Rick Wagers retired in June after 11 years as Regional One Health’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He helped the health care system improve its financial position by upgrading facilities and services.
He was recently honored with a Memphis Business Journal CFO of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor that reflects a stellar 40-year career spent at Regional One Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Rick Wagers, who retired in June after 11 years as Regional One Health’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was honored at this year’s Memphis Business Journal CFO of the Year Awards ceremony with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
This well-deserved honor recognizes Wagers’ integral role in Regional One Health’s financial turnaround over the past decade, as well as his achievements at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where he worked for over 30 years.
In fact, when Wagers decided to join Regional One Health in 2010, he had recently retired from Vanderbilt after a distinguished career that saw him serve as Director of Financial Management, Vice President, and Senior Vice President and CFO.
Reginald Coopwood, MD, who Wagers knew through the Nashville health care community, had announced plans to move to Memphis to lead Regional One Health as President and CEO.
When Dr. Coopwood approached Wagers about helping him lead Regional One Health into the future, Wagers didn’t hesitate – instead of easing into a well-earned retirement, he moved across the state to embark on the challenge of overseeing finances at a large health care system.
Over the next 11 years, Wagers worked closely with Dr. Coopwood and the senior leadership team to make a substantial difference in the financial status and overall performance of Regional One Health, helping to guide the most significant financial turnaround in the hospital’s history.
As Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, he was responsible for developing and managing the annual operating budget, which includes overseeing financial transactions, patient billing and collections, operating and capital budgeting, and investment portfolios. Wagers also oversaw the hospital’s purchasing, security and facilities operations.
During his time at Regional One Health, he helped the organization successfully navigate major changes in the health care industry.
When the Affordable Care Act passed, Wagers recognized patients would have more options for accessing health care. He helped spearhead facility and service improvements to retain existing patients and encourage new patients to choose Regional One Health for their medical care.
Wagers also focused on identifying business growth opportunities and bringing services to new parts of the Memphis community. These changes continue to drive Regional One Health’s growth and create a more sustainable business model while also improving access to health care and patient outcomes in our community.
While Wagers’ vision and finance acumen have been crucial to Regional One Health’s success, many of his colleagues are most impacted by his unwavering character. He approached his work with a heart for community service and a genuine desire to serve as a mentor, always making time to share his knowledge and help educate the next generation of health care system leaders.