Earl Barnes was placed as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary for Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois. Advocate is a $5.2 billion, faith-based, non-profit health system; with more than 400 sites of care (including 12 acute care hospitals), it is the largest integrated health system in the state, and is the largest provider of community outreach and medical education in Illinois, as well as one of Chicagoland's largest employers, with over 35,000 associates. In his role, Earl provides leadership, legal advice, counsel, strategic direction, and legal support for all Advocate-owned or -affiliated entities, directing the system-wide legal, compliance, privacy, Physician Agreements Office, and claims functions of the parent organization and its subsidiaries, while providing a wide range of legal and strategic advice to governance, the CEO and president, and executive and senior management, as well as to individual hospital governing councils and management teams, medical groups, managed care operations, home health companies, the foundation, and for-profit entities regarding risk exposure, compliance, or legal concerns, in support of strategic goals. His focus is on developing and organizing a strong legal team to meet the growing needs of the company.
Before joining Advocate, Earl served as senior vice president and general counsel for OhioHealth Corporation in Columbus, Ohio, a not-for-profit, faith-based organization that owns and operates 10 hospitals, a multi-specialty 700-physician group, and many ancillary care organizations throughout central Ohio. There, Earl was responsible for all aspects of the operations of the Office of General Counsel and served as the chief executive responsible for OhioHealth's risk and insurance programs. He was a business counselor and advisor to the CEO, senior management, and the system's boards of directors on issues including strategic priorities, hospital and physician group affiliations and acquisitions, physician recruitment and alignment, medical staff, inurement, Stark law, litigation, federal and state charity care, fraud and abuse, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act governance-related matters. During his tenure, Earl completed a successful restructuring of the department that was positively received by the continuously growing healthcare system.
Previously, Earl served as vice president and interim general counsel for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago, as well as vice president and general counsel and deputy general counsel for Northwestern Memorial Hospital; as vice president and general counsel for Rockford Health System in Rockford, Illinois; and as a partner and senior associate in the general corporate and healthcare practices of Gardner Carton & Douglas in Chicago. He began his career as an associate at Rudnick & Wolfe in Chicago in the general corporate and securities, healthcare, and insurance insolvency practices.
Earl is originally from the south side of Chicago. He earned his bachelor's degree from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, and his Juris Doctor from University of Michigan Law School. Earl and his wife are the parents of two children. Outside of work, Earl enjoys photography and is active on the boards of trustees of Just the Beginning Foundation, Lake Forest College, and Columbus College of Art and Design, as well as serving as the vice chair of the Minority In-house Counsel Association.