Tim Rice Receives State Hospital Association’s Highest Honor
Hailed for consensus building and his focus on patients, Cone Health Chief Executive Officer Tim Rice received the North Carolina Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award during the NCHA’s summer meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC, on July 19.
The award, NCHA’s highest honor, is presented to an NCHA-member hospital CEO who has made unique contributions to the association and to the healthcare field.
(l-r)Bill Pully, NCHA president, Tim Rice, Cone Health CEO and Steve Lawler, NCHA board chairman
“We are delighted to honor the great work Tim has done in leadership of his hospitals, at the helm of our association and nationally on the board of The Joint Commission,” said Bill Pully, president of the hospital association. “He is richly deserving of this honor.”
Trained as a pharmacist, Rice brought a clinician’s attention to detail to his 34 years of growing leadership responsibility within Cone Health. His strong patient focus coupled with determination led Rice to spearhead cutting-edge innovations such as early adoption of the electronic intensive care unit where all patients are monitored around the clock. Pully noted that such medical advances must be built on a culture in which physicians and other caregivers place great trust in administrative leadership.
“It really takes a team of dedicated leaders and an outstanding workforce to allow me to spend time with the NCHA and various national groups involved in healthcare,” Rice says. “No one earns this alone. This award really reflects how all of us at Cone Health work together to improve the care we provide our patients.”
Rice’s consensus building skills enabled Cone Health to be among the leaders in then-controversial initiatives, including making hospital campuses tobacco-free and mandating flu shots for all employees. Tim has been instrumental in the growth of this system into a network of five hospitals, more than 8,500 employees, more than 1,000 physicians and more than 100 locations for care.
Rice became CEO in 2004 after three years as Chief Operating Officer. In 2010, Rice became Chairman of the North Carolina Hospital Association Board of Trustees.
He also took on the vital role of helping set standards for hospital care nationwide as a member of The Joint Commission, the international accrediting agency used by most hospitals.
Rice earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Washington State University and a master’s degree in health administration from Duke University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and was the 2012 recipient of the Thomas Z. Osborne Award from the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.
The North Carolina Hospital Association provides advocacy, information, education and leadership for 130 member hospitals in the state.