Clay Linkous, MBA, FACHE, CSSBB


With over 20 years of leadership experience, Clay knows what it takes to get results! He has a passion for leadership development and operational excellence that has helps him consistently achieve success. He is known for expertly leading Studer Group coaching partnerships in academic medical centers, large regional health systems and national health systems. Clay is also called on regularly by peers and healthcare organizations to help them understand how to effectively implement the Evidence Based LeadershipSM framework in complex organizations that are managing multiple change initiatives. Whether an organization is deploying a LEAN management system, pursuing a Baldrige journey, or striving to become a high reliability organization, Clay brings a wealth of experience, wisdom and practical coaching to executive teams. His coaching has impacted dozens of health care systems and hospitals and hundreds of thousands of employees and physicians that provide exceptional care for millions of patients each year.

Results and Signature Engagements

  • Account Leader for multiple nationally recognized Academic Medical Centers, Large Regional Health Systems and National Health System partnerships
  • 10 partner organizations have received awards at Studer Group's Annual What's Right in HealthCare Conference
  • Four partners were chosen to present their results at What's Right in Healthcare Conference in 2017
  • Three-time 'Health Care Organization of the Month' coach
  • Two time Studer Group Pillar Award Winner
  • Account Leader of high performing healthcare organizations including: the first six-time magnet-recognized hospital, the #1 US News and World Report hospital in Washington, a hospital on Becker's '100 Great Community Hospitals' and Truven 'Top 100 Hospitals', a hospital with the second-highest value-based purchasing in the U.S., a Modern Healthcare 'Top 20 Best Places to Work' hospital, two hospitals on Becker's 'Top 100 Rural Hospitals' list, and several hospitals that have a five-star rating in patient experience from CMS

Education and Certifications

  • Master of Business Administration (Health Services Administration) Strayer University, Knoxville, TN
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt of the American Society of Quality
  • Bachelor of Science in Physical Education (Exercise Science) East Tennessee State University, Knoxville, TN
  • Lean for Healthcare Certificate, University of Tennessee College of Business, Knoxville, TN
  • Cardiac Rehab Internship, Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City, TN
  • Walt Disney World College, Program Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Professional Associations

  • Fellow, American College of HealthCare Executives
  • Former President, East Tennessee Healthcare Executives Affiliation, Knoxville, TN
  • American Society of Quality
  • Baldridge Examiner, Tennessee Center of Performance Excellence

Publications/Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker and Subject Matter Expert on Lean and Evidence Based LeadershipSM (2014 NRHA Webinar)
  • 'Getting Better Faster: Accelerated Results Through 90 Day Plans'
  • What's Right in Health Care, 2013: 'Taking Lean to the Next Level with Evidence-Based LeadershipSM'
  • Keynote Presenter at Hometown Health's 2015 Fall Conference
  • Co-Presenter, 2017: 'Why Mergers and Acquisitions Fail; Using Cultural Assessments in M&A Due Diligence'

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  • Clay Linkous

    Clay Linkous, MBA, FACHE, CSSBB

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