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In Memoriam: Richard D. Thomas, Former CKHS Executive Vice President

Richard D. Thomas, former Executive Vice President of Crozer-Keystone Health System, died recently at the age of 74.

Born in Lansing, Mich., Mr. Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s in Hospital Administration with Distinction from the University of Michigan.

In 1977, Mr. Thomas assumed the position of president and CEO of Delaware County Memorial Hospital. Under his leadership, the hospital expanded its role in the delivery of healthcare by forming Keystone Health System, which aimed “to ensure the continuing ability of DCMH to achieve its mission and to provide other quality and competitively priced healthcare services by the development and operation of a financially sound, integrated and comprehensive healthcare delivery system.”

Keystone Health System merged with Crozer-Chester Medical Center in 1990 to form Crozer-Keystone Health System. Mr. Thomas served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for the health system.

Mr. Thomas also provided strategic leadership to the creation of numerous initiatives that continue to serve community health needs today. In cooperation with Crozer-Chester Medical Center, he oversaw the development of the MRI Center of Delaware County. Liberty Community Home Health Care was created out of the merger of two struggling community home health agencies in Upper Darby and Chester. Working with VHA East, he helped to form an off-shore professional liability insurance company. Mr. Thomas also assisted in the planning and creation of Crozer-Keystone’s HealthplexÒ Sports Club.

Jack McMeekin, co-founder and first president and CEO of Crozer-Keystone Health System, remembers Mr. Thomas, his friend and professional colleague, as an innovative and compassionate healthcare leader. “It was Dick Thomas who first embraced the concept of wellness and health promotion as a major focus in the new mission of Crozer-Keystone. Dick has left a legacy of organizations and community health initiatives that will serve his memory well. He was a friend and honest partner,” McMeekin says.

A veteran, Mr. Thomas served for the U.S. Army. He was also an avid golfer. He was one of the founding members of TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and was a member of the RiverCrest Golf Club in Upper Providence and the Senior Golfers of America.

In addition to his wife of 34 years, Mr. Thomas is survived by three daughters; Susan L. Thomas, of Georgia, Tracy L., wife of Blaise A. DeSanto, of Phoenixville, Kimberly D., wife of John T. Pusey Jr., of Spring City, PA, seven grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

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