Henkel retiring as Cleveland Clinic's chief government relations officer

Cleveland Clinic's chief government relations officer, Oliver C. “Pudge” Henkel Jr., is retiring after seven years with the health system, and the top lobbyist from Abbott Laboratories — a worldwide pharmaceuticals and medical products firm — is poised to fill his role.

Kristen D.W. Morris, who has served as Abbott's divisional vice president of federal government affairs since 2007, will join the Clinic July 8 and assume the title of chief government and community relations officer.

“Governments wield tremendous influence on the future of medicine and it's important that Cleveland Clinic continue to have its voice heard as part of the legislative process,” Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove said in a news release. “Kristen has demonstrated an impressive ability to work with legislators on a variety of complex healthcare topics.”

Prior to her role at Abbott, Ms. Morris served as vice president of government affairs and public policy for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, vice president of legislative affairs for the American Hospital Association and assistant director of federal affairs for the American Medical Association. She earned her bachelor's degree in communications from Purdue University.

Mr. Henkel, a fixture of the Cleveland business community, will remain on contract with the Clinic to assist with the transition. In the past, he had served as partner with Thompson Hine LLP, vice president of Progressive Corp., the national campaign manager for Gary Hart's presidential run and a partner at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue.

"Pudge Henkel retiring as Cleveland Clinic's chief government relations officer" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.



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