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Renown Health's COO, Acute Services, Empowers the Next Generation of Women Healthcare Leaders

November 23, 2020

dawn ahner chief operations officer health services headshot

Dawn D. Ahner, DSc, FACHE, selected to serve on The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Women in Health Leadership Executive Council.

Research shows women make up almost 80 percent of the healthcare workforce, yet fewer than 20 percent hold key leadership roles. Determined to even out those percentages is Renown Health’s chief operating officer, acute services, Dawn D. Ahner, DSc, FACHE.

Renown Health proudly announced today that Ahner was selected among a competitive pool of outstanding women to join The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s inaugural Women in Healthcare Leadership (WIHL) Executive Council. She will serve on the mentor committee where she will support and empower mid-career as well as up-and-coming female leaders in healthcare leadership.

Ahner will serve three years on the WIHL Executive Council, beginning January 1, 2021.

“Renown Health is a better place because of Dawn’s incredible leadership,” said Sy Johnson, MBA, chief of staff at Renown. “For nearly 30 years, she has led by example to serve our patients, employees and community, helping pave the way for other female leaders to thrive in leadership positions at Renown. Now, she’s paving the way for future leaders to thrive in healthcare leadership positions across the nation, and we could not be more proud of her.”

"At Renown, we are committed to fostering an environment of diversity, inclusion and cultural competence where all are appreciated, fully engaged and motivated to make a genuine, positive difference in the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve," said Michelle Sanchez-Bickley, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Renown’s chief human resources officer. "We are proud that nearly 70 percent of Renown's leadership roles are filled with women who are making a difference in our community. Dawn is leading the way for all of us."

“As I begin my term as a member on the WIHL Executive Council, I am hopeful for a future filled with more female leaders in healthcare,” said Ahner. “I am fortunate to be where I am today, and my goal is to help women learn from my journey and experiences and see that anything is possible with hard work and determination.”

Ahner started at Renown in 1993 as a financial analyst. She worked her way through the ranks, serving a total of eight positions including director of finance, chief financial officer, chief administrative officer, and finally, her current role as chief operating officer, acute services.

She has been honored for her many accomplishments, including spearheading the launch of Renown’s Transformation Health Care, a model of continuous improvement based on lean methodology; and in 2018 she was named to the Becker’s Hospital Review’s annual list of 143 women hospital and health system leaders to know.

Ahner earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Sacramento; her master of business administration from the University of Nevada, Reno; and her doctor of science in administration-health services from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital rankings, Renown South Meadows Medical Center was listed #1 in the State of Nevada. Renown Regional Medical Center was named #2 Best Hospital in Nevada. A hospital's score is based on multiple data categories, including patient outcomes, safety and volumes. Hospitals earning a high performing rating were significantly better than the national average.

About Renown Health

Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Health, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information visit, www.renown.org.


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