Shannon Downing has been promoted to the position of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and Aaron Thorne, has been promoted to Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) 

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Tenet Health Central Coast has announced two recent updates to its executive leadership team: Shannon Downing, BS, MBA, has been promoted to the position of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) for all of Tenet Health Central Coast and Aaron Thorne, RN, BSN, MBA, has been promoted to Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, San Luis Obispo County’s only Trauma Center.

“I’m very proud of the terrific talent here that gives us the opportunity to promote from our own ranks,” said Mark Lisa, CEO of Tenet Health Central Coast. “Shannon and Aaron have a long history of innovative thinking and teamwork from both within Tenet and at other organizations. Their expertise, which is only matched by their kindness and humor, plays a critical role as we launch new resources and programs for our communities.”

Downing leads strategic planning and execution, including business planning and development, physician recruitment and relations, community relations and marketing, analytics, coordination of communications, and planning among all members of the Tenet Health Central Coast family of services, which includes imaging centers as well as Primary & Specialty Care offices.


The promotion for Downing comes after she served as the interim CSO for the past year. Prior to that, Downing served as the marketing manager for all of Tenet Health Central Coast for seven years. She has been with the company since 2008, including being named a “Tenet Hero” for her service in 2015, after working in broadcast television where she earned two National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (“Emmy”) Awards as a news producer.  

Thorne, who has been with the company since 2007 and was honored with the “Lifesaver Award” by Donor Network West in 2022, most recently served as Sierra Vista’s director of adult acute care services, which included leadership of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Step Down Unit (intermediate care), Telemetry (constant monitored care needed after events such as strokes), Medical/Surgery Unit (general care), Dialysis (for kidney patients), and Oncology (for cancer patients). As CNO, his responsibilities include oversight of daily operational, administrative and nursing procedures for the whole hospital, designing systems and practices for meeting and exceeding patient care standards, and ensuring high levels of patient care while implementing policies that contribute to the long-term success of Sierra Vista.