Laura Atkinson Named Chief Human Resources Officer for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

September 12, 2023

Laura Atkinson Named Chief Human Resources Officer for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System
New Brunswick, N.J. – September 12, 2023 – Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, the parent company of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, is proud to announce the appointment of Laura Atkinson as vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO). Atkinson is a seasoned leader in the field of human resources with nearly two decades of experience in the healthcare arena.
“Laura’s previous experience, specifically with Catholic-based institutions, offers tremendous value to Saint Peter’s,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, FACHE, president and CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. “She comes to us with a unique combination of skills and life experiences that includes human resources leadership at faith-based healthcare institutions, a commitment to serving the underserved, and creative insight for our ongoing recruitment and retention efforts. We look forward to Laura’s leadership of our various employee engagement and other initiatives to provide the best experience and work environment for all Saint Peter’s employees.”
Prior to joining Saint Peter’s, Atkinson was with Ascension St. Vincent Hospital located throughout the state of Indiana. Ascension is one of the nation's largest Catholic health systems whose mission is to deliver compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to those most vulnerable. During her tenure at St. Vincent Health, Atkinson held the position of chief HR executive where she had human resources oversight for 20 inpatient hospitals and many ambulatory clinics. She was a key partner in economic recovery efforts that resulted in annual savings of $54 million. Atkinson spearheaded St. Vincent’s workforce review to support the expansion of its geographic footprint into a new market.
“I am very excited to be joining Saint Peter’s Healthcare System,” said Atkinson. “I feel it’s a tremendous blessing that I’ve found an organization that aligns so seamlessly with my personal beliefs and professional experience. From employees who have been with Saint Peter’s for over twenty years, and there are many, to those new to the Saint Peter’s community, I am committed to building on the positive environment responsible for retention while finding more ways to engage and attract individuals who share Saint Peter’s Catholic mission and strive to be a part of a vibrant, compassionate community.”
Previously, Atkinson worked at Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, TN, also part of Ascension, where she implemented an employee recognition program resulting in a 20 percent improvement in employee engagement. She supported the implementation of a business partner model, improved the new hire orientation expense balanced with significant annualized savings, and implemented an emerging leadership develop program for high potential leaders.
Atkinson is a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) and earned a certificate from the Human Resource Learning Program (HRLP) Executive Program—a premier strategic learning experience for senior level and high potential human resources professionals from leading global companies. She received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Northwest Nazarene University and a master’s in human resource management from Capella University.
About Saint Peter’s Healthcare System
Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter’s healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital and state-designated children’s hospital and regional perinatal center that includes a nationally renowned Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp., which includes the CARES Surgicenter; and Saint Peter’s Physician Associates, a network of primary and specialty care physician practices. Saint Peter’s is a regional specialist in cancer care, diabetes, geriatrics, orthopedics, bariatric surgery and head and neck surgery and is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and internal medicine. Saint Peter’s is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical Health and Sciences. Visit or call 732-745-8600.

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