Cincinnati Chamber unveils the new five-year strategic framework to foster regional growth

What We Do >

Membership >

Talent Hub >

About >

Advocacy >

Events >

< Back

What We Do

Explore our programming, resources, and membership options that drive growth.

See how we celebrate, enliven, stimulate, and cultivate community in the region.

See how we meaningfully connect leaders and celebrate our business community

Explore the work we’re driving to move the region forward

Explore our talent solutions, including leadership programs and HR consulting

See the stories and legacies that lift our communities and inspire action

< Back

Membership

Explore membership and discover growth opportunities for you and your business

Why Chamber Membership

Join the Chamber

Feature your business with a Member Spotlight in our Weekly Connection Newsletter

These events offer members points of connection, timely insights, and solutions

Monthly Member Briefing

Member Benefits 101

< Back

Telent Hub

Explore our full suite of best-in-class leadership development programs

Explore our initiatives focused attracting, retaining, and developing talent

Explore the Workforce Innovation Center’s HR consulting services and resources

< Back

About

Learn more about our mission, vision, and values

Meet the diverse group of leaders passionately supporting our mission

Meet the people serving our region inclusively with passion, Integrity, and fun

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current openings

FAQ

Questions? Here’s a list of things we think you may want to know

Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees
Service options, community support drive Metro ridership growth

< Back

Advocacy

Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees
Service options, community support drive Metro ridership growth
Recognize & Celebrate businesses & people

Great Living Cincinnatians: Honorees

Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.

L. Thomas “Tom” Wilburn, Jr.

Awarded In 2015

1928 – 2015

 

No area of American society has arguably changed faster over the last 50 years than healthcare. In greater Cincinnati, L. Thomas “Tom” Wilburn, Jr. worked at the center of that change and molded its direction.

Mr. Wilburn was born in 1928 in Virginia, and graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Tech). When he joined Bethesda in 1971, Bethesda North had just opened as Cincinnati’s first suburban hospital. That was just the beginning of many changes, in part because Wilburn “never missed an opportunity to advocate for excellence or challenge the status quo,” according to John Prout, the current President and CEO of TriHealth. In 1980, Bethesda opened the first free-standing emergency department near Lebanon and then the first free-standing outpatient surgery facility in the region, all in an effort to move out beyond the walls of the traditional hospital to deliver services where people live.

In 1977, Bethesda assumed sole responsibility for Hospice of Cincinnati, one of the first of its kind in the nation. Through its care for those who are dying and their families, as well as through its Conversations of a Lifetime program, Hospice has grown into a national model for grief support services as well as outreach education.

In the early 1990s, at a time well-before collaboration came into vogue, Wilburn pursued a relentless quest to improve the region’s healthcare through it. In 1992, he helped create the Health Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, one of the first health collaboratives in the United States. He chaired the Collaborative through 2006.

In 1995, Wilburn worked with Sr. Myra Bradley, SC, then President of Good Samaritan Hospital, to form TriHealth. Together, they worked to merge the cultures of the two venerable institutions and agreed to split surpluses of the two hospitals 50/50, no matter how well each hospital performed in any one year. The result was both a financially strong health system and one with common goals that could do more together than apart.

Extending even beyond his 27-year career at Bethesda and TriHealth, Wilburn served on many national and community boards. In 1993 he was elected Chairman of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Board of Trustees, the first ever from healthcare.

The real legacy of Tom Wilburn according to Prout is that Cincinnati in 2014 enjoys a national reputation for leading the transformation of modern healthcare because of “Tom’s ceaseless advocacy for new ideas that have become benchmarks for quality, value and service.”

“While a man of great pride, he is almost without personal ego,” John P. Williams, retired president and CEO of the chamber, wrote in the nomination letter for Mr. Wilburn. A coal miner’s son, Mr. Wilburn understood the value of quiet success, Williams said.

“He avoids the spotlight and encourages it to shine on others,” Williams said. “He is a tireless promoter of those organizations he believes in, but never of himself.”

Tom Wilburn died December 27, 2015, at age 87, surrounded by family.

Nominate a Great Living Cincinnatian

Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization