Hospital administrator, Navy health care veteran named new Beebe CEO


Beebe Healthcare’s Board of Directors has chosen former  military health care veteran Dr. David Tam as the next President & CEO of the health system after a nationwide search. Tam will officially start in April.

Most recently,  Tam served as the chief operating officer of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, part of Providence St Joseph’s Health, one of the largest  not-for-profit health systems in the nation.

“As Beebe Healthcare continues to grow as an independent health system, Dr. Tam emerged as the ideal candidate from an extensive and qualified list,” said David Herbert, chair, Beebe Healthcare Board of Directors. “Not only did his credentials give us confidence that Beebe’s growth and emphasis on innovation will continue, but his personal philosophy and style as a hands-on physician leader match our values that connect us with the community.” 

Tam is credited with managing St. John’s transition from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to the Providence Health system. His accomplishments include opening a new telemetry unit and ambulatory surgery centers, optimizing inpatient and ambulatory surgeries, streamlining work-flows in the emergency department, managing service lines, and improving quality and safety throughout the hospital, a Beebe release stated.

 He also oversaw the construction of an  $856 million hospital, Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, CA  in his previous position as the Chief Administrative Officer of Pomerado Hospital and Palomar Health Downtown Campus at Palomar Health.

Tam, who  retired as Captain in the United States Navy after 24 years of active service, is passionate about issues related to social determinants of health, such as poverty, veterans’ needs, rural healthcare, diversity, as well as community and value-based care, the release state. 

He has been on multiple national boards, including the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity of the American Hospital Association.

Prior to his work in the civilian sector,   Tam served as Chief Operating Officer for the Western Region of Tri-Care, the US military’s health insurance program that covers 2.9 million lives. He was also formerly Deputy Commander, Chief Operating and Strategy Officer at Naval Medical Center, San Diego, the military’s largest academic tertiary medical center.

Tam received his medical doctorate from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He completed his pediatrics residency at the US Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, and a pediatric neurology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.

“It is a privilege to join Beebe Healthcare with its impressive 104-year history, strong leadership team and medical staff, and commitment to the community as a healthcare organization,” Dr. Tam said. “The future for Beebe is exciting given its expansion and goal of creating a comprehensive health system to serve its community. I am honored to be selected for this important work and look forward to the opportunity of continuing this momentum in Creating the Next Generation of Care for Sussex County.”

He joins Beebe at a time when the health care system in coastal Delaware is undergoing an ambitious expansion program. Beebe is also facing a changing market with Dover-based  Bayhealth expanding into its Coastal Delaware territory and Nanticoke Health in Seaford merging with the larger Peninsula system, based in Salisbury, MD.

Beebe Healthcare has three campuses: the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus, which houses the medical center; the Rehoboth Health Campus; and coming in 2020, the South Coastal Health Campus.

The hiring comes after a national search that followed  the departure of the hospital’s long-time executive who presided over a period of growth for the hospital system.

Beebe Healthcare CEO out after more than two decades at post

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