Validation Institute 2023 Hall of Fame Tribute – Tom Emerick

Tom Emerick, a pivotal figure recognized by the Validation Institute, has made significant contributions to healthcare management. His innovative strategies have not only improved healthcare outcomes but also enhanced cost-efficiency for companies. These efforts underscore the Institute’s commitment to validating and promoting effective health solutions.



Dave Chase – Chief Archaeologist, Co-founder, CEO Health Rosetta

“Hi Tom, I want to just send a message of gratitude for what you have done for me and for the industry. Each year my family watches, uh, It’s a Wonderful Life and you’ve probably seen that film.

It goes through all the things that would or wouldn’t have happened if George Bailey hadn’t lived, and I really think you’re like that.

You were a mentor to me before you even knew it with your book Cracking Health Costs, and then I have the privilege of getting to know you and your smarts, your wit, your humility really influenced me greatly.

I want you to know that you’ve passed the torch, the torch will you pass the torch and hundreds of others of us, and collectively will impacted tens and millions of lives.

Truly had a wonderful life. I wish I could be there with you in person, but thanks so much for all that

Al Lewis – CEO & Quizmeister-in-chief, Quizzify

“You said on LinkedIn that I was your best friend in the industry and let me tell you the reverse is true too. I felt like we could call each other any time talk about anything especially our favorite topic which is our book and all the things behind it.

Of course your name came first and you were always very grateful that I put your name first but it wasn’t an act of Charity Tom, the best ideas were yours.

Yours are the ones that have legs and have become an entire industry so thank you so much for that. We miss you, we love you, your impact on the industry is going to be felt for a decade to come.”

Vidar Jorgensen – Chairman, Validation Institute

“I’ve enjoyed working with you since you spoke at our conferences as long as 15 years ago and I always appreciated your talks in comparing how the centers of excellence that you developed produce so much better outcomes than just the average Health Care Facility, and it really impressed me that Walmart would send an employee and a partner to some of the best facilities in the country and would pay all expenses and get them the very best care.

And then you would make that available to as many of your employees as would accept the travel and what you did was to set a higher standard of quality for health care and you were able to show that the highest quality Care was also the most cost effective.

The program that you develop the centers of excellence you and Walmart were willing to share that even with your competitors, and so you’ve made a lasting impact on not just US health care but world healthcare by showing that the best health care was also the most cost effective and affordable.”

Sally Welborn – Former Walmart Senior Vice President – Global Benefits

“Hey Tom, I just wanted to reach out because I was just reminiscing on our wonderful dinners at Ruth’s Chris there in Rogers Arkansas.

What a good time those were, just a great memory, and it also made me really think about that America owes you such a huge debt of gratitude.

You were just a savant, you were just amazing, you were able to look into data and claims data, flat data and point out unknown hospitals, providers who were naturally practicing outstanding Healthcare and that ability to find them throughout the country and reach out to them and engage with them has made a tremendous difference for so many people and the health care that they’ve gotten.”

Lisa Woods – Walmart Vice President – Physical & Emotional Wellbeing

“Hey Tom, this is Lisa. You have been such an inspiration to me. I so appreciate everything that you taught me through the years and as a result, we continue the Legacy here at Walmart focused on quality and making sure that we take care of our Associates. Thank you for everything through the years. I’m happy to call you friend.”

Adam Stavisky – Walmart Senior Vice President US Benefits

“Tom, it’s Adam. Thrilled to work with the team that you built and the culture of innovation that you established on behalf of our Associates and all Americans. Thank you so much.”

David Contorno – Founder & CEO E-Powered Benefits

“Tom, long before you heard my name, I was already influenced by you. I followed What You Did at Walmart and then Edison, and you helped motivate me and inspire me to do something different.

If you could do it at Walmart then I could do it in a 20 life or 100 life or thousand life employer group. But then I got to meet you and your intelligence and your humility came out in spades at every interaction that I had with you.

Thank you for what you’ve done for the industry, thank you for what you’ve done for healthcare, thank you for what you’ve done for America.

You have made this a better place because of your efforts. We care about you, we love you, and we think about you often.”

Daniel Stein – Founder & CEO Embold Health

“I first met Tom when I first started working at Walmart, and he had me out to his cabin to share his work and the lessons he had learned.

What Tom shared with me, get employees to high performing docs that were only going to deliver care that was necessary the first time, ethical providers, you not only could save a lot of money, you could make a meaningful difference in their lives.

What Tom didn’t know as he shared this with me was this was a personal passion of mine too going all the way back to medical school.

I had seen the exact same thing, and so Tom, your work, your guidance, your mentorship has been a tremendous inspiration for me as I’ve tried to carry forward this work and to do it at scale across the nation.

But above and beyond personal mentorship and the professional help that you’ve offered to me, the thing that has always struck me is the passion, the motivation behind why you did this work.

This wasn’t just about saving money, you knew that if we could help people get higher quality care and avoid unnecessary care, it could make a material difference in their lives. Thank you Tom.”

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