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Ashley Casad, vice president of Clinical Services at CoxHealth
Photo by Brandon AlmsAshley Casad is vice president of Clinical Services at CoxHealth. Purchase Photo

ASHLEY CASAD

Vice President of Clinical Services, CoxHealth

Book recommendations: Good to Great by James C. Collins | LinkedIn: @ashleykimberling

Breakthrough Moment: “Being selected as a fellow for Johns Hopkins Medicine and getting to learn from some of the world’s best health care executives and clinicians.”

When COVID-19 hit 417-land, Ashley Casad was one of the leaders of CoxHealth’s treatment response and vaccination plan. Originally from West Plains, Casad completed a two-year Administrative Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and was their Assistant Administrator of Neurosciences for nearly four years. In graduate school at the University of Missouri, Casad was an intern at CoxHealth. So, when the opportunity to rejoin CoxHealth as the Vice President of Clinical Services came up in January of 2020, she couldn’t pass it up. “It was a chance to help improve the health care in the community that raised me,” she says.

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After one month with CoxHealth, Casad was asked to be one of two deputy incident commanders for the hospital’s COVID-19 incident command response. “I worked on getting a portable CT and extra vents purchased, opening a monoclonal antibody infusion center and transitioning COVID testing to in-house,” she says. She also oversaw CoxHealth’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout for both the staff and the community earlier this year. The organization gave more than 90,000 vaccines in three months, averaging 1,000 per day. “I truly believe that the vaccine is our way out of this pandemic, our chance to get back to normal,” Casad says. “Getting to be a part of this impactful work was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”

Casad now plans to devote more time to overseeing several clinical services including the expansion of oncology services. The hospital just completed a renovation to the oncology clinic in Hulston Cancer Center and is also building a new infusion center. It has brought in additional oncologists and is expanding research trials, telemedicine, nutrition services and patient navigation associated with oncology. Casad is working with a lab team to expand the CoxHealth medical technologist school to accept and train more students annually. “We will be able to care for more community members with cancer locally and timely, and more exhaustively address all aspects of their care needs,” Casad says.

Casad sees the focus of health care in the next 10 years shifting to more home-based services rather than hospital or clinic based. “As there continues to be advances in artificial intelligence within health care and precision (essentially, personalized) medicine, I expect to work on many projects around how we utilize these advances to provide better and more timely care to our patients with everything from remote monitoring to telehealth visits to more home-based treatments,” Casad says.

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