Our Leadership


President, Chief Executive Officer

John R. Nickens IV was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2017. He 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 Senior Vice President overseeing system-wide clinical business analytics, Pediatric subspecialty medical service lines, and inpatient and outpatient operations.


Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. George Bisset was appointed chief medical officer of Children's Hospital in April of 2018. He came to CHNOLA after most recently serving as Radiologist-in-Chief at Texas Children's Hospital and as a tenured Professor of Radiology at Baylor College of Medicine. After training at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, he began his career in academic medicine in the Divisions of Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Over the course of his career, Dr. Bisset has also held tenured faculty appointments at University of Cincinnati, where he served as chief of the section of Body Imaging, and Duke University, where he served as chief of the Division of Pediatric Radiology. He is is triple board-certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology, and Radiology, with additional subspecialty certification (CAQ) in Pediatric Radiology.



Dr. Raymond Watts was appointed Pediatrician-in-Chief of Children's Hospital in May of 2018. He also currently serves as the William H. Stewart, MD Chair in Pediatrics at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine where he leads the Department of Pediatrics, a division composed of over 80 pediatric faculty physicians. Prior to joining LSU, Watts served on the pediatric faculty at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), where he completed his pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship and ultimately ascended to the role of Director of the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Watts completed his pediatric residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, AR.


Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Matthew Schaefer joined the executive team at Children’s Hospital as Chief Operating Officer in December of 2017. Mr. Schaefer came to New Orleans from Texas Children’s Hospital, where he served as the President of the hospital’s West Campus for nine years. Prior to his time at Texas Children’s, he worked as an Associate for McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm. Mr. Schaefer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M and a Master’s in Business Administration from Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Management.


Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Courtney Garrett joined the staff of Children's Hospital, New Orleans as senior vice-president/chief financial officer in February of 2014. She previously served as CFO of a national healthcare information services company. Prior to that, her career was spent in public accounting serving as an Audit Vice President for a regional firm with a specialty in healthcare. She earned her bachelor's in accounting from Louisiana State University and is a certified public accountant licensed in the State of Louisiana.


Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer

Jamie Wiggins was appointed as Children's Hospital's Chief Nursing Officer in January of 2017. He comes from a background of working at children's hospitals, having served as the senior director for Clinical Services at Children's Hospital of Minnesota and most recently as the administrative director for Inpatient Services at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, Fla. Mr. Wiggins earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of San Francisco and his Master of Science degree from the University of California - San Francisco.


Chief Quality Officer

Dr. Leron Finger earned his medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his pediatrics internship and pediatric critical care residency at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. Dr. Finger is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and serves as Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Louisiana State University.


Vice President, Hospital Operations

Natasha Haynes is the Vice President of Hospital Operations. She has been a part of the Children’s family for 17 years. She worked in Research for the first 14 years before transitioning to the Operations side. Natasha, a native New Orleanian, holds a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.


Vice President, Development

Ms. Alicia Franck was appointed as Children's Hospital's vice president of Development in January of 2017. Prior to joining the Children's Hospital team, Franck spent nearly 20 years in higher education fundraising and administration and most recently served as the associate vice president of Resources Development at CARE, USA, the worldwide leader in the movement eradicate hunger and achieve social justice. Franck earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rhodes College and a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University.


Vice President, Ambulatory Services

Matt Groninger was appointed as Children's Hospital's vice president of Ambulatory Services in March of 2017. Before joining the Children's Hospital family, Mr. Groninger has spent nearly 13 years in hospital administration. He most recently served as the Administrative Director of the Heart Center and Surgical Subspecialties at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio for over six years. Mr. Groninger received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Emory University, a Master of Health Services Administration degree from the University of Kansas and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Assistant Vice President, Hospital Operations

Ben Whitworth joined the staff of Children’s Hospital, New Orleans as Assistant Vice President, Hospital Operations in August 2015. Mr. Whitworth comes to Children’s Hospital from UF Health in Jacksonville, Florida where he was the business administrator over Surgical/Perioperative services. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Alabama and Master’s degrees in Health Administration and Health Informatics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Assistant Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Analytics

Jonathan Brouk was named AVP of Strategic Planning and Business Analytics in February 2018. Prior to joining Children’s, Brouk practiced law both in the healthcare group of a large national law firm headquartered in Chicago and in the healthcare and business section of Chaffe McCall, LLP in New Orleans, focusing primarily on hospital-physician alignment strategies, patient privacy, and population health initiatives. Brouk earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, cum laude, from Tulane University and earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago, where he was awarded a Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy Fellowship and served as Senior Editor of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.


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