John R. Nickens IV
President, Chief Executive Officer, LCMC Health Maternal and Child Health Services
John R. Nickens IV is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital New Orleans and LCMC Health Maternal and Child Health Services. 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.
George Bisset, III, MD
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 triple board-certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology, and Radiology, with additional subspecialty certification (CAQ) in Pediatric Radiology.
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Ellis Arjmand, MD, MMM, PhD
Dr. Ellis Arjmand was appointed Surgeon-in-Chief of Children's Hospital in January, 2019. Dr. Arjmand provides oversight of all surgical service lines and is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic vision for the continued growth of high-quality surgical services. Dr. Arjmand is nationally known for his expertise in healthcare quality improvement and health economics, and for his research related to pediatric hearing impairment. Prior to joining Children's Hospital, Dr. Arjmand served as Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Otolaryngology and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Arjmand also previously served as Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where he was director of the Ear and Hearing Center and Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He earned his bachelor's degree, medical degree and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Arjmand completed his otolaryngology residency and pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis Children's Hospital. He also holds a Master of Medical Management (MMM) degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Raymond G. Watts, MD
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, Dr. 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.
Samir El-Dahr, MD
- Dr. Samir El-Dahr joined Children’s Hospital’s executive team in January, 2019 as the second Pediatrician-In-Chief, representing Tulane University School of Medicine and its pediatric academic medical program. Dr. El-Dahr received his medical degree at Aleppo University School of Medicine in 1982. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at the Medical Center of Delaware in 1986, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Virginia. Dr. El-Dahr joined the Section of Pediatric Nephrology at Tulane in 1990 and is currently the Jane B. Aron Professor of Pediatrics and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine, and Section Chief of Pediatric Nephrology. Dr. El-Dahr is actively involved in laboratory research and has served on several study sections at the National Institute of Health, where he currently holds funding related to mechanisms of kidney development. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs. Dr. El-Dahr is an active clinician with an interest in pediatric hypertension and transplantation.
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.
Courtney Garrett, CPA
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Courtney Garrett joined the staff of Children's Hospital, New Orleans as 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.
Jamie Wiggins, MS, RN
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 in pediatric 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, FL. 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 and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
- Lou Fragoso
- Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer
- In his role as Chief Administrative Officer, Lou Fragoso serves as a senior adviser to Children’s Hospital CEO, John Nickens IV, and manages a wide range of administrative and executive responsibilities. Fragoso works closely with CHNOLA physician leaders to further develop and grow the organization’s provider services infrastructure to help attract and retain top pediatric provider talent. Fragoso also serves as the primary administrative partner for practice plan development, and expanding upon statewide network of pediatric specialty centers and advanced care. Fragoso joins CHNOLA after most recently serving as President of the Texas Children’s Health Plan (TCHP), the nation’s first and largest Medicaid health maintenance organization created just for children. Fragoso also served as the Vice President of Business Operations at Texas Children’s Pediatrics, the largest pediatric primary care network in the country. After completing his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at Loyola University Chicago, Fragoso began his career in accounting at KPMG. He went on to hold senior finance and accounting roles at Resurrection Health Care, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Baylor College of Medicine.
Leron Finger, MD
Chief Quality Officer
Dr. Leron Finger, having previously served as Associate Medical Director, was named Chief Quality Officer in 2018. Dr. 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 of Pediatrics, LSU Health New Orleans.
Vice President, Hospital Operations
Natasha Haynes is the Vice President of Hospital Operations. She has been a part of the Children’s Hospital family for 17 years. She worked in Research for the first 14 years of her CHNOLA career before transitioning to the Operations side. Ms. Haynes, 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
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 to eradicate hunger and achieve social justice. Ms. 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 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 of Hospital Operations in August of 2015. Mr. Whitworth comes to Children’s Hospital from UF Health in Jacksonville, Florida where he was the business administrator over Surgical and 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, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
Jill Fragoso is the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources at Children’s Hospital. In this capacity, Fragoso leads innovative strategies to improve staff engagement and wellness, customer service, talent management, and financial performance. Fragoso is also responsible for identifying future workforce needs and proactively identifying trends to recruit and retain the next generation of CHNOLA sidekicks. In addition to her oversight over traditional HR functions, Fragoso also serves as a key business ally as the organization continues its ongoing culture work. A nurse by training and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Fragoso joins Children’s with a wealth of Human Resources and wellness experience at top hospitals in Texas and the Midwest. Fragoso most recently served as a Director of Human Resources with Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), where she oversaw all aspects of the employee health, wellness, and benefits program for the 14,000-person organization. Before joining TCH, Fragoso also held HR leadership positions at Presence Health and Northshore University Health System in the Greater Chicago area.
Assistant Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Analytics
Jonathan Brouk was named Assistant Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Analytics in February of 2018. Prior to joining Children’s Hospital, 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.