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University Medical Center Announces Senior Leadership Additions

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University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC) is thrilled to announce key additions to its leadership team, ushering in a new era of excellence and commitment to service. These new leaders bring diverse healthcare experience, a unified vision, and a dedicated commitment to the Spirit of Charity.

First and foremost, John R. Nickens IV has been officially appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UMC. Nickens, who demonstrated exemplary leadership as the interim CEO for UMC, seamlessly transitioned into the permanent role after just one month of successfully implementing lasting operational enhancements and establishing a profound connection between the hospital and the Spirit of Charity culture. With a wealth of experience in academic medical center leadership, Nickens will continue to serve as the President of the LCMC Health Hospital Services. In this dual capacity, he will oversee major academic facilities, including Children's Hospital New Orleans and East Jefferson General Hospital, fostering collaboration and service excellence within the broader health system. Prior to his current role, Nickens spent five years as CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans leading transformative efforts by expanding programs and partnerships to enhance the care for children throughout the Gulf South. This career expansion adds to Nickens’ legacy of leadership and success both inside and outside hospital walls.

In a significant move, Allison Guste has been named the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of UMC. Guste, also the LCMC Health Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Services, will serve in a dual role to fortify the symbiotic partnership between the hospital and the health system. In a brief stint of serving as interim CNO of UMC, Guste established critical processes and built lasting relationships with UMC nurses, leaders, and the extended team. She began her LCMC Health career as an Emergency Department nurse tech at Touro over 18 years ago before transitioning to the outpatient cardiology clinic, where she discovered a love for quality and healthcare management. She has proven to be an excellent asset, building true partnerships with nurses to ensure they have everything needed to care for the most vulnerable community members. Her expertise and dedication to nursing leadership will undoubtedly contribute to elevating patient care standards.

Adding to the strength of the leadership team is Tom Patrias, the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of UMC. Patrias, with a distinguished track record as the CEO of Tulane Medical Center and Lakeside Hospital, brings vast leadership experience to the role. In the past, Patrias has worked with physicians and leaders to enhance service, quality, and operational initiatives, while focusing on improving patient care. Under Patrias' leadership, these facilities were recognized as a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital and a World's Best Hospital, respectively. Patrias is poised to drive operational excellence and innovation at UMC, while continuing to solidify the hospital's success as an academic medical center.

Further fortifying the team, C.J. Marbley, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at New Orleans East Hospital (NOEH), will expand his role to serve as the Vice President of Nursing Services at UMC. At NOEH, Marbley oversees nursing, ancillary services, hospital operations, and leads essential outreach efforts in connecting the hospital with the New Orleans East community and the city. With his dual role, Marbley will work in partnership with nurse leaders to ensure the New Orleans community receives the right care in the right place. Marbley’s passion for service and extensive clinical experience make him an invaluable addition to the leadership team, contributing to the hospital's commitment to community and care.

“As a system, LCMC Health continuously evolves to better meet the needs of our patients,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “I am proud of the cohesive leadership team we’ve built to guide University Medical Center towards operational excellence and dedicated service to our community. With strong leaders driving positive change, we will continue integrating hospital services to enhance the experiences of our patients.”