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Slidell Memorial Hospital's Board of Commissioners Selects New Chief Executive Officer

Kerry Tirman

Photo from Slidell Memorial Hospital

SLIDELL, La. – The Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH) Board of Commissioners have selected Kerry R. Tirman to replace long-time SMH leader Bill Davis as chief executive officer. The Moss Point, Mississippi, native will begin his new position on Monday, Nov. 12.

Tirman, who has 20 years of healthcare leadership experience, has demonstrated success in improving the operational process and fiscal health, quality of services, and patient satisfaction.

In addition to being a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS), Tirman holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Tulane University, as well as a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. 

“My wife Vicki and I feel blessed and honored to be joining the Slidell community. And we are looking forward to serving with the exceptional team of professionals at Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner – North Shore,” Tirman said. “Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to meet with the selection committee members, the Board of Commissioners, doctors and managers. The energy and pride that everyone showed for the TEAM of Slidell Memorial and Ochsner – North Shore were contagious. I am confident with the leaders we have in place in Slidell, that we will build on the great work done over the past few years, and we are anxious to get started as soon as possible.”

Under terms of the partnership between SMH and Ochsner Health System, Tirman will become the CEO of the Slidell market, including SMH, Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore and related clinics and outpatient facilities. An executive search sub-committee, consisting of eight members of the SMH/Ochsner Strategy and Oversight committee, with four board members from SMH and four members of Ochsner Health System’s management team, was formed earlier this year and was actively involved in interviewing candidates.

The sub-committee presented its unanimous recommendation before the final unanimous vote by the SMH Board on Thursday, Sep. 27.

“We have every confidence that Mr. Tirman will be a strong leader for this hospital, our partnership and our community,” said SMH board chairman Dan Ferrari. “Together with our partner, Ochsner Health System, we conducted a six-month national search, in which 278 individuals were initially targeted. Mr. Tirman offers us a unique blend of Hospital CEO/COO experience, legal/business education, healthcare compliance and leadership experience that we believe will move the Slidell market partnership to the next level of clinical and financial integration, expanded healthcare services, employment growth and employee cultural integration and flexibility to meet the healthcare needs of St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 2 (Slidell Memorial Hospital).”

Warner Thomas, the president and CEO of Ochsner Health System, shared similar sentiments.

"This announcement represents tremendous effort throughout a joint selection process by many stakeholders,” he said. “Together through our successful partnership, we have worked to significantly reduce costs, advance quality and bring new services and programs to patients in east St. Tammany, and we are excited to support and work with Mr. Tirman to further bridge our organizations and cultures."

The board’s national search for a candidate was assisted by Korn Ferry Associates. According to recently published data, Korn Ferry is the second-largest executive healthcare recruiting firm in the United States.

After beginning his healthcare career as a compliance officer and ancillary services director, Tirman grew into several other leadership positions. He served as the CEO of Western Plains Medical Complex in Dodge City, Kansas; the president of Mercy St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo, Ohio; the system COO at Mississippi Baptist Hospital System in Jackson, Mississippi; and CEO of Riley Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi.

He also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and an engineer at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Tirman and his wife have two sons attending the University of Alabama.

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