Nick Ragone, Esq., is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system. In this role, he oversees the creation and execution of brand and marketing, public relations, social and digital communications, and internal communications for Ascension and its subsidiaries. Since joining Ascension, Mr. Ragone has led efforts to centralize the marketing and communications functions to support the creation of a highly integrated health system, with 2,500 sites of care and 150,000 associates. In addition, he focuses on defining and strengthening the Ascension brand, implementing a robust thought leadership plan, and developing a corporate social responsibility platform for the national health system. Under Mr. Ragone’s leadership, in 2016 the national health system began a significant transformation of its local identity as its health systems and sites of care began to adopt the unified name of Ascension.
In 2015, Mr. Ragone was instrumental in developing Your Move Chess, an after-school chess program for underserved students in the St. Louis region beginning with the Ferguson-Florissant School District, in partnership with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.
A former Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., Mr. Ragone is the author of four books on American government and leadership and has been a regular contributor to CNN, Fox News Channel and Fox Business on issues of politics and communications, as well as writing for U.S. News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, and Real Simple Magazine. He is frequently quoted in PR Week, Advertising Age and The New York Times, among others. In 2016 Mr. Ragone was included in PR Week’s Health Influencer 50 list; in 2007 he was named one of PR Week’s 40 under 40 to watch; and in 2008 he was featured in “Profiles of Success,” a book about public relations.
Prior to joining Ascension, Mr. Ragone was the Director of the Washington, D.C., office of Ketchum, a global public relations firm, where he led operations for the 130-person office. Mr. Ragone served as a senior strategist, counselor and media trainer to many of the agency’s clients, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Express Scripts, H&R Block, Universal Health Services, FedEx, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Macy’s, and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, among others.
Before leading the Washington, D.C., office, Mr. Ragone was the Associate Director of Ketchum’s New York office, where he ran the media, social media, corporate and issues practices. He helped create Ketchum’s national media group, which consists of 19 full-time media professionals, the largest dedicated group in the agency.
Mr. Ragone is a graduate of Rutgers University, Piscataway Township, New Jersey, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and two children.