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Cleveland Clinic Names Chief Government Relations Officer

June 17, 2013

Cleveland Clinic has named Kristen D.W. Morris its Chief Government and Community Relations Officer.

Morris will join Cleveland Clinic July 8 from Abbott, where she was the Divisional Vice President of Federal Government Affairs since 2007, serving as Abbott’s principal representative in Washington, D.C.

“Governments wield tremendous influence on the future of medicine and it’s important that Cleveland Clinic continue to have its voice heard as part of the legislative process,” said Toby Cosgrove, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic. “Kristen has demonstrated an impressive ability to work with legislators on a variety of complex healthcare topics.”

Before Abbott, Morris served as Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals; Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the American Hospital Association; and Assistant Director of Federal Affairs for the American Medical Association.

“I’m looking forward to becoming part of the Greater Cleveland community and representing Cleveland Clinic, a world-renowned institution that has been held up by US presidents, legislators and healthcare industry leaders as an example of what is right about the American healthcare,” Morris said. “Navigating healthcare’s rapidly evolving legislative environment will be an important part of maintaining that legacy.”

Morris, who earned a B.A. in Communication from Purdue University, will be replacing Oliver C. “Pudge” Henkel Jr., who is retiring after seven years at Cleveland Clinic, during which he was a member of the Ohio Hospital Association’s Task Force on Health Transformation, the Governor’s Ohio Health Coverage and Quality Council, OHA’s HCAP, UPL & Taxes Task Force, and a director of the Evergreen Cooperative Corp. and NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts & Technology. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic, Henkel was a partner at Thompson Hine LLP, a Vice President of Progressive Corporation, the national campaign manager for the presidential campaign of Gary Hart, and a partner at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue. Henkel will remain on contract to assist with the transition.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

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