David T. Vandewater
Throughout his more than three decades in health care, Mr. Vandewater has been responsible for the operations of more than 500 hospitals and led over 20 joint venture partnerships that combined the strengths of community hospitals, not-for-profit or academic health systems and investor-owned operators.
He spent nearly two decades as president and CEO of Ardent Health Services where he grew revenues from $300 million to $4.4 billion and expanded the company to include 30 hospitals and 26,000 employees. Under his leadership, Ardent earned a reputation as one of the industry’s strongest and most innovative operators, forging successful joint venture partnerships with health care institutions including The University of Kansas Health System, The University of Texas System and The University of New Mexico Health System. During his tenure, Ardent-affiliated entities were consistently recognized for their strong workplace cultures with more than a third of the company’s hospitals named to “Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work” list.
Mr. Vandewater previously served as president and chief operating officer of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation. During his tenure, the company grew to become the world’s largest health care organization with $20 billion in annual revenues and more than 340 hospitals, 130 surgery centers and 550 home health locations in 38 states and two foreign countries.
Throughout his career, he has served in executive positions ranging from CEO of Vista Hills Medical Center in El Paso to executive vice president and chief operating officer at Republic Health Corporation.
Mr. Vandewater is a former board member and past chairman of the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents investor-owned and managed community hospitals and health systems throughout the U.S. He has also served on the Health Care Systems Governing Council of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and is a past board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. He has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare and was honored with the Federation of American Hospitals’ Mike Bromberg Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.