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Leadership Bios

Gregory Feirn - Chief Executive Officer of LCMC HealthGregory C. Feirn

Chief Executive Officer of LCMC Health

Greg Feirn is the Chief Executive Officer at LCMC Health, a six-hospital system that he spearheaded the creation of in 2009. Today, LCMC Health includes Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Touro, University Medical Center, New Orleans East Hospital, East Jefferson General Hospital, and West Jefferson Medical Center—and as our CEO, Greg provides strategic leadership and direction across all locations.

Greg brings over 26 years of healthcare leadership experience to the table, drawing on his knowledge and expertise to lead the way for both our system and industry. After 11 years in leadership at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Greg turned his focus to building a health system that could truly serve the diverse needs of the New Orleans community. As part of this vision, Greg served as the head negotiator when Children’s Hospital acquired Touro Infirmary, and provided instrumental leadership during the formation of LCMC Health.

After spending several years as the new system’s CFO and COO, Greg was appointed CEO of LCMC Health in 2014. With a mission to provide to the highest quality care for every patient, Greg has made sure that LCMC Health grows with an emphasis on innovation, personalized care, and the adaptability needed to succeed in a changing healthcare environment.

In addition to his expertise in strategy, hospital operations, financial accounting, investment portfolio management and academic research, Greg is passionate about driving change in the way Louisiana handles healthcare spending. He’s shaped LCMC Health as an example of a system that’s focused on reducing costs, while continuously striving to provide the best possible care and experience for the New Orleans community.

Originally from Wisconsin, Greg has fully immersed himself in the New Orleans community, playing key leadership roles in a variety of local programs, including serving on the Boards of Greater New Orleans, Inc., Metairie Park Country Day School, the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Louisiana Hospital Association.

John Heaton, M.D., Chief Marketing Officer and President of Clinical and System OperationsJohn Heaton, MD

LCMC Health President and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. John Heaton is the President and Chief Medical Officer for LCMC Health. Managing a variety of clinical and operational areas, he provides his considerable medical expertise and operational experience to such departments as Quality, Case Management, and Population Health.

Prior to moving into his system-level leadership role, he was Senior Vice President/Chief Medical Officer for Children’s Hospital. He originally joined the medical staff at Children’s Hospital in 2000 as Director of Anesthesiology.

An alumnus of the LSU School of Medicine, Dr. Heaton is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and holds a Master of Medical Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Heaton is a passionate advocate for patient safety and the quality of our care delivery systems. A longstanding clinical faculty member at both LSU and Tulane medical schools, he is also a staunch supporter of Children’s Hospital – and the entire LCMC Health family – and works tirelessly to uphold the hospital’s reputation as the premier site for pediatric clinical education in Louisiana.

Gregory Nielsen - Chief Operating OfficerGregory Nielsen

Chief Operating Officer

Greg Nielsen is the Chief Operating Officer at LCMC Health. Nielsen comes to LCMC Health from American Physician Partners, an emergency and hospital medicine management company with over 2,000 providers at 142 programs in 18 states. Previously, Greg was a Division President for RegionalCare Hospital Partners, an 18-hospital system that is now part of LifePoint Health.

A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Nielsen has enjoyed a long-standing career as a senior healthcare executive in both the non-profit and investor-owned sectors. In addition to American Physician Partners, he has served as divisional president of RCCH HealthCare Partners and CEO for CMH Regional Health System, Great Plains Health, Holy Rosary Healthcare, Weston County Health Services of Regional Health, and Mountainview Medical Center.

Bill Masterton, Chief Market Officer of LCMC HealthJohn R. Nickens IV

LCMC Health Maternal and Child Health Services

President, Chief Executive Officer Children’s Hospital New Orleans

John R. Nickens IV is the LCMC Health Maternal and Child Health Services and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital New Orleans. He originally came to New Orleans in September 2017 as President and CEO of Children’s Hospital. Mr. Nickens began his career at Texas Children’s Hospital in 1990 with management positions in revenue cycle and clinical operations. He went on to hold various administrative positions at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and then returned to Texas Children’s where he has most recently held the position of Executive Vice President, overseeing system-wide clinical business analytics, Pediatric subspecialty medical service lines, and inpatient and outpatient operations.

Jody Martin, Chief Legal OfficerJody Martin

Chief Legal Officer of LCMC Health

Jody Martin is the Chief Legal Officer for LCMC Health and, as such, is the system’s primary legal advisor. As he manages the many legal situations that arise for the system – such as compliance issues and risk management functions – Jody successfully articulates the system’s position, while helping to ensure that the entire LCMC Health team remains committed to its mission of quality healthcare and clinical excellence.

He brings wide-ranging legal experience in the healthcare arena to LCMC Health, including service at several hospitals across the South, and his contributions represent an incalculable asset for our system. His most recent role before joining LCMC Health was Regional General Counsel for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) in Baton Rouge.

Jody successfully articulates the system’s position, while helping to ensure that the entire LCMC Health team remains committed to its mission of quality healthcare and clinical excellence. Like his medical counterparts in the LCMC Health system, Jody is committed to maintaining excellent and compassionate care in our community.

Christine Albert, Vice President, Marketing and CommunicationsChristine Albert

Chief Marketing and Experience Officer

Christine Albert is the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer for LCMC Health and its six-hospital system. She provides strategic leadership for marketing planning and employee experience across the entire LCMC network. Her commitment to our system and our city’s residents has helped us build a powerful reputation for our brand.

At Touro, Christine was initially employed as Director of Marketing and later promoted to the position of Associate Vice President of Marketing. Prior to her current role, she served as Vice President of Marketing for the entire LCMC Health system. Christine also has worked in public affairs positions for the Department of the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Outside of the office, Christine serves as a board member AHA Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD). Active in several professional associations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and American Marketing Association, she has been recognized as a “40 Under 40” honoree Gambit Weekly in its annual list of outstanding young professionals in the New Orleans area. Christine is a dedicated community ally who stays active in ventures that benefit causes like the American Heart Association, where she is a Circle of Red member, and the Youth Empowerment Project’s 40 Under 40, a group of young professionals who pledge their time and philanthropic support to have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of New Orleans’ underserved young people.

Tanya Townsend, MSMI, CHCIO, Senior Vice President and Chief Information OfficerTanya Townsend, MSMI, CHCIO

Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer of LCMC Health

Tanya Townsend is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for LCMC Health and its six-hospital system. An established financial executive who has been working in the healthcare industry for over 20 years, Tanya held a variety of positions from system analyst to CIO in healthcare organizations and hospitals in Wisconsin before she headed south to New Orleans and the LCMC Health system.

Tanya is committed to staying abreast of best practices across the IT industry – in her role as a division CIO in Wisconsin, she was the first to consolidate and integrate Information Technology, HIM, and Clinical Engineering into a more efficient shared services model. Passionate about the topic of information tech, Tanya has spoken at national events in the industry as well as received numerous acknowledgements and awards for her work. She currently sits on Advisory Boards for several technology firms including NetApp, VMWare, Fortified Health Security, and CHIME. She has been named one of the top healthcare IT innovators in the country, and her dedication to establishing and maintaining state-of-the-art information systems for LCMC Health is highly valued.

Tanya was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the 2018 Female IT Leaders to Know.

Ayame Dinkler, Chief of StaffAyame Dinkler

Chief Administrative Officer

Ayame Dinkler is the Chief Administrative Officer for LCMC Health, a non-profit health system on a mission to provide the best possible care for every person in Louisiana and beyond. As CAO, she has executive responsibility for government affairs, innovation, and several strategic and operational partnerships. She joined LCMC Health in 2015 after spending more than a decade in public service.

Ayame previously served in a Chief of Staff capacity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, and also served in various leadership roles at the City of New Orleans and on Capitol Hill.

National healthcare publication Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Ayame as one of its Rising Stars for 2018. She has been recognized by New Orleans CityBusiness as a Healthcare Hero (2019) and Women of the Year (2021). She serves on the boards of America’s Essential Hospitals’ Policy Committee, Youth Force NOLA, the New Orleans Building Corporation, Greater New Orleans Inc.’s NextGen Council, the Independent Women’s Organization, the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Foundation, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, the AntiDefamation League South Central Region, and is active with several community organizations focused on women’s issues and youth development.

JoAnn Kunkel photoJoAnn Kunkel

Chief Financial Officer

JoAnn Kunkel is the Chief Financial Officer for LCMC Health and its six-hospital system. In addition to leading the finance and accounting departments, JoAnn also serves as a financial and strategic business advisor to the hospital system CEO and broader leadership team.

JoAnn brings years of finance and healthcare experience to LCMC Health. For the bulk of her career, JoAnn held positions with the $6+ billion Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D. In her capacity as the Corporate Chief Financial Officer of the Sanford Health system, JoAnn led the transformation of the finance organization together with a team of more than 3,000 finance, accounting, revenue cycle, and analytics professionals and was responsible for overseeing financial operations and integration of the system hospitals and clinics into the broader operating company. JoAnn also oversaw operational and financial aspects of the $1 billion Sanford Health Plan, serving membership in commercial and individual products including multi-state exchange products, Medicare supplemental and Medicaid expansion lines of business.

Immediately prior to joining LCMC Health, JoAnn led financial affairs at the University of South Dakota where she was responsible for leading and developing strategic growth opportunities for the university, including its expansion and enhancement of health care related objectives. JoAnn earned both her master’s in Business Administration and bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of South Dakota.

Suzanne Haggard, Chief Financial OfficerSuzanne Haggard

Chief Revenue Officer of LCMC Health

Suzanne Haggard is the Chief Revenue Officer for LCMC Health and its six-hospital system, responsible for all aspects of LCMC Health’s and revenue cycle processes. During her tenure, our system has experienced tremendous growth, and throughout this period of growth, Suzanne has steadfastly focused on improving the profitability of our system – by strengthening and improving the cost structure, revenue cycle processes, and access – so more patients can avail themselves of LCMC Health’s diverse medical services.

In 2019, Suzanne was promoted to her current position, having served as CFO at LCMC Health and CFO at Touro prior to her transfer to the corporate office. Under her leadership, Touro experienced an exceptional operating performance and impressive cash flow generation. Suzanne’s more than 25 years of experience in healthcare management and consulting for both non-profit and for-profit healthcare systems make Suzanne a great asset to the LCMC Health system.

In 2014, Suzanne was honored by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of its Healthcare Heroes, an award given to industry standouts in the metropolitan area. And in 2017, Suzanne was honored by the same publication as one of its top Women in Business. In 2019 she was included in CityBusiness’ “Money Makers” class. She was also named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s 150 Hospitals and Health System CFOs to Know in 2018 and 2019.

Dr. Mary "Toni" Flowers, Chief Diversity and Social Responsibility OfficerDr. Mary "Toni" Flowers

Chief Diversity and Social Responsibility Officer

Toni is a subject matter expert on the topics of diversity, strategy and action planning, health care equity, health and health care disparities, community health, cultural competency, executive coaching, customer/patient experience, and social marketing.

She has spent more than two decades focusing on diversity and inclusion and health equity and disparities in healthcare. Most recently, she was the inaugural Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Roper St. Francis Healthcare System in Charleston, South Carolina. She served in a similar capacity for the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan.

Toni is a member of the executive committee of the American Leadership Council for Diversity in Healthcare and serves as faculty for the Institute for Diversity’s Certificate in Diversity Management Fellowship. She also serves as an advisor and executive coach to health systems and healthcare executives across the country.

Toni has been recognized nationally by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for her excellence in program development and the reduction in health disparities. She is a certified Social & Emotional Intelligence Coach and has received multiple diversity-related certifications from Cornell University and Georgetown University. She is a nurse and medical anthropologist, and for more than 20 years she has served internationally as a medical missionary to many countries throughout Africa, South America, and the West Indies.

In 2018 and 2019, Becker’s Hospital Review named Toni one of 50 “Great African American Health Administrators to Know,” noting her influence in impacting how organizations approach healthcare delivery, the development of healthcare policy, and advocating for the next generation of leaders.

Toni earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education, a Doctor of Humane Letters, and a Master of Business Administration from Christian University of Southern Indiana. Before those degrees, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wayne State University after earning an Associate Degree in Nursing from Wayne County Community College.

Scott Landry, Senior Vice President, Facilities and Support ServicesScott Landry

Senior Vice President, Facilities & Support Services at LCMC Health

Scott Landry is the Senior Vice President of Facilities & Support Services for the six-hospital LCMC Health system. He plays a crucial role for our organization in his oversight of the more than 50 hospital facilities and medical equipment that make up the system.

With more than 30 years of experience in the management of healthcare facilities, he’s a reliable and consistent leader for LCMC Health as he captains the team that handles plant operations, maintenance, bio-medical engineering, facilities development, environmental services, laundry services, security, and parking operations for all our properties.

Since his role as Touro’s Director of Facilities in 2002, through his integral role in the opening of both New Orleans East Hospital and University Medical Center, to his current position as SVP of Facilities & Support Services for the entire system, he’s proven himself to be a priceless asset for our organization and for our community.

A native New Orleanian, he’s excited to oversee the ambitious and exciting $300 million expansion of the Children’s Hospital facility for our organization, and the city, region and its families.

Chad Courrege, Senior Vice President, Human ResourcesChad Courrege

Senior Vice President, Human Resources at LCMC Health

Chad Courrege is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources (HR) for LCMC Health, the system that manages the six hospitals – Children’s Hospital, New Orleans East Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center, East Jefferson General Hospital, and West Jefferson Medical Center – that make up the LCMC Health family.

Born, raised and educated in New Orleans, Chad is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), which signifies both tested knowledge and demonstrated experience in the field of HR – experience and accreditation we feel are invaluable to LCMC Health, as Chad’s abilities are part of the package to ensure we’re providing a fair and honest workplace for our staff as well as a holistic and personalized health system for our patients.

Chad has extensive experience – more than 20 years – leading HR offices and working in the recruiting, hiring and training of team members in the field of healthcare.

Meg Vitter, Vice President of Population Health and Network DevelopmentMeg Vitter

Vice President of Population Health & Network Development at LCMC Health

Meg Vitter is the Vice President of Population Health & Network Development for LCMC Health. Working to encourage and develop the best health initiatives for the greatest

well-being in the community’s population, she focuses constantly working towards greater value for the system and greater health for the community. Meg also oversees LCMC Health’s clinically integrated network and population health organization.

A native New Orleanian, Meg spent many years working in Boston before returning to this area. She joined the LCMC Health family in 2014 where – with her excellent communication and problem-solving skills, and her unwavering dedication to finding ways to ensure that LCMC Health’s goals are aligned with those of the citizens where health care is concerned – she works tirelessly to advance the best possible care conditions and health opportunities for the community.

John Pourciau, LCMC Health AVP Government Affairs​John Pourciau

Associate Vice President, Government Affairs

John Pourciau is the Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs for LCMC Health. John has dedicated his career to public service, and to being a positive voice for underserved communities in Louisiana and beyond. He is passionate about serving his community, which is made evident by the impactful projects and meaningful partnerships he continues to successfully drive.

A native of Baton Rouge, John is a well-respected leader with nearly 15 years of experience in healthcare and government relations. He earned a bachelor’s in Political Science from Amherst College and a juris doctor from Beasley School of Law at Temple University.

Prior to joining the LCMC Health family, John served the New Orleans community as Chief of Staff for LaToya Cantrell in her positions as Mayor and District B Councilmember. Throughout his years of public service, John provided high-level local and state legislative oversight, and advised the city on key programs and other priorities. His proven leadership provides an added level of community support and strategic counsel to help enhance healthcare for individuals and families throughout Louisiana.

John is a strong advocate for community concerns including addressing healthcare access, criminal justice reform, and government affairs in both public and private sectors. He brings valuable experience and a genuine passion for serving others to the LCMC Health family.