NEW ORLEANS, La. – Sept. 13, 2022 – Today, Ochsner Health’s Board of Directors announced that after 24 years of service to the organization, Warner Thomas will enter the next chapter of his career as President and CEO of Sutter Health, an integrated not-for-profit network of 22 hospitals, 12,000 aligned physicians, 53,000 employees and over $14B in revenue in 2021. The Ochsner Health Board has unanimously voted to appoint Pete November, Ochsner Health’s current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, as Thomas’s successor. November will assume the role of CEO on November 1, 2022.
“Since joining Ochsner in 1998, and assuming the role of President and CEO in 2012, Warner has been instrumental in our growth and success. Under Warner’s leadership, Ochsner Health has expanded across Louisiana and the Gulf South and built a national reputation for quality and excellence,” said Andy Wisdom, Chair of Ochsner Health’s Board of Directors.“Warner’s legacy will live on at Ochsner for many years to come. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we are grateful for Warner’s visionary leadership, and we wish him the very best in this next chapter.”
Under Thomas’s leadership, Ochsner has become a regional healthcare destination with nationally recognized centers of excellence and the top-ranked hospital in Louisiana for the past 11 years by U.S. News & World Report. During his tenure as CEO, Thomas has led the organization through a period of transformation, tripling the size of the health system fromnearly 13,000 to approximately 36,000 employees, from 860 to more than 2,300 physicians and providing high-quality care in40 hospitals serving our communities across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
He has championed workforce development programs and assisted in the creation of academic partnerships with universities and technical colleges across the region to build a pipeline of healthcare professionals for generations to come. His vision to improve the health of our region includes Ochsner’s Healthy State by 2030 initiative with an ambitious goal to raise Louisiana in national health rankings to 40th by 2030 backed by a $100 million initial investment.
“Leading Ochsner Health over the past 10 years will be one of the greatest accomplishments of my career,” Thomas noted. “I leave Ochsner with a tremendous amount of pride and satisfaction, but also a tremendous confidence in the future of the organization and the great accomplishments that are yet to come. With Pete at the helm and the exceptional leadership team in place, Ochsner Health will continue to navigate the challenges brought on by a changing healthcare landscape.”
Since joining Ochsner in 2012, November has held numerous senior leadership positions within the organization with responsibility ranging from operations and finance to partnership development and digital health. Through these roles, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of the organization. Notably, during his tenure at Ochsner, November spearheaded the development of Ochsner LSU Health System of North Louisiana, creating meaningful impact within the region through the hiring of more than 300 physicians, expansion of behavioral health services and investment of more than $200 million.
“Pete is an exemplary leader who has a deep understanding of Ochsner Health, our patients and the communities we serve,” said Wisdom. “Over the last several years we’ve developed a clear leadership succession plan, and the Board’s unanimous vote is a strong signal of our confidence in Pete to build on Ochsner’s foundation of excellence to ensure we remain strong for many years to come.”
“This organization is an incredibly special place, and I am grateful to the Board for the opportunity to help shape its bright future,” said November. “It is a privilege to partner with our 36,000 employees and physicians to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of the communities we serve. As the leading health system in the Gulf South, I take seriously the responsibility we have to fulfill our mission, deliver innovative care and keep Ochsner strong for years to come.”
Before joining Ochsner in 2012, November served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Head of Acquisitions for LHC Group, Inc., one of the nation’s largestproviders of post-acute healthcare services headquartered in Lafayette, La. Prior to LHC Group, Inc., he was an equity partner with Alston & Bird, an international law firm, where he helped a wide range of healthcare organizations navigate growth and complex partnerships for more than 14 years.
A Kentucky native, November earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky. For nearly 15 years, November has proudly called Louisiana home with his wife and two adult children. He is anactive member of the community and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the National World War II Museum.
Ochsner said that over the coming weeks, the Ochsner Health Board of Directors and senior leadership team will work together to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.