Warner Thomas brings CEO view to HIMSS

February 13, 2013 in Medical Technology

Warner Thomas, CEO of Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, keynotes at HIMSS13 on Monday, March 4, from 8-9:30 a.m.

Thomas, who had served as Oschner’s president and chief operating officer, took over as CEO on Sept. 1, 2012 in a planned succession of Patrick Quinlan, who had served as CEO since 2001.

As president and chief operating officer, Thomas led Ochsner’s effort in building its own hospital system through the acquisition of six hospitals, which led to the Ochsner Health System as it stands today.

“Warner has been essential in preparing Ochsner to tackle the changes prompted by the Affordable Care Act and the reformation of health insurance,” Jimmy Maurin, board chair of Ochsner Health System, said in a news release announcing Thomas as CEO. “Warner’s management skills have benefited our patients, physicians and employees, all of whom have thrived in our high-functioning environment.”

Maurin also commended Thomas for his commitment to recruiting top talent and developing strong leaders throughout the organization.

“His vision has been realized through the creation of the Ochsner Leadership Institute,” Maurin said. “His focus on implementing industry best practices and developing innovative partnerships with major companies such as GE, have resulted in the operating capabilities required to successfully run a health system of this size.”

Thomas served as 2012 chair of the American Hospital Association’s Section for Healthcare Systems which represents health systems across the country that provide guidance in AHA’s policy development and governance.

Karen Malone, vice president of meeting services for HIMSS, said Thomas will talk about what effect government programs, such as meaningful use, have on healthcare systems.

“We wanted someone from industry that could really present the provider perspective from the C-suite level and what they’re going trough and what they’re thinking is in relation to all the regulatory changes, Malone said. “We wanted someone from the CEO level who can talk about technology and how they see it as far as really being a great investment from healthcare delivery.”

Malone said, Thomas would also speak to how Oschner recovered from the destruction and devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.


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