Ruth Williams-Brinkley Named One of Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020


Ruth Williams-Brinkley, president of Kaiser Permanente, has been named by Modern Healthcare as one of 2020’s 100 Most Influential People. The prestigious recognition program acknowledges and honors individuals who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare to be the most influential individuals in the industry, in terms of leadership and impact. This year’s list was comprised of a record number of women.

Williams-Brinkley leads Kaiser Permanente’s mid-Atlantic region, which has more than 770,000 members and operates 34 medical centers throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. Williams-Brinkley joined the mid-Atlantic region from Kaiser Permanente Northwest, where she served as president since 2017. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Williams-Brinkley was CEO of KentuckyOne Health, Kentucky’s largest integrated health system, where she oversaw a post-merger systems integration with the joining of the University of Louisville Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. She also successfully expanded specialty programs in heart and cancer care at KentuckyOne.

“I’m honored by this distinction and would like to take this opportunity to recognize our medical team, staff, and employees who are expertly and compassionately caring for our members, patients, and community,” said Williams-Brinkley. “They have overcome tremendous circumstances this year and I am incredibly grateful for their service and resilience.”

Under Williams-Brinkley’s leadership, Kaiser Permanente distributed $1.5 million in grants and donations to community organizations focused on addressing homelessness and access to food in 2020. The region’s leading health system also expedited the launch of its Mid-Atlantic Community Network in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, connecting community members to critical health care and social services like housing, food, employment, behavioral health and utilities assistance. The health system also rapidly expanded telehealth service, with an 800% increase in video visits from 2019 to 2020, and rolled out a new line of products focused on virtual care delivery to leverage Kaiser Permanente’s robust telehealth infrastructure.

“Ruth’s nursing experience gives her great insight into member care and service needs,” said Kim Horn, executive vice president and group president for Kaiser Permanente. “From calling out racism as a public health crisis to addressing the social health of the community, her leadership this year has been invaluable.”

The complete ranking can be found in this week’s issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, and a feature article and profiles of the winners are available at

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

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