Speaker Profile

Rick Grooms
Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Centra
Session: "Being a Change Agent in a Complex World"

In January 2020, Rick Grooms joined Centra Health in Lynchburg, VA where he serves as the health system’s Senior Vice President & Chief People Officer.  With nearly 8,500 caregivers (employees), Rick is responsible for building the organization’s culture, leading people initiatives, and being the keeper of the conscience of the organization.  He oversees the organization’s Spiritual Care, Volunteer Services, Patient Experience, and Human Resources departments.  He serves as a trusted member of the CEO Work Group (senior executive team), as well as special advisor and trusted confidant to the system’s CEO. 

He is a graduate of The Citadel located in Charleston, SC, where he received his BS in Business Administration in 1985.  In May 1988, Rick received his MA-Public Administration/Management from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX, while serving on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. 

Rick served on active duty for seven years in the U.S. Air Force where he was eventually promoted to Captain. Following his military service, Rick was hired by Comprehensive Home Health Care (CHHC) in Wilmington, NC, as the Inplacement Coordinator/Corporate Recruiter.  He was responsible for recruitment, selection, placement, and corporate orientation for all clinical, professional, and management personnel for the state’s fastest growing homecare, hospice, medical infusion, and DME agency, a family-owned company. He has also worked for healthcare systems such as Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie, NC, Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, NC, Providence Hospitals in Columbia, SC, and AnMed Health in Anderson, SC. 

At AnMed, Rick was a key member of executive leadership team overhauling the HR structure and service delivery model, redesign of employee benefit programs, to include design/education/rollout of the organization’s consumer driven health plan, developing total compensation and incentive plans, as well as developing an automated performance management tool/system, and assisting the senior leadership team as needed with various other strategic and tactical initiatives.


Rick has been married to his high school sweetheart, Debbie, for almost 35 years and together they have three children (one son & two daughters) and three grandsons.