Brinkley goes to Washington
Ascension moves Carondelet CEO to advocacy post
Ascension Health, the largest Catholic provider in the U.S., is moving Carondelet Health Network CEO Ruth Brinkley into an advocacy post in the nation’s capital. Ascension officials call Brinkley’s new role “executive in residence,” in Washington, D.C., and described the move as a promotion that would “capitalize on her tremendous operating expertise and knowledge” as the leader of the four-hospital New Mexico division since 2007.
Brinkley’s experience as a CEO will make her a “credible voice” in showing legislators how the new law will affect healthcare providers, Ascension spokeswoman Trudy Hamilton wrote in an e-mailed response to a request for more information about the position. “She is a valued leader within Ascension Health,” Hamilton added.
Brinkley will focus on helping the system adjust to the broad array of regulations to be implemented under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Ascension said.
Carondelet posted operating income of $8.4 million on $637.1 million in operating revenue in its fiscal 2010, which ended June 30, rebounding from a $9.7 million operating loss on $647.7 million in operating revenue the previous year, according to Carondelet.
Brinkley will leave for her new position on Oct. 16, according to a news release. “Ruth has led Carondelet during a very challenging time and her dedication to the health ministry’s values has never wavered,” Robert Henkel, Ascension’s president, health operations and chief operating officer, said in the release.
Ascension, based in St. Louis, and Carondelet’s board appointed James Beckmann Jr. as Brinkley’s interim replacement. Beckmann is senior vice president for system support services at Ascension.
Modern Healthcare last year named Brinkley on its Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare list. Despite not being of the Catholic faith, she’s known as one of the top leaders in Catholic healthcare.
Brinkley previously served as president and CEO of Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tenn.