Beebe Healthcare has selected an experienced doctor and former Navy captain to lead its system.
Dr. David Tam, 57, is set to become Beebe’s president and CEO in April, the board of directors announced Feb. 3. Tam most recently served as chief operating officer of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., a 266 licensed bed acute care hospital serving the west side of Los Angeles.
“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,” Tam said in a press release. “The future for Beebe is exciting given its expansion and goal of creating a comprehensive health system to serve its community.”
Tam was selected to replace Jeff Fried, who retired last spring after 24 years as Beebe’s president and CEO. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Schaffner has been serving as interim CEO in the months since Fried’s departure.
“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, chairman of Beebe’s 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.”
Tam is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy after 24 years of active service. He 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.
Tam previously served as chief operating officer for the western region of TriCare, the U.S. military’s health insurance program. He was also formerly deputy commander, chief operating and strategy officer at Naval Medical Center in San Diego, the military’s largest academic tertiary medical center.
Tam received his medical doctorate from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He completed his pediatrics residency at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif., and a child neurology fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.
He currently serves as chair of the editorial board for Healthcare Executives Journal.
Tam is married with two children.
When asked what he liked most about Sussex County, he said: “The natural beauty of the coast is surpassed only by the friendly people I have met. I love the small-town feel of historic Lewes and the resort atmosphere of Rehoboth Beach. But I also love the peace and quiet of the open space in other parts of the county.”
Tam will join Beebe in the midst of several major expansion projects. Construction of a specialty surgical hospital campus, which includes women’s health services and labor and delivery, is underway on Warrington Road, off Route 24, between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Work is also ongoing to build a new emergency department and satellite cancer center in Millville. Renovations at Beebe’s main campus in Lewes are also underway.