March 29, 2023

Tom Nantais to retire from Adult Ambulatory leadership role

After leading Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Adult Ambulatory Division for five years, Thomas Nantais, MBA, Executive Vice-President for Ambulatory Operations, will retire May 1.


After leading Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Adult Ambulatory Division for five years, Thomas Nantais, MBA, Executive Vice-President for Ambulatory Operations, will retire May 1.

During his tenure, Nantais has overseen a number of key initiatives which have enhanced the structure and efficiency of ambulatory operations, as well as the delivery of patient care.

Under Nantais’ leadership, clinic visits have grown by more than 30% in the last five years as major expansion occurred in Davidson County and at regional locations. Enabling expansion was the development of a “hub and spoke” model, where a multiple-specialty clinic is established, providing professional and ancillary services with access to local primary care options in that community.

Medical Practice patient satisfaction scores, as measured by Press Ganey, have increased from 49% in 2018, to a remarkable 86% in 2023. During the same period, Nantais introduced Front Desk Image Apparel to provide a unified, professional look for the Patient Service Representatives. This, coupled with standardizing services at clinic front desks, has created a world-class patient experience across all clinics.

“Over the past five years, Mr. Nantais has done an outstanding job advancing ambulatory operations while enhancing the clinic experience for our patients. I want to express my appreciation to Tom for the energy and focus he has brought to a range of initiatives and congratulate him for his service to VUMC,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer.

Also contributing to the increase in patient satisfaction, Nantais led the implementation of the Paperless Clinic Initiative, allowing My Health at Vanderbilt patients to complete pre-visit summaries before their visit or upon arrival on electronic tablets. Now, more than 75% of patients use this process.

Two years ago, Nantais and Shon Dwyer, MBA, RN, President of Vanderbilt University Hospital, launched the quarterly Patient Care Center (PCC) GoalFest, which aligns PCC operating and quality goals with the Vanderbilt Medical Group and Vanderbilt University Hospital. This has resulted in highly effective quarterly meetings and increased goal achievement.

Last fall, Adult Ambulatory Nursing was awarded Ambulatory Nursing Magnet Status as a separate Magnet designation for the first time. This was one of the first such designations in the country. The extraordinary work of the Adult Ambulatory Nursing team led to this significant achievement.

On Nantais’ watch great progress has also been made in Patient Access Services (PAS). Patient call abandonment rates have fallen from greater than 9% to below 2% over the last 18 months while another metric, speed to answer, is at industry leading levels. Efforts are also underway to become the industry leader in on-line scheduling via the Vanderbilt Advanced Scheduling (VAS) project, which kicked off in January. VAS will provide readily available on-line access for VUMC’s new and returning patients in a timely manner.

“It has been a career highlight to have spent the last five years, of my 40-year career, leading Adult Ambulatory Operations. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve in this role and want to thank both, Drs. Balser and Pinson,” Nantais said. “While much has been accomplished, it has been a significant team effort among the Adult Ambulatory senior leadership team including Janice Smith, Wendy Monaci, Dr. Patty Wright, Michele Hasselblad, Dr. Jennifer DeBruler, Amber Humphrey, Hunter Nichols and Tom Ervin.

“I would also like to thank our team of Executive Assistants, Jeree Penzien, LaDonna Copeland and Jessica Monica-Mercer, who keep us all functioning at the highest level possible. My gratitude also goes out to my many other VUMC colleagues for their guidance, partnership, and friendship over the last five years. It has been extremely rewarding,” he said.

Nantais and his wife Erica will continue to reside in Franklin, Tennessee. In retirement he plans to focus on family and health, taking more time to visit children and grandchildren around the country, as well as exploring the richness and beauty of Tennessee.