Ochsner Announces Executive Team Promotions, Appointments

Imageedit 18 3752309778NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health’s new CEO Pete November has announced the promotions and appointments of several leaders to the Ochsner system executive team. Ochsner’s executive leadership team is responsible for serving Ochsner’s workforce of more than 36,000 people, supporting the physicians, providers and caregivers who treat Ochsner’s more than one million patients.   

November stepped into Ochsner’s chief executive role on Nov. 1 after a decade serving in various executive leadership positions. He said the promotions and appointments enhance alignment with Ochsner’s strategic plan and commitment to serving the health system’s workforce, patients, physicians and communities.

“I’m honored to lead Ochsner with an exceptional team of leaders,” said November in a press release. “Our executive team brings a wealth of talent and knowledge to our organization with a mix of longstanding Ochsner leaders bringing a combined 150 years of service at Ochsner to the team, and professionals who recently joined our team with decades of expertise from the nation’s leading healthcare, insurance and digital health organizations. This is a team that has a proven track record of success and a commitment to servant leadership, inclusivity and teamwork. I could not be prouder to work with this team.

“I want to specifically congratulate Dr. Robert Hart and Mike Hulefeld on their appointments. Dr. Hart will serve as our chief physician executive and president of Ochsner Clinic and Mike Hulefeld will serve as our president and chief operating officer. Dr. Hart and Mike have provided over 52 years of outstanding leadership at Ochsner. Both Dr. Hart and Mike are strong leaders who work every day to support our physicians, and caregivers in their efforts to provide the highest quality and most accessible healthcare possible. In their expanded roles they will continue to strengthen our commitment to those at Ochsner who every day prioritize the interests and wellbeing of their patients first.”

“On behalf of the entire board of directors I want to express our full support for this executive team and for Pete’s position as CEO,” said Andy Wisdom, chair of the Ochsner board of directors. “As a board, we have seen this team help lead the organization for many years, and we have complete confidence in their vision, capabilities and commitment to Ochsner and the communities we serve. We are also incredibly proud that the team has seamlessly prepared for this transition and has continued to move the organization forward. This is a true team that combines the best of each individual and places the organization above themselves.” 

Meet Ochsner Health’s Executive Team:

  • Robert Hart, MD, Chief Physician Executive, Ochsner Health, and President, Ochsner Clinic
    • A member of Ochsner’s team since 1994, Dr. Hart will lead Ochsner’s more than 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians and focus on building and growing world-class healthcare programs for patients across the Gulf South. Dr. Hart will also be instrumental in leading all aspects of our clinical and other operations to ensure we provide the highest quality care in the best environment for our physicians and providers. Dr. Hart began his career at Ochsner as a pediatrician and internist and most recently served as chief medical officer.
  • Mike Hulefeld, President and Chief Operating Officer, Ochsner Health
    • As Ochsner’s president and COO, Hulefeld will lead the system’s clinical operations that include 47 hospitals and over 370 clinics and will now also oversee corporate functions including information services (IS), as well as managing Ochsner’s North Louisiana region. Hulefeld has been instrumental in Ochsner’s success since he joined the team in 1998. He’s served in many leadership positions, most recently as Ochsner’s system chief operating officer.
  • Tracey Schiro, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Ochsner Health
    • Schiro leads all aspects of human resources for Ochsner’s team of more than 36,000 employees, driving programs including talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, employee development and learning and employee wellbeing. Schiro will continue building scalable workforce programs and advancing an innovative diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.  Tracey also oversees Ochsner’s risk functions including compliance and legal. Schiro previously served as EVP, chief risk and human resources officer and joined Ochsner’s team in 2007.
  • Scott Posecai, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Ochsner Health
    • As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Posecai will once again assume responsibility for the system’s accounting, financial planning and analysis, reimbursement, and revenue cycle functions. He will also maintain his duties as Treasurer and continue leading managed care. Posecai began his work at Ochsner in 1987 and most recently served as executive vice president, insurance partnerships and treasurer, Ochsner Health. Scott’s 35 years at Ochsner make him an invaluable resource as he steps back into the chief financial officer position. He previously served as chief financial officer for Ochsner for 20 years.  
  • Denise Basow, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Ochsner Health
    • As Ochsner’s first chief digital officer, Dr. Basow will continue to grow Ochsner’s expanding suite of digital programs including those associated with innovationOchsner, virtual care, remote patient monitoring and chronic disease management. Dr. Basow will expand her role to, among other things, lead Ochsner’s physician medical information officers who work to improve the lives of our physicians and transform the delivery of healthcare through digital technology. Dr. Basow will also help lead Ochsner’s effort to be the most consumer-friendly organization for patients and their family members. Dr. Basow joined Ochsner’s team in early 2022 and has more than 25 years’ experience in global healthcare innovation.
  • Leonardo Seoane, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health
    • Dr. Seoane will lead Ochsner’s continuum of education including undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education programs as well as all research initiatives. Additionally, he will oversee Ochsner’s partnership with the University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School and will continue serving as interim chief executive officer of Ochsner LSU Health System in North Louisiana. Dr. Seoane also serves as the executive leader for Ochsner’s Healthy State initiative which was formed to improve the health of the communities we serve. Dr. Seoane, who is board certified in four specialties, joined Ochsner’s physician team in 2001 and has served in many leadership roles throughout his time with the organization.
  • David Gaines, Executive Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer, Ochsner Health
    • As executive vice president and chief external affairs officer, Gaines continues his transformative work on the Ochsner leadership team by serving as the voice and liaison with critical organizations and individuals including donors, media, elected officials and community leaders. Under his leadership, Ochsner has successfully drafted and secured laws to improve the safety and well-being of healthcare professionals and secured critical funding to support Ochsner’s mission. Gaines and his team have been instrumental in advancing Ochsner’s brand locally, regionally and nationally, as well as leading strategic system communications.
  • Deborah Grimes, RN, JD, System Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Ochsner Health
    • As system vice president and chief diversity officer, Grimes is critical in leading workforce and employee strategy for Ochsner and further developing policies and practices that promote focused attention to diversity and inclusion matters including recruitment, retention, workforce planning and career development. Grimes is also responsible for managing and implementing Ochsner’s health equity strategy in collaboration with Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood. Grimes joined Ochsner in 2020, following a 33-year career at University of Alabama – Birmingham Hospital.

Joining the Executive Team:

  • Corwin Harper, Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, Ochsner Health
    • As Ochsner’s first chief growth officer, Harper brings together growth-focused initiatives, allowing Ochsner to find new and nurture existing partnerships and business ventures. Harper began working with the Ochsner team in 2021 as the CEO of Ochsner’s Northshore and Mississippi Gulf Coast Region after more than 25 years of experience with Kaiser Permanente Health in California. Harper was recently honored by the National Association of Health Services Executives for outstanding leadership and his dedication to creating equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare.
  • Jeffrey Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Population Health and Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner Health Plan
    • Fernandez joins Ochsner’s executive team with more than 20 years of managed care leadership experience. He currently serves as CEO of the Ochsner Health Plan, and prior to joining the organization served as senior vice president at Humana, where he was responsible for Medicare Advantage operations across 17 states and over one million lives. Jeff will oversee the Ochsner Health Network, our non-Louisiana based Ochsner 65 plus clinics, the Ochsner Health Plan as well as the performance of our value-based Medicare Advantage products.  
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