Austin attorney Ann Benolken is joining Ascension to lead the national health system’s legal efforts on behalf of its Texas Ministry Market, which includes Ascension Providence in Waco and Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. She will serve as Vice President, Legal, and General Counsel, Texas Ministry Market and begin transitioning into this role in late November 2016. Ascension is the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system.
Benolken will report to Chris McCoy, Senior Vice President, Legal Services, and General Counsel, Ascension Healthcare, a division of Ascension. She also will be part of the senior leadership team of the Ascension Texas Ministry Market.
“Ann is a highly skilled and experienced attorney with more than 25 years of experience as a general counsel and law firm partner,” McCoy said. “Known for her attention to serving the needs of clients and ability to build positive, cooperative relationships, Ann is a strategic thought partner and leader who draws on her significant experience in industries including health care and life sciences. We’re pleased to welcome her to Ascension and our Texas Ministry Market.”
“As a longtime Austin attorney, Ann is very familiar with our health ministry, and we’re very happy that she will be supporting our delivery of compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to those living in poverty and those most vulnerable,” said Jesús Garza, president and CEO, Seton Healthcare Family, who also serves as senior vice president, Ascension, and Texas Ministry Market Executive.
“Both Seton and Ascension Providence are known for their excellent care and their commitment to the communities they serve. I’m looking forward to contributing to their continued success in meeting the changing health needs of individuals across Central Texas,” Benolken said.
Benolken currently is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, a leading global law firm, where she leads the firm’s mergers and acquisitions, corporate, and securities section in its Austin office. Her work has included developing legal teams to represent private and public organizations in a range of transactions including medical school partnerships and other strategic alliances, mergers, and more. Earlier in her career, she served as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of a startup telehealth company and also as General Counsel of a telecommunications and Internet services company.
Benolken earned her law degree and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas, Austin. She is a member of the Governance Committee for SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) in Austin and on the Board of Directors of the Austin/San Antonio chapter of the General Counsel Forum, a community of more than 700 general counsel and senior managing counsel. She has served on several community boards, including Austin Children’s Shelter (now known as Austin Children’s Services) and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) of Travis County, Texas. She is a founding member of Women of Hope, a philanthropic group of women who have come together around their common interest in making the world a better place for abused and neglected children and youth served by Austin Children’s Shelter. She has been included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2012.
The Ascension Legal team operates as a unified, in-house law firm, with a single reporting structure that reduces risk and improves the overall quality, consistency and efficiency of legal services rendered across the health system’s sites of care in 24 states plus Washington, D.C.
“We’re happy to welcome Ann to our integrated national Legal team,” said Joe Impicciche, Executive Vice President, Legal Services, and General Counsel, Ascension. “She will be an important contributor as we continue to build our capabilities and strengths in support of Ascension’s Mission.”