Tamara Player

Tamara Player

Healthcare Leader

Tamara Player, LCSW, is an innovative, collaborative leader in healthcare, driven by her belief that everyone deserves to feel well. She works every day to ensure access to quality care for the whole person, knowing that people want health, not health care. Her career in behavioral health spans over 30 years in four different states, serving as Chief Operations Officer for community mental health agencies in Maine and Colorado and as the CEO of a community-based behavioral health provider in Northern California prior to joining Polara Health as the CEO in June of 2019.

As CEO of Polara Health, Tamara oversees a comprehensive array of programs and services to the citizens of Yavapai County AZ. Her focus is on innovative care that serves the citizens of all of the communities, with a special emphasis on equity and excellence, bringing hope to the people in crisis.

For example, in cooperation with the Yavapai Justice Department and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Tamara and her staff opened the Connections Center next door to the new Criminal Justice Center. The Connections Center will serve those in a mental health crisis and who are potentially eligible for involuntary pre-arrest evaluation and treatment, deflecting this population from the criminal justice system altogether.

As a native of Maine, Tamara began her career as a direct care provider in an adult residential facility and then quickly transitioned to her clinical passion of providing in-home services to high-risk children and families.  With great training, mentoring, and armed with the knowledge that the healthcare system needs to be transformed, Tamara transitioned from providing clinical services to leadership roles, to which she has dedicated over 20 years of her career. 

Tamara received her master’s degree in social work from the University of New England and a BA in Psychology from the University of Maine.  Tamara is an alumnus of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership.  She currently serves on the board of the Arizona Council for Human Services, MATFORCE, North Central Arizona Accountable Care, the Behavioral Health Committee of the American Hospital Association Board, and the Advisory Council for Solari. 

Tamara lives in Prescott with her husband Todd and their two dogs, Ridge and Tillie.  They love to travel, hike, and spend time with their five adult children and grandchildren.