Clay Linkous

Managing Director of Patient Experience

With over 25 years of leadership experience, Clay knows what it takes to develop leaders, create cultures of excellence, and get results! Clay currently serves as Managing Director of Patient Experience for ChenMed, a Value-Based Primary Care Organization that Fortune Magazine listed in 2020 as a company that will change the world. Prior to helping lead the VIP Service strategies at ChenMed, Clay spent ten years coaching, consulting, and speaking at 100s of healthcare organizations in the U.S. and Canada as they underwent transformational journeys of change.

Clay is called upon regularly to present on Leadership, Culture, Patient Experience, Service Excellence, and Operational Excellence. He also brings experience and expertise in Executive Coaching, Lean, Six Sigma, and Baldrige. His clients have varied in size, from organizations with less than 25 employees to organizations with 90,000 employees and 5,000 physicians. His leadership has helped make the world a better place for the employees, physicians, patients, and communities of hundreds of healthcare provider organizations over the last decade.

Clay’s background not only includes healthcare leadership roles, but he also worked as a Walt Disney World College Intern, a Night Club Bouncer, and an Associate Pastor. Hopefully, none of these were at the same time. 😊 He and his wife, Katie, have been married for almost 20 years and they live outside of Knoxville, TN with their six children…. yes, you heard that accurately 😊. You can find Clay & Katie serving their community through their property management company, their non-profit focused on affordable housing solutions, volunteering at their church, working out at the gym, or traveling with their children on one of their many “Team Linkous Adventures.”


  • He currently serves as the Managing Director of Patient Experience for ChenMed (Fortune Magazine’s 2020 Companies that will Change the World), a leading primary care provider for low to moderate income senior citizens with chronic diseases where he is responsible for the VIP Service Strategy
  • He was Studer Group’s (2010 Malcolm Baldrige Winner) and Huron’s Lead Coaching Executive for multiple nationally recognized academic medical centers, large regional health systems, national health system partnerships, and strategic partnerships, including UPMC, UW Medicine, Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation, Mayo Clinic, Sentara Healthcare, Christus Trinity Mother Frances, HCA, TeamHealth, and ACHE
  • Dozens of his prior client organizations have received national recognition for their outstanding improvements and achievements in patient experience, employee engagement, and other outcomes


  • Master of Business Administration (Health Services Administration) Strayer University, Knoxville, TN
  • Teleos Coaching Development Program Graduate, Philadelphia, PA
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt of the American Society of Quality
  • Certified Coach Practitioner – Certified Coaching Alliance
  • Management by Strengths Certified Facilitator
  • Bachelor of Science in Physical Education (Exercise Science) East Tennessee State University, Knoxville, TN
  • Lean for Healthcare Certificate, University of Tennessee College of Business, Knoxville, TN
  • Cardiac Rehab Internship, Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City, TN
  • Walt Disney World College Program, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL