36 CEO NYC Health & Hospitals/Harlem Hospital
MANY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT a career in healthcare was a foregone conclusion for Ebone Carrington, whose parents were steeped in healthcare. Her father was an oral surgeon and her mother was an administrator who oversaw New York state’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
But a career as a hospital executive was something Carrington eventually had to grow into—thanks to a little nudge from her father.
“Very early on in college I wanted to do finance, and toward the end of my undergraduate tenure I was working in the fashion industry working for Gap corporate,” Carrington said. “My father said, ‘I really don’t see this going anywhere,’ and that he also felt like he paid too much for my education to go into fashion.”
Carrington’s father—the late Dr. James McIntosh, for whom Harlem Hospital’s dentistry department is named—presented her with an opportunity for an internship in the finance department of the hospital’s physicians affiliate. She quickly rose through the healthcare ranks, including serving as chief quality officer at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. In April, Carrington became the youngest person to become CEO of Harlem Hospital, taking over the 282-bed facility with a budget of $400 million. Her priorities have focused on improving the hospital’s patient experience, its emergency preparedness and enhancing its community outreach. Because of her family connection, Carrington feels a special responsibility to ensure the 129-year-old institution continues to thrive.
“You don’t want to be the person who leads this hospital into disrepair,” Carrington said. “You want to be the person who invests in it, improves it and restores it to the place some folks remember it to be.”