November 01, 2011 11:35 ET

Ken Braithwaite Joins VHA Inc. as Senior Vice President and Executive Officer for VHA's East Coast and Pennsylvania Offices

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - Nov 1, 2011) - VHA Inc., the national health care network, today announced that Ken Braithwaite will be the senior vice president and executive officer of its East Coast and Pennsylvania offices, effective November 1, 2011. Braithwaite succeeds Kathy Blandford, who will retire at the end of 2011.

VHA East Coast and VHA Pennsylvania are two of VHA's 16 regional offices that collectively guide its more than 1,400 members nationwide in delivering, coordinating and developing the programs, processes and services to help VHA members improve their clinical and operational efficiency.

Earlier in 2011, Braithwaite retired as a highly decorated Rear Admiral from the U.S. Navy. Since 2007, Braithwaite also served as executive director of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, an advocacy-focused organization in southeastern Pennsylvania representing more than 50 acute-care hospitals and 50 other facilities providing health care services. Concurrently, he serves as senior vice president of the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania, overseeing statewide matters including physician relations, hospital community benefits and disaster preparedness.

From 2002 to 2007, Braithwaite held the post of vice president of Public and Government Affairs for Ascension Health in Washington, D.C. Previously, he worked as vice president of Advocacy and Government Relations for the 541-bed Saint Thomas Health Systems in Nashville, Tenn. From 1997 to 2000, Braithwaite was executive and state director to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. Earlier, he served in executive positions at Atlantic Richfield/ARCO.

"Ken's cumulative accomplishments in healthcare, advocacy, business and the military demonstrate his leadership strengths and talents which will prove valuable in helping members achieve their objectives in an era defined by change and uncertainty," said Gary Ford, group senior vice president, Regional Offices, at VHA.

A naval aviator, Braithwaite earned his bachelor's degree in naval engineering and political science from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and holds a master's degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed graduate studies in international policy and strategies at the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

About VHA
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. In 2010, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.7 billion to members. Formed in 1977, VHA serves nearly 1,350 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating delivery of its programs and services through its 16 regional offices. VHA has been listed as one of the best places to work in health care by Modern Healthcare since 2008 and one of the best places to work in IT by Computer World since 2007.

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