Ruth Williams-Brinkley is the regional president of Kaiser Permanente, where she oversees the organizations operations in Washington, suburban Maryland, Baltimore and northern Virginia. She joined Kaiser Permanente in November 2017 where she served as president of Kaiser Permanente’s operations in the northwest.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Williams-Brinkley helped the organization integrate its telehealth system to provide high-quality care while patients remained in the safety of their home.
Kaiser Permanente moved from a 15% pre-pandemic telehealth threshold to a 90% telehealth practice during the pandemic.
The organization continues to offer telehealth and plans to keep it part of its core offerings.
Williams-Brinkley also was instrumental in deepening Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to advancing health equity and social justice.
“The pandemic laid bare both health disparities and social injustice. Black and Latino Americans are about 1 1/2 times as likely to get COVID and nearly three times more like to die from it as white Americans. The pandemic has exacerbated disparities in accessing key social determinants of health, like housing, food, healthcare and economic opportunity. We have learned that these social determinants of health are fundamental to the well-being of our communities,” Williams-Brinkley said.
She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science from De Paul University and an honorary doctorate from Spaulding University in Louisville, Kentucky.