Betsy Ryan, former head of N.J. Hospital Association, joins board at Inspira

Former New Jersey Hospital Association CEO Betsy Ryan was named to the board of Inspira Health Network last week, the system announced.

John DiAngelo, CEO and president of Inspira Health Network, said Ryan’s experience at NJHA will help give Inspira key insights into health care, saying she brings a wealth of policy and advocacy experience to the health network’s all-volunteer board.

“We are so pleased that Betsy has joined our network board of trustees,” DiAngelo said in a statement. “Her knowledge of the health care industry and commitment to clinical excellence and patient safety are unsurpassed.”

Ryan worked at NJHA for nearly two decades, starting as general counsel in 2000. She was promoted to chief operating officer in 2005. Ryan was elevated to CEO in July 2008. She left the organization at the end of October; former Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett replaced her.

As the leader of NJHA, a not-for-profit trade association with more than 300 hospitals, nursing homes and health care providers as members, Ryan guided the state’s hospitals and other health care providers through dynamic periods in health care, with major policy changes under the Affordable Care Act. She advanced patient safety and clinical excellence in the state by overseeing the establishment of the Health Research and Educational Trust, a certified “patient safety organization,” and the designation of NJHA as a federally designated “hospital engagement network” to lead quality improvement activities in the state.

The Inspira Health Network board provides guidance and oversight to the network’s leadership team. The board’s primary areas of focus include: strategic planning and growth, patient safety and clinical excellence, fiscal responsibility, and assessing and meeting the needs of the communities served by the network.

Ryan said she was looking forward to the challenge of helping Inspira.

“Joining Inspira, such a vibrant and growing health network, presents a great opportunity to be involved with innovative, patient-focused initiatives,” she said in a statement. “Their focus on clinical excellence and patient safety are fully aligned with my past work at the hospital association.”

Ryan, a graduate of the Seton Hall School of Law, started her career practicing law in Mount Holly and went on to serve as assistant counsel under former Gov. Jim Florio and chief of staff of the state Department of Health. She then served as a senior vice president with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., and as a regional executive for the American Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State. Ryan’s health care experience also includes serving as a member of New Jersey’s Board of Medical Examiners, the Clinton-Gore Transition Team, the legal audit team for the Clinton National Health Care Reform Task Force and the transition teams for Gov. Jon Corzine and Gov. Jim McGreevey.

Currently, Ryan holds the position of executive in residence in health management at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Michael McLaughlin, chairman of the Inspira Health Network board, welcomed the addition.

“Betsy brings an unmatched depth of understanding and insight to our board,” he said. “Our health network, and all the communities we serve, are fortunate that she has chosen to share her talent and wisdom with us.”

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