Our Leadership

John R. Nickens IV
President, Chief Executive Officer, LCMC Health Maternal and Child Health Services

John R. Nickens IV, President & Chief Executive Officer

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.

Mark Kline
Senior Vice President, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer


In July 2021, Children's Hospital welcomed Dr. Mark Kline, an internationally recognized leader in child health, as the hospital’s Physician-In-Chief. In this role, Dr. Kline oversees Children’s Hospital’s pediatric academic medical programs and partners with both LSU and Tulane Pediatricians-in-Chief to advance academic medicine, training, and teaching at the hospital. In addition to Dr. Kline’s primary responsibility as an executive leader for Children’s Hospital, he will hold faculty positions at both LSU and Tulane, working directly with LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University School of Medicine Deans to develop innovative, cohesive strategies to improve the future health and wellbeing of Louisiana’s children. In October of 2021, Dr. Kline's role expanded to include the title of Chief Medical Officer. A pediatric infectious disease specialist by training, Dr. Kline founded an international pediatric HIV/AIDS program, Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI), a program that builds healthcare infrastructure, trains health professionals, and provides medical care and treatment to children and families across sub-Saharan Africa and in Romania. his pioneering work led to Dr. Kline’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. Additionally, Dr. Kline has been the recipient of more than $150 million in research and training grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most recently, Dr. Kline served in the esteemed roles of Physician-in-Chief at Texas Children's Hospital and Chair of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, from 2009-2020. Dr. Kline serves as Editor in Chief of Rudolph’s Pediatrics, one of the world’s most widely recognized and read medical textbooks. He has authored more than 250 articles and textbook chapters, and has presented throughout the world on a myriad of child health topics. Honors include the Association of American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award in 2002, the Medical Award of Excellence from Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2007, the Distinguished Faculty Award of Baylor College of Medicine in 2007, the Millie and Richard Brock Award of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2009, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service in 2010, just to name a few.

Leron Finger, MD
Associate Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer

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. In October of 2021, Dr. Finger also took on the role of Associate Chief Medical Officer. In this capacity, Dr. Finger works in collaboration with CMO, Dr. Mark Kline and oversees medical informatics across the organization.

Ellis Arjmand, MD, MMM, PhD
Surgeon-In-Chief

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
Pediatrician-In-Chief

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
Pediatrician-In-Chief

  • 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.

George Bisset, III, MD
Special Advisor to the CEO


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. Dr. Bisset has transitioned from his role of Chief Medical Officer ahead of his retirement in March of 2022, and now serves as Special Advisor to the CEO.

Jonathan Brouk
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Matthew Schaefer, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan Brouk serves as Chief Operating Officer at Children's Hospital. Prior to assuming this role, he served as Children’s Vice President of Strategy and Business Development and has been a member of the hospital’s leadership team since 2016. Before joining Children’s, Brouk practiced corporate law in the healthcare group of a large national law firm headquartered in Chicago and a regional firm based in New Orleans, focusing primarily on hospital-physician alignment strategies, population health initiatives, and associated regulatory matters. 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.

Lou Fragoso
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial and Chief Administrative Officer
  • Lou Fragoso

In his role as Chief Financial Officer, Lou Fragoso has exeutive responsibility over Children Hospital’s financial operations including accounting, budget management, financial planning, reimbursement and revenue cycle. As Chief Administrative Officer, Lou 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 pediatrics 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.

Lindsey Casey, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer

​ In her role as CNO, Lindsey serves as the executive over all practice areas of nursing, will support the organization’s strategic priorities, and serves as executive leader over the hospital’s journey to achieve Magnet® Designation, the highest designation in nursing excellence. She also serves as the service line executive for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and Neonatology, two of Children's Hospital’s signature programs. Lindsey previously served as Children’s Hospital’s Assistant Vice President, Hospital Operations, bringing her strong clinical background to lead hospital-based services, including lab, pharmacy, radiology and rehabilitation services. Born and raised in South Louisiana, and a wife and mother to three children, Lindsey began her career at Children's in 2001 as a Nurse Tech in the PICU. After graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from LSU Health New Orleans, she worked as a bedside caregiver for ten years before rising to the role of PICU Director. Lindsey served in this capacity for five years while simultaneously earning her Master's of Science in Nursing degree from Loyola University New Orleans. She then took on the role of Senior Director of Critical Care with oversight of the CICU, NICU, PICU, Emergency Department, ECMO program, Respiratory Therapy, and advanced practice providers. In 2018, Lindsey transitioned to her current role of Assistant Vice President, Hospital Operations which allows her to bring her clinical background to lead the hospital's support departments.

Scott Macicek, MD
Chief Experience Officer
Dr. Scott Macicek serves as Chief Experience Officer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans and sees patients as a Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He attended medical school at LSU Health New Orleans and then completed residency training at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Macicek then completed fellowships in pediatric cardiology and pediatric electrophysiology. Before moving back to Louisiana, he remained on staff at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Macicek is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric cardiology, and adult congenital heart disease. Additionally, he is certified as a pediatric electrophysiologist by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners.

Natasha Richardson
Vice President, Academic Affiliations/Community Programs

Natasha Haynes, Vice President, Hospital Operations

Natasha Haynes is the Vice President of Academic Affiliations/Community Programs. 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.


Benjamin Whitworth
Vice President, Hospital Operations

Ben Whitworth joined the staff of Children’s Hospital, New Orleans as 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.


Jessica Cahill, CPA
Assistant Vice President, Finance and Analytics

Jessica Cahill, CPA serves as Assistant Vice President, Finance and Analytics at Children’s Hospital. A Miami native, she moved to New Orleans in 2000 and completed her Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree at the University of New Orleans. She joined Children’s in 2013 as the Hospital’s Controller, after a career in public accounting where she managed audit engagements in the health care industry. Jessica works closely with Accounting, Financial Planning & Analysis, Revenue Cycle, and Materials Management to oversee the financial aspects of the Hospital.

Jill Fragoso
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources

  • Jill Fragoso

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.

Lisa Labat, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC
Assistant Vice President, Patient Care Services

Lisa Labat serves as Assistant Vice President for Patient Care Services at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. Her responsibilities include leadership and oversight of the Medical/Surgical units, Critical Care units, Emergency Department, Hematology/Oncology Unit, Rehabilitation Unit, Behavioral Health Unit, Social Services, Case Management, and nursing strategy. Lisa has over 29 years of diversified experience including staff nurse, charge nurse and preceptor, development and implementation of Dialysis Unit, Unit Director, Senior Director of Perioperative services, Senior Director, Acute Care Services, and Senior Director Patient Care Services. Lisa earned her Associate of Occupational Studies from Elaine P. Nunez Community College. She earned her Associate of Science in Nursing from LSU Health New Orleans, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lisa earned her Executive MBA from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2017 and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Science program at LSU Health New Orleans.