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 strategy, direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising, public relations and thought leadership, social and digital strategy, internal communications, brand experience and consumer access for Ascension and its subsidiaries.
Since joining Ascension, Mr. Ragone has led a cross-function effort to centralize and optimize the marketing and communications strategic approach to support the Mission and the business of a highly integrated health system, with 2,500 sites of care and 150,000 associates. In addition, he has focused on defining and strengthening the Ascension brand, overseeing a robust thought leadership plan, developing a corporate social responsibility platform, and transforming the marketing model into a digital and data-driven approach that creates a more personal relationship with patients. Under Mr. Ragone’s leadership, Ascension began a national rebrand of its local health systems and sites of care to adopt the unified name of Ascension.
In both 2016 and 2017, Mr. Ragone was recognized by PRWeek as one of the 50 most influential marketers and communicators in healthcare. In 2017, the Holmes Report, a leading marketing and communications trade publication, recognized Mr. Ragone on its inaugural “Influence 100” list, which identifies the 100 most influential marketers and communicators around the globe. In 2007, Mr. Ragone was named to the PRWeek inaugural “40 under 40” most influential list.
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 Saint Louis. He is also an active fundraiser for St. Louis non-profits Marygrove and Covenant House Missouri.
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 PRWeek, Advertising Age and The New York Times, among others.
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 largest clients.
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 of 19 full-time media professionals, the largest dedicated group in the agency.
Mr. Ragone is a graduate of Rutgers University, the Eagleton Institute of Political Science (undergraduate program), New Jersey, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and two children.