Ascension ups Nick Ragone to chief marcomms officer

The Ketchum veteran joined the nonprofit healthcare system in mid-2014.

ST. LOUIS: Healthcare system Ascension has promoted Nick Ragone to chief marketing and communications officer, overseeing brand marketing, comms, and social media.

He joined the nonprofit as CCO in June 2014.

Ragone said he is overseeing branded marketing, internal communications, external relations, social media, and digital as the company of 150,000 "creates a more centralized comms team."

He added that his goal is to develop a national brand for Ascension.

The organization’s first nationwide marketing effort, touting its Veterans Choice Program, will kick off next month as part of a collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs to expedite care to patients with lengthy travel or wait times, Ragone said. A push to bring more nurses into the Ascension system is also on the horizon, he noted.

The nonprofit has a presence in 24 states and Washington, DC, and has 150,000 associates and 35,000 aligned providers at 1,900 sites. It works with eight firms from Omnicom Group that provide marketing and communications services for the company.

Before joining the Catholic health organization in 2014, Ragone served as Ketchum’s DC leader since mid-2011. Previously, he was associate director of the agency’s New York office, where he oversaw the corporate, media, issues, and crisis practices. Ragone also served as director of the firm’s national media group.

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