GSPH alumnus Robert J. Henkel, MPH '83 was one of 16 named to the University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureates, alumni recognized for their outstanding personal and professional accomplishments.
Henkel has overseen the operation of a number of health care organizations, instituting changes to improve health, safety, and operational practices that have benefited patients across the country. He is president of healthcare operations and chief operating officer of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest nonprofit Catholic health system.
Henkel joined Ascension Health in 1998 after holding a wide range of executive positions at health care facilities throughout the country, including the Eye & Ear Hospital in Pittsburgh; Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL; and the St. Louis Healthcare Network, where he led the discussion and process that resulted in the merger of six St. Louis, MO, hospitals and three medical groups.
A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Henkel has given presentations to organizations such as the World Health Care Congress and at events such as the annual ACHE breakfast with the Healthcare Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley. In 2010, he received a Regent’s Award from the ACHE.
In addition to performing his professional responsibilities, Henkel serves on the boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro St. Louis and the Marian Middle School, a St. Louis Catholic school committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by preparing disadvantaged young women for academic success.