Brink­ley goes to Washington

As­cen­sion moves Caron­delet CEO to ad­vo­cacy post

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE - Ashok Selvam

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.


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