Rob Thomas Named the 2015 Gordon Russell Merit Award Recipient

Each year, the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals honors a rural hospital administrator who embodies the spirit of superior service to their local community. This award exists to recognize outstanding achievement by rural and community hospital administrators for their leadership and dedication to the profession. Gordon Russell, the award’s namesake, was the administrator of Hi-Plains Hospital for more than 40 years and a former mayor of Hale Center, Texas.

Since 1992, Rob Thomas has served as the CEO/ Administrator of Columbus Community Hospital, Columbus, Texas. Fellow rural hospital administrators from around the state selected Thomas for this honor. Thomas has overall management responsibilities for the Columbus Community Hospital, which includes the 40-bed non-profit acute care hospital, the two Rural Health Clinics and a Foundation. The Hospital services include a six-bed LDRP OB Unit, an active Surgery Department and 20 Active Staff Physicians. During his tenure as CEO, Thomas has expanded the hospital’s services with a new OB, ER and expansion of the Surgery Department in 2004. Also, a new Professional Building opened in 2009, including an outpatient PT Department with hydrotherapy, Orthopedic Suite, a nine physician Rural Health Clinic and an Education Center. In 2012, the Hospital was expanded to include the Sleep Study Suites, Nursing Outpatient Services, Respiratory Department, Health Information, Business Office and Administration offices, and a new MRI Suite, and expanded Lobby and Registration areas.

A native of Canada, Thomas earned a Bachelor’s Degree at Gordon College in Boston, MA. After moving to Texas in 1979, Thomas attended the University of Houston and studied accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1985. He is active in the Columbus Rotary Club, Past President of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Advisory Board of the Champion Valley Boys and Girls and a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. He also has served as President of the South East Texas Hospital Systems, a member of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals Board and currently serving as Vice-Chair of the TORCH Foundation.

Rob Thomas is married to Rachel, an ED Physician, and they have two married children and are proud grandparents of a one year old. We applaud the selection of Rob Thomas for this prestigious recognition. We hope that he will continue to provide leadership and direction to TORCH and rural hospitals for years to come. Congratulations to Rob for receiving this award!

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