10 Things You Didn’t Know about DaVita CEO Kent Thiry

Kent Thiry is the CEO and Chairman of DaVita. He has played a very important role in making the corporation into what it is in the present day, which includes a turnaround from poor performance in the past. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that Thiry commands a lot of respect from his subordinates. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Kent Thiry:

1. Kent Is a Name of Uncertain Meaning

The name Kent started seeing use because of the Kingdom of Kent, which passed its name onto one of the counties of Southeast England. However, no one is sure about the exact meaning of the name, with some people thinking “white” and “bright” while other people think “edge” in the sense of a border.

2. Thiry Is a Variant of Thierry

Thiry is a variant of the name Thierry. In turn, Thierry is believed to have been derived from the Germanic Theodoric, which would make it a cognate of Terry, Derek, and Dietrich. As for Thierry’s meaning, some people interpret it to be “power is mighty” while others interpret it to be “ruler of the people.”

3. Had Previous Experience in the Healthcare Sector

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thiry had plenty of experience in the healthcare sector before becoming the CEO of DaVita in 1999. However, considering the sheer amount of time that he has been leading DaVita, it is natural for that part of his career to receive either no or next to no mention, particularly since his tenure as CEO has been rather flamboyant in nature.

4. Runs a Kidney Dialysis Service Provider

DaVita provides a number of healthcare services, but it tends to be best-known for being one of the biggest providers of kidney dialysis that can be found out there. For those who are unfamiliar with that term, kidney dialysis refers to a procedure that removes toxins, excessive water, and other substances from the blood, which is necessary for people whose kidneys are no longer capable of providing these functions on their own.

5. Has Been Seeing Improved Health Outcomes in Each Subsequent Year

One of the most impressive feats of Thiry is the fact that his corporation has been seeing improvements in health outcomes in each subsequent year. This means both death rates and infection rates, which are very relevant because at least 20 percent of the United States’s dialysis patients are expected to die on an annual basis.

6. Has Received Criticism for Not Seeing Health Outcome Improvements Fast Enough

With that said, Thiry has received criticism for not producing health outcome improvements fast enough. This is because the United States is much worse in this regard than other industrialized countries, which see 15 percent mortality rates in Australia and Europe as well as 10 percent mortality rate in Japan.

7. Big Believer in Building a Sense of Community

Interestingly, Thiry is a big believer in building a sense of community among DaVita employees. In this, he has been very successful, as shown by DaVita’s reputation for being an excellent place to work for interested individuals.

8. Regularly Rewards Frontline Employees

One of Thiry’s notable characteristics is his willingness to regularly reward clinical technicians as well as other frontline employees who are the ones out there providing services to DaVita’s clients. This is a way to boost morale. Moreover, this is a way to show that he respects them, which in turn, encourages the formation of a similar sentiment from them directed towards him.

9. Encourages His Employees to Contact Him

Speaking of which, Thiry also encourages his employees to contact him about their concerns, which will result in a response from either him or someone else under him. This enables him to get a better idea of what his employees are focused upon, thus making it easier for him to keep them happy and productive.

10. Can Be Pretty Quirky

With that said, Thiry can be pretty quirky, though considering his successes, it is the kind of quirkiness that other people find endearing more often than not. In particular, Thiry is known for making big entrances at annual events involving his employees, which were initially met with a sense of skepticism that has since transformed into much more genuine enthusiasm.


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