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Ascension Healthcare names new CEO as longtime leader announces retirement plans

Ascension Healthcare names new CEO as longtime leader announces retirement plans

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Robert Henkel, the longtime leader of Ascension Healthcare, is stepping down from his post this summer to retire.

Patricia Maryland, chief operating officer of Ascension Healthcare, has been promoted and will replace Henkel, effective July 1, the health system announced Thursday.

Ascension Healthcare operates more than 141 hospitals and 2,500 facilities in 24 states and Washington, D.C. It’s a subsidiary of Edmundson-based Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health care system.

Henkel has served Ascension since its formation in 1999. In 2004, Henkel was tapped to serve as chief operating officer of Ascension Health. In 2012, Ascension became the parent organization, led by Tony Tersigni, and Henkel assumed the position of CEO of Ascension health care division.

“Bob Henkel has been one of the most influential and important leaders of Ascension and the entire health care industry,” Tony Tersigni, CEO of Ascension, said in a statement.

Ascension’s board chair, Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, is stepping down from the board to take on a new leadership role within the organization.

Holtschneider will join Ascension as executive vice president and will have oversight of Ascension’s subsidiaries Ascension Information Services and Ascension Ministry Center. He also will oversee Ascension’s strategy and advocacy work.

Holtschneider is currently president of DePaul University in Chicago. He previously announced his intention to step down at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Maryland, who will succeed Henkel, was first appointed to chief operating officer of Ascension Healthcare in 2013. Prior to that she served as the chief executive of Ascension’s operations in Michigan, overseeing St. John Providence Health System in Warren, Mich.

Prior to her time within Ascension she served as a president of St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital and chief operating officer of St. Vincent Health.

Her extensive background includes 15 years at the famed Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Maryland has a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Alabama State University and a master’s degree in biostatistics from University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Pittsburgh.

Samantha Liss • 314-340-8017

@samanthann on Twitter

sliss@post-dispatch.com

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