Thomas Ruter

Thomas is Canvas Health’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). In this role, Tom provides executive leadership in service development and organizational management and is responsible for strategic leadership, financial management, operational management, staff management and community relationship management.

Tom spent over 15 years with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) at the State of Minnesota, most recently in the role of Director of Operations for Community Supports Administration. Tom has spent most of his career working with direct care services and designing public policy programs that serve persons with disabilities, mental illness or substance dependency. Tom has often been called upon to facilitate complex projects, including leading major transitions, restructures, mergers, and closures.

Tom most recently has been credited with helping to shift discussions between DHS and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to focus on creating a state-wide strategy for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and supports in Minnesota. Tom was instrumental in assembling and building community support for the $39 million in new mental health appropriations authorized by the Legislature in 2015.

As Director of Operations for the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration at DHS, Tom provided executive leadership and management to all internal operations, including communications, legislation, and Olmstead implementation.

Prior to assuming his current role, Tom was Director of Operations Support for State Operated Services, another division of the Department of Human Services. In this role Tom provided leadership to the areas of administrative services, learning and development, health information management, and physical plant.

Tom has over 15 years of experience leading strategy and coordinating legislative initiatives, managing governmental, public relations, and operations, creating communications and collaborating with others to establish public policy for populations with disabilities. He holds a mini-MBA (2005) in Healthcare Administration from the University of St. Thomas University and has a M.A. in Public Administration (1999) and B.A. in International Management (1995) from Hamline University. Tom is a 2009 graduate of the State of Minnesota’s Emerging Leaders Institute.  He has served on the board of directors of a number of community non-profit organizations, including the Minnesota State Retirement System, the organization responsible for administering $20 billion of assets for all retirement plans, health care savings plan, and the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan for over 160,000 current and former public employees.  Tom serves as the Audit Committee Chair for this organization.  Tom is also a past Moderator of the Twin Cities Area Presbytery and chairman of the Presbytery Leadership Team.