Brinkley Receives Prestigious Acknowledgment from Modern Healthcare Magazine

TUCSON, Ariz. – (April 19, 2010) – Ruth W. Brinkley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Carondelet Health Network and West Ministry Market Leader for Ascension Health, has been chosen as one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2010. This prestigious award is only presented once every two years. As part of the honor, Brinkley was interviewed for the magazine’s April 19th issue -- available to subscribers and online at

Brinkley was nominated by more than one colleague impressed by her remarkable “servant” leadership, her ability to achieve sustainable results, and the fervent commitment to mission and ministry she has demonstrated during her 35-year healthcare career. “Brinkley has used her insight, wisdom, creativity and leadership skills to transform organizations to successfully anticipate and meet the rapidly changing needs in the healthcare industry,” noted one colleague.

The submission to Modern Healthcare also acknowledged Ruth’s personal journey from RN and staff nurse to CEO and West Ministry Market Leader: “Brinkley sees it as a privilege, honor and responsibility to mentor others and share her ‘story,’ as well as her knowledge and expertise, so that others can experience the same level of incredible satisfaction and respect that she has gained. She is an inspiration to others by showing how perseverance, dedication, hard work, strong faith and a sense of humor can lead to great success.”

Brinkley, who joined Carondelet Health Network in January 2008, leads Southern Arizona’s largest healthcare system. Employing more than 5,500 staff and associates, the Catholic, nonprofit network is comprised of four hospitals – Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tucson Heart Hospital in Tucson, and Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Carondelet Health Network also includes the Carondelet Neurological Institute. Located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Carondelet Neurological Institute is Southern Arizona’s state-of-the-art facility for the care of neurological illnesses and injuries. Carondelet also provides community healthcare through the services of Carondelet Medical Group and Carondelet Specialty Group, with 20 primary and specialty care offices and one ambulatory surgery center located throughout southern Arizona. In addition to her role as President and CEO of Carondelet Health Network, Ruth is also one of nine Ascension Health Ministry Market Leaders. As West Ministry Market Leader, she is responsible for extended strategic and operational oversight of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center (Lewiston, ID), and Lourdes Health Network (Pasco, WA). Ascension Health is the nation’s largest Catholic, non-profit health system.

Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago this year.

Brinkley is responsible for the strategic, financial and operational success at Carondelet; as well as the Network’s commitment to transform healthcare in Southern Arizona through the expansion of services and access for all as outlined in its Carondelet 2020 strategic plan.
Prior to joining Carondelet and Ascension Health in 2007, Brinkley served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Health Care System, a Catholic Health Initiatives ministry in Chattanooga, TN. She is a registered nurse and holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in nursing from De Paul University in Chicago. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives; a founding member of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation; and a frequent speaker on both health care and broader leadership issues.
Not only will Brinkley be honored nationally with this Modern Healthcare recognition, the Tucson-Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce has also chosen her as one of the 25 Most Influential African Americans in Southern Arizona this month.

And, just last week, as part of the Arizona Daily Star’s “Star 200” top Tucson business listings, Brinkley was named the third most influential woman in Southern Arizona, ranking just behind Governor Jan Brewer and the Superintendent of Tucson Unified School District.

About Carondelet Health Network: 

Carondelet Health Network, located in Tucson, Arizona, is a Catholic, nonprofit health care system dedicated to responding to the health care needs of Southern Arizonans. With a Mission to Heal, Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago. Carondelet Health Network entities include Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Neurological Institute and Tucson Heart Hospital in Tucson, and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Other Carondelet services include 20 primary care and specialty locations, an ambulatory surgery center and outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, nonprofit health care system. In FY 2009, Carondelet provided $43,993,042 or 8.1 percent net revenue in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to health care. More information about Carondelet Health Network, Carondelet Medical Group and Carondelet Neurological Institute is available at