Selection of new CEO/president finalizes Beebe board’s nationwide search

David Tam

LEWES – Beebe Healthcare has reached out to America’s West Coast for its next top-level administrator.

Beebe’s Board of Directors announced Monday it has chosen David Tam as the next president/chief executive officer of the growing health system following a nationwide search.

Dr. Tam will officially start in April.

Most recently, Dr. Tam served as the chief operating officer of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, part of Providence St Joseph’s Health, one of the largest and most comprehensive not-for-profit health systems in the nation.

“As Beebe Healthcare continues to grow as an independent health system, Dr. Tam emerged as the ideal candidate from an extensive and qualified list,” said David Herbert, chair of Beebe Healthcare Board of Directors. “Not only did his credentials give us confidence that Beebe’s growth and emphasis on innovation will continue, but his personal philosophy and style as a hands-on physician leader match our Values that connect us with the community.”

Following the departure of CEO/president Jeffrey Fried on March 26, 2019, Beebe’s board appointed Rick Schaffner as interim CEO. Mr. Schaffner served as Beebe’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for seven years.

Dr. Tam is credited with managing St. John’s transition from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to the Providence Health system. His accomplishments include opening a new telemetry unit and ambulatory surgery centers, optimizing inpatient and ambulatory surgeries, streamlining work-flows in the emergency department, managing service lines, and improving quality and safety throughout the hospital. He also oversaw the construction of an award winning $856 million hospital, Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, in his previous position as the Chief Administrative Officer of Pomerado Hospital and Palomar Health Downtown Campus at Palomar Health.

A retired captain in the United States Navy after 24 years of active service, Dr. Tam is passionate about issues related to social determinants of health, such as poverty, veterans’ needs, rural healthcare, diversity as well as community and value-based care. He has been on multiple national boards, including the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity of the American Hospital Association.

Prior to his work in the civilian sector, Dr. Tam served as chief operating officer for the Western Region of Tri-Care, the U.S. military’s health insurance program that covers 2.9 million lives. He was also formerly deputy commander, chief operating and strategy officer at Naval Medical Center, San Diego, the military’s largest academic tertiary medical center.

Dr. Tam received his medical doctorate from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He completed his pediatrics residency at the US Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, and a pediatric neurology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.

“It is a privilege to join Beebe Healthcare with its impressive 104-year history, strong leadership team and medical staff, and commitment to the community as a healthcare organization,” Dr. Tam said. “The future for Beebe is exciting given its expansion and goal of creating a comprehensive health system to serve its community. I am honored to be selected for this important work and look forward to the opportunity of continuing this momentum in Creating the Next Generation of Care for Sussex County.”