Thomas W. Keller will begin duties next month as president and CEO of Ozarks Medical Center at West Plains.

The Ozarks Medical Center board of directors has named Thomas W. “Tom” Keller as the new president and chief executive officer of the healthcare system. 

Keller comes to OMC from St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital in Shawnee, Okla., where he has served as executive vice president and chief operation officer since 2008. His duties at OMC will begin Feb. 17

“Our board is excited to welcome Tom and Patty and their children to OMC,” said Board Chair Marge Slayton, who led recruitment efforts. “Tom is committed to rural healthcare and the communities served by OMC.  He brings leadership experience in community hospitals, as well as for-profit, national healthcare systems. We feel these attributes are important as OMC navigates the challenges that lie ahead for healthcare in rural America.”

Keller comes to OMC with more than 20 years of healthcare experience. At St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, he was responsible for guiding and directing all clinical, ancillary and financial and support services. During his tenure there, the organization received the 2010 and 2011 Oklahoma Quality Award for Achievement from the Oklahoma Quality Award Foundation and was named a finalist in the 2010 Best Places to Work in Oklahoma.  Before his role at St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, he served as the chief executive officer for West Valley Hospital and Phoenix Memorial Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. He was also the chief operating officer for Northeast Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and held leadership positions with Sisters of Mercy Health System in St. Louis.

“I was so impressed by everyone I met at Ozarks Medical Center. Each person I came in contact with, including the board, employees and community members, was warm, welcoming and genuine,” he said. “OMC is such a unique facility because of the scope of services it provides with specialties like heart care, cancer treatment and neurosurgery. It is wonderful to see that the community supports OMC by making the hospital their preferred choice for care. They value and recognize the important of having a first-rate medical center close to home. It is because of this support that OMC is able to provide such a wide variety of services and make a high level of care available close to home.”

Keller said he was also impressed with OMC’s commitment to safety and quality and the results OMC has received from the measures put into place.

“It’s apparent that everyone at OMC places patient quality and safety as the top priority in all they do,” he added.

 Keller’s family includes Patty, his wife; and sons Tommy, 12, and Ethan, 10; and daughter, Kennedi, 8. Keller said he and his wife enjoy being involved with their children’s activities and in their free time, the family enjoys outdoors, spending time at the lake and boating. He says his family is very excited about moving to West Plains.

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