CEO Robert J. Henkel: Committed to the Ministry at Ascension Health

Robert Henkel has served as president and CEO of Ascension Health in St. Louis since January 2012.

Prior to being named president and CEO, Mr. Henkel was president of healthcare operations and COO for Ascension Health. He has also served as president of the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic States Operating Group at Ascension Health.

Outside his leadership experience at Ascension Health, Mr. Henkel has held several executive positions in other healthcare organizations, including Daughters of Charity National Health system in St. Louis and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx in New York.

Mr. Henkel enjoys working at Ascension Health because it offers something "more than a job," he told the St. Louis Business Journal last year. "Both formally and informally you feel the culture of caring for the poor and vulnerable that dates back 400 years to our founders," he said. He told the paper he likes "the absolute commitment to the ministry that I see and feel from every employee."

Mr. Henkel's leadership prowess has earned him numerous awards and recognitions, such as being named to Becker's Hospital Review's 2013 list of 130 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know and its 2012 list of 300 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.

When he's not leading the nation's largest nonprofit hospital system, Mr. Henkel fulfills his duties as a board member of the Marian Middle School board of directors in St. Louis, a board member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, a board member with the Coalition to Protect America's Health Care and an advisory board member with the Ascension Health Alliance Leadership Academy. He is also a fellow in the American Collage of Healthcare Executives.

Mr. Henkel earned a master's degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh. He serves as an adjunct profession in in alma mater's Graduate School of Public Health.

If you have additional information or updates for this profile, or would like to recommend a leader to be profiled in the future, please contact Lindsey Dunn, editor in chief, Becker's Hospital Review at

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