David C. Guth Jr. (’81)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2022 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

A pioneer in behavioral healthcare, David C. Guth Jr. has been the CEO of one of the nation’s largest behavioral healthcare providers since 1991. Centerstone, the nonprofit organization which Guth also co-founded, is a merger between 19 formerly independent organizations. He has taught businesses how to successfully merge and has grown expertise in healthcare for both the clinical and business sides. Nationally and internationally, Guth has been at the forefront of advancing healthcare, integrating behavioral and primary healthcare, and improving behavioral health through research. Centerstone focuses research on advancing the field of mental health and substance abuse treatment. Most recently, Centerstone launched the first behavioral health simulation training center.

While he has led Centerstone, revenues for the organization have grown 50 times and staff have increased from 300 to almost 4,000 with more than 200 facilities. Centerstone serves over 140,000 individuals annually. Additionally, the organization contracts with over 1,200 clinicians around the country to provide services to military veterans and their families.

Having led Centerstone’s mergers, Guth wrote a book with tips on how nonprofit organizations can strategically and successfully merge, and he is working on a second. In addition to his presentations on mergers, he has contracted with other organizations to explore merger options to manage growth and business development.

Guth has been recognized for his achievements by the National Council with a Visionary Leadership award and by UT’s College of Social Work with a Douglas Henry Award for Service to Families and Children at Risk.

After graduating from Vanderbilt with a bachelor’s in mathematics, Guth earned his master’s in social work administration and planning from UT. He serves on the Board of Advisors for UT’s College of Social Work and the Executive Committee of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. With Centerstone headquartered in Nashville, the Nashville Business Journal recognizes Guth annually as one of healthcare’s power leaders.