About Kay Linder

Kay Linder is the Partner leading the Healthcare Innovation search practice at ThinkingAhead. She specializes in working with both payor and provider leadership in areas of healthcare technology and innovation, evolving the practice area in sync with the dynamically changing healthcare industry.

Kay started at ThinkingAhead’s Nashville corporate offices in 1998 and relocated to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 2009, where she and her husband Bill and their band of happy French Bulldogs make their home. She enjoys fishing, kayaking, and camping, and is passionate about sea turtle rescue, improving literacy and working with the Hispanic community, as her mother is originally from Cuba.

With 18 years of healthcare-focused executive search experience, Kay has had the pleasure of working with a wide scope of organizations and individuals. Her clients include health systems, payors, academic medical centers, professional services firms, not-for-profit associations, vendor partners and healthcare startups.

Kay has served as the founding Vice President and Chair of the Middle TN region and then as a former State Chapter President of the TN Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (TN HIMSS) and later as Chapter President.  She is also a member of AMIAANIA, AMDIS, MGMA AHIMA, and ACHE.

Prior to joining ThinkingAhead, Kay worked as a lobbyist at the Tennessee General Assembly representing the Environmental Action Fund (EAF), a coalition of the state’s environmental and conservation organizations. In addition, she worked as a Development Director for the state’s largest nonprofit environmental organization, the Tennessee Environmental Council. Prior to moving to Nashville in 1991, Kay was a senior executive in the hotel/resort industry for Stouffer Hotels (now Renaissance Hotels) in their Atlanta and Denver locations.

Kay is originally from Pinehurst, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a John Motley Morehead Scholar and National Merit Scholar (Go Heels!). She earned a bachelor’s degree in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program, focusing on Environmental Policy and Ecological Protection. Kay is also a Certified Personnel Consultant.

While at ThinkingAhead Kay was awarded the Ralph Mosley Award of Excellence and also was appointed to be a ThinkingAhead Fellow. The Fellow Award represents the highest honor within ThinkingAhead Executive Search. It is bestowed upon an elite group who has demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of knowledge or practice within the Executive Search profession. Fellows are appointed by senior leadership within the firm, and qualifications begin with exceeding 10 years tenure, including five years as a Partner, $2.5 million in services fees, exemplary involvement with internal and external training, trade group leadership, and a unique contribution to the firm.

  • Expertise
  • Healthcare Technology and Innovation
  • Talent Acquisition Strategy Development
  • National Healthcare Market SME
  • Tagging Leadership for "Greenfield" Areas
  • Professional Problem-Solver
  • Skill Sets
  • Chief Analytics and/or Data Officers
  • Chief Innovation Officers
  • Payor and Provider Officers, VP's, and Senior Directors
  • Analytics, Informatics, Information Security Leadership
  • Executive Professional Services/Consulting Leadership
  • Population Health, Quality, and Performance Improvement Leadership
  • Interoperability Leadership
  • Clinical Senior and Executive Leadership
quotation marks
  • Kay is a seasoned executive recruiter who expertly matches talent to corporate strategy. Her understanding of the market demands and competition, coupled with her comprehensive network of people and firms, positions her to find the best marriage of talent to need for success. Kay’s experience and finesse instills confidence, and her integrity ensures repeat business. I highly recommend Kay both as a third-party recruiter for a firm or as an advocate for my peers looking for their next great adventure.

    - Ladonna Sweeten, Managing Director at Huron Consulting Group
  • Kay is an outstanding resource. She has the ability to recognize when a fit is good. She did an excellent job in preparing me for the interview process including background on the position and organization and details about those who would be interviewing me. She is also a great coach, reminding me of good interview behaviors and stepping me through the process. Kay’s professionalism is exceptional.

    - Robin Parkins, Administrator and VP
  • Kay brings a refreshing personable feel to her search work, recognizing what really matters to me and providing encouragement continually. You get the feeling that she loves what she does, which accounts for the breadth of contacts drawn to her, and with whom she stays in touch. She knows the industry deeply an d is able to track current and future shifts and growth in our field. I highly recommend Kay.

    - Senior Executive

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