As the head of external affairs for Advocate Aurora Health, Cristy Garcia-Thomas oversees everything from patient experience to diversity and inclusion to community relations for one of Wisconsin’s biggest employers and one of the country’s largest health care systems.
Garcia-Thomas was among the inaugural group of executives to join the leadership team of Advocate Aurora following Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care’s merger with Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health in 2018. Prior to her current role, she served as chief experience officer for Aurora and president of the health system’s foundation.
Garcia-Thomas has held other high-profile positions in the Milwaukee community outside of the health care industry, including leading the United Performing Arts Fund as president and chief executive officer from 2007-’11 and serving as publisher and vice president of the Specialty Media Division of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
She also serves on several boards for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, most recently being elected to the board of Milwaukee-based We Energies parent company WEC Energy Group. She also sits on the boards for Delta Dental, Chicago United, Greater Milwaukee Committee, the United Community Center, and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, for which she co-chaired its 2018 campaign.
She is also a member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives and TEMPO Milwaukee.