Thomas Summerill named PHHP 2013 Alumnus of the Year

_KGP0481Thomas S. Summerill, M.H.A., M.B.A, is a 25-year veteran of the field of health care. He has a diverse background working with hospitals, insurers and physician groups. He has worked at the CEO level at Trinity Health, a multi-state Catholic hospital system, and the insurance companies Aetna, WellCare, United HealthCare and Universal HealthCare. In addition, he has run multiple physician groups, individual practice associations and physician hospital organizations. Currently, he is the national vice president, managed care at Health Management Associates in Naples, Fla.

Summerill received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida in 1982 and UF master’s degrees in health administration and in business administration in 1984.

Away from work, he is an avid reader, is involved in community and educational projects and enjoys exploring new places around the world.

My favorite UF memory: My life at UF focused around academics, work and raising a family. My best memories always return back to Maguire/University Village. It was there that we lived as an undergraduate and graduate student. And while people came and went, it was a truly supportive environment. My second favorite memory was dropping off and picking up my twin children from Baby Gator. What a tremendous learning environment for them to have been exposed to at such a young age.

My favorite post-graduation memory: Trudy and I were very fortunate to have had tremendous support from a lot of people along our journey. The day we established the Thomas and Trudy Summerill Scholarship fund was a great deal of pride for us both. It was a chance to give back, and I still value that opportunity to always remember from where I came and how to continuously support the program.

Best lesson learned: It is hard to pick one. But given our world where Trudy and I worked, went to school and raised our kids, I would have to say learning how to create focus. I can assure you that I did not out-study most students, but when I did hit the books, I was extremely focused. That has paid dividends for me throughout my career.  

UF faculty member who influenced me the most: As an undergraduate, it was Dr. Joe McCann. I got to work with him in his graduate strategic planning class using computer simulations (and yes, the first year they were still punch cards). That was great exposure to thinking in ways that I would never have been exposed to otherwise. As a graduate student and even today, I will always appreciate Dr. Paul Duncan, who not only was a constant source of support, but a mentor along the way.

People would be surprised to know: A few years back Trudy and I set out on an adventure to write a book. This was a murder mystery novel (although some accuse me of having written a love story). We did a national tour to market Managed Murders and it was one of those bucket list things that you just never think you will ever do.

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