Merila Thorne-Thomsen
Merila Thorne Thomsen

Merila Thorne-Thomsen


Health Management Associates

Austin, TX

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A driven professional, Merila Thorne-Thomsen’s breadth of healthcare industry expertise includes clinical research, human research protection programs, research oversight, regulation, public policy and community relations. She has worked in hospitals, clinics, and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and has experience with Health Information Exchange (HIE) and health information technology. Merila leverages this knowledge to support and enhance critical-decision making.

Merila has a proven track record of leveraging her knowledge to support and enhance critical decision making. Before joining Health Management Associates, Merila was a consultant with Waterloo Research and Consulting, where she guided clients at the intersections of healthcare, technology and government. Prior to this, she was director of corporate services at a large FQHC serving 6 counties with about 30 sites. In this position, she supported strategic initiatives for the enterprise and FQHC. She coordinated clinical, financial and technical teams for Population Health Management in addition to compiling service area analysis for new clinic locations.

Previously, Merila served as the director of community relations for a local HIE, building brand value and awareness with key stakeholders. She was a policy analyst in the Office of e-Health Coordination at Texas Health & Human Services Commission, researching, analyzing and evaluating complex program and policy issues.

Merila gained experience with federal regulations and pharmaceutical technical requirements, coordinating and serving on a large national Independent Review Board (IRB). She managed the quality assurance and quality control process for over 150 clinical studies at 680 research sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  During this time, the organization went through a rigorous accreditation process with The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) and received full accreditation.

Merila earned her Bachelor of Science in human biology, concentrating in genetics and biotechnology as well as her Bachelor of Arts in the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her business foundations and health information technology certifications from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a certified clinical research coordinator with the Association of Clinical Research Professions.

Outside of her professional career, Merila applies her focus, strength and endurance to compete in triathlons and endurance swimming events. A personal highlight was her thrilling swim from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park.