Ann M. Kashmanian never thought about working in the health care industry when she was studying for a master’s degree in business administration at Northeastern University. Today, she helps keep several Ocean State hospitals on sound financial footing and works to make sure health care is available to everyone.
Now the senior vice president of financial operations and care management at Lifespan Corp., Kashmanian discovered her career path while working for KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting and professional-services firms. “I audited different types of organizations, including banks, manufacturers and hospitals,” she said. “I found the role finance plays in hospitals both interesting and challenging. I could use my skills to support an organization with a very important mission in an environment that is constantly changing.”
Lifespan, her employer, is a health care system that includes Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Bradley Hospital, Newport Hospital and Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.
“Ann is a respected leader with tremendous integrity,” said Brenda Melone, Lifespan’s director of outpatient coding. “She can be trusted because she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so.”
Kashmanian has been named an industry leader in the area of financial services for the 2013 Business Women Awards program of Providence Business News.
A lifelong Rhode Islander, Kashmanian received a bachelor’s degree at Worcester’s Holy Cross College before completing her MBA at Northeastern. Before she joined Lifespan, she worked as the controller of Butler Hospital, as chief financial officer of Community Counseling Center and as a senior accountant for KPMG.
She’s been part of the Lifespan team since 2000, when she became director of finance at Newport Hospital. During her tenure there she established short- and long-term integrated financial plans compatible with the organization’s strategic plan to market growth.
“When I first joined Lifespan, I was hired to work at Newport Hospital, which at the time was experiencing some financial setbacks,” Kashmanian said. “Arthur Sampson, who was president of the hospital, led a strategic planning initiative, our blueprint for turning the hospital operations around.
“We established goals and identified opportunities based on market data and benchmarks,” she said of herself and her colleagues. “We used the market data to identify service-line opportunities to expand our services.”
In 2005, she was promoted to vice president of finance for Lifespan, adding responsibilities for Rhode Island Hospital and the entire health care system. She expanded the role of finance and actively worked on operations committees, quality-improvement committees, the workforce-development committee and the value-analysis committee.
Kashmanian moved up the ladder again in 2009, becoming vice president for finance at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. During that time she developed new charity-care policies to address the issue of the growing uninsured population and Lifespan’s commitment to the community. She also helped standardize financial operations between the two acute-care hospitals and added a clinical-documentation-improvement program.
In January 2013, Kashmanian was promoted to senior vice president of financial operations and care management at the two hospitals. In her new role she has taken on the additional challenge of reorganizing case management and social work to address the changing health care environment.
Kashmanian is an avid volunteer. She uses her expertise to help a number of nonprofits and community organizations. She serves on the board of directors at Navigant Credit Union and Pawtucket’s Saint Raphael Academy. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Health Care Financial Management Association and the Senior Executive Council of VHA Northeast, a network of nonprofit hospitals that work to improve clinical and economic performance. You might also find her helping to organize and taking part in American Heart Walks.
People who have worked with Kashmanian will tell you she’s more than just a numbers cruncher – she’s a problem-solver. Melone recalls how she used her skills to repair the fractured coding system at Rhode Island Hospital. “Ann is creative. She has the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box,” she said.
Kashmanian is modest about her achievements, always giving credit to her colleagues. She also points to a long list of career mentors who have guided her along the way.
“I am very fortunate to have worked with many dedicated Lifespan employees over the years,” she said. “My staff works hard to support the goals of organization.” •