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Blake joins Heart Rhythm Society as CEO

Connell will succeed Blake at ASGE

Dec. 21, 2018
By Lori Sharn
Patricia Blake is leaving the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy after 17 years to become the CEO of the Heart Rhythm Society.  She will succeed retiring CEO James Youngblood on March 1, 2019.

HRS made the decision earlier this fall, but announced the news in a Dec. 20 press release.

ASGE also announced in December that its COO since 2009, Barbara Connell, will step up to the chief executive role on Jan. 1, 2019. 

Blake told CEO Update she is looking forward to a new challenge and the opportunity to grow another medical specialty group. ASGE had been run by an association management company before she was hired as the first full-time staffer in 2002. Today, ASGE has about 15,000 members, a staff of 50 and revenue of $17 million.

The Heart Rhythm Society has more than 6,000 members and revenue of $19 million.  

Blake “is a model of leadership and she brings tremendous energy to HRS at a pivotal time for the field of cardiac electrophysiology and our organization,” said HRS board president Thomas Deering in a statement.

Blake will move from the Chicago area to Washington, D.C.  ASGE opened its new headquarters in Downers Grove outside Chicago in 2013.  The Heart Rhythm Society is based in downtown Washington.

Before joining ASGE, Blake was CEO of the Emergency Nurses Association.  She is chair-elect of ASAE and will become ASAE chair at the association’s annual meeting in August.

Connell previously held executive positions with the American Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Periodontology, and the American Dietetic Association.  At ASGE, she also oversees Digestive HealthWorks, an association management company and ASGE subsidiary. She is also the executive director of the Association for Bariatric Endoscopy, a division of ASGE. 

“Barbara’s deep experience, history with ASGE, and constant vigilance over the operations of our society will be a great asset to the organization as we continue to provide excellent service and support to our physician members and the larger GI community,” board president Steven Edmundowicz said in a statement.