthcare finance, I earned my Nursing Diploma as a Registered Nurse in 1991 and went on to receive my BSN from Saginaw Valley State University. Over the years, I obtained nursing experience in Cardiology, Critical Care, Oncology, Occupational Health, Home Health and Hospice, and Emergency Services.
After leaving hospital in-patient nursing, I went back to my roots of healthcare administration by working in the Quality and Utilization management field for a Physician Hospital Organization (PHO). This consisted of educating physicians as well as patients on the concepts of managed care and implementing quality management programs while adhering to Federal and State regulations. When I completed my MBA in healthcare management, I moved to another PHO in the area as Director of Clinical Services. Within two years, I was also responsible for health plan contracting, launching our Website, a physician communication portal and pay-for-performance programs for our 385-physician group.
Due to many changes in healthcare, our physician group made a management move where I assisted them in forming their own Physician Organization (PO). After completing this year long transitional process, I was asked to assist our hospital system’s employed physician group, where I was promoted to Vice President of Healthcare Management and Contracting. In this position, I am responsible for physician education, credentialing, implementing quality programs in physician practices, Finance, HR, Billing and overall physician practice management and of course adherence to Federal and State regulatory agencies as well as OSHA, CHAPS, JCAHO and NCQA. After just a few months, I was then asked to oversee operations of two of our affiliate organizations as well and promoted to Vice President of Operations.
As I continued to strive to achieve my professional goal to educate physicians and patients, I learned that teaching others to do the same would help me reach my goal not only throughout my State of Michigan but also throughout the country. Thus, this led me to teaching at the collegiate level. I have always loved teaching because we are able to affect change through the learning process.
In my spare time, I love being with my 12-year-old granddaughter. She just completed learning alphabet sounds and naming words that have that particular sound. I have one son, who was career army but was injured in Iraq. He came home and is now raising my granddaughter with his wife and attending College. I also have two stepdaughters who are attending College as well. My husband and I enjoy camping, hiking, boating and reading in our spare time.