Chief external affairs officer
Advocate Aurora Health | Milwaukee
Health care executive Cristy Garcia-Thomas joined Aurora Health Care as its chief experience officer in 2011. Following the Milwaukee-based health system’s merger with Advocate Health in 2018, Garcia-Thomas transitioned to chief external affairs officer of the combined system. In her role, Garcia-Thomas oversees diversity, equity and inclusion, community relations, and charitable giving for the health system. Previously, Garcia-Thomas was CEO of the United Performing Arts Fund. She currently sits on the boards of Delta Dental, WEC Energy Group, Greater Milwaukee Committee, the United Community Center, the Hispanic Collaborative and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County.
Education: Bachelor’s, Kansas State University
Top of your bucket list: “Right now, it’s working on getting Super Bowl tickets.”
Book recommendation: “‘The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration’ by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s the story of the great migration of Black Americans out of the South.
Fun fact: “I have a bit of a dance background. In my early childhood, I was the youngest of 36 first cousins. We had a family Mexican dance troupe that traveled the state of Kansas. More recently, I participated in Stepping with the Stars and won.”
A nonprofit cause that has special meaning to you: “The Aurora Healing and Advocacy Services. It holds a special place in my heart because I know the importance of the support this program offers to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. I’ve personally seen individuals thrive and reclaim joy following some of their darkest times after seeking out these services.”