NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Orleans Parish Hospital Service District “A” (HSD) and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL) Health System announced the hiring of Dr. Mario J. Garner as Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans East Hospital.
A Lake Charles native who began his administrative career in health care at Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans, Garner most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin, Georgia.
“I am pleased Dr. Garner has chosen to return to Louisiana to help us restore full-service hospital care for our citizens in New Orleans East,” Landrieu said. “With his extensive administrative experience and ability to deliver results, this young and proven leader will be a vital asset as we deliver on this commitment to the community.”
The inpatient hospital, currently under construction at the former Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital site, is being developed as an acute inpatient 80-bed hospital with a full complement of inpatient and emergency services. The $130 million project includes renovation of the previously existing six-story East Tower and construction of a new Patient Care Pavilion at the site, owned by Hospital Service District “A.”
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Garner, an experienced health care executive,” said Ronnie Burns, Board Chair of Hospital Service District “A” (HSD). “He shares the board’s vision to ensure accessible, full service health care for every resident in our service area. He understands the health care needs in New Orleans and he is personally committed to delivering quality health care at the New Orleans East Hospital.”
Garner will immediately begin working to hire his executive team, including a Chief Financial Officer and Chief Nursing Officer.
“As a former resident of New Orleans, I view my role at New Orleans East Hospital as a tremendous opportunity to serve the people of a community that I know and love,” Garner said.
“My professional background entails leading hospital services that are patient, physician, and employee-friendly as well as operationally efficient. I plan to bring this skill set to build a culture of excellence at New Orleans East Hospital – putting patients first, creating an atmosphere of compassion, teamwork, integrity, accountability, and respect among the hospital’s staff and physicians,”
FMOL is the management partner for the New Orleans East Hospital. The CEO for the New Orleans East Hospital will be directly employed by FMOL and report to the HSD Board.
“Mr. Garner's experience and accomplishments uniquely prepare him to lead healthcare services for the New Orleans East community. We are very pleased to have him join our organization,” said John Finan, President and CEO of FMOL.
City Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo said hiring a strong executive was critical to the hospital’s successful launch. “The Board had its pick among several excellent choices and we’re thrilled that Mario will join our team. We look forward to working together to restore critical health services that the New Orleans East community needs and deserves,” DeSalvo said.
Prior to his role in Dublin, Georgia, Garner was the Chief Operating Officer at the Regional Medical Center of Acadiana in Lafayette. He has also served as Associate Administrator at West Houston Medical Center in Houston and as an Administrative Resident at Tulane University Hospital. During his career, Garner has led many improvement initiatives, including the LEAN hospital operational efficiency program; patient satisfaction initiatives, employee and physician engagement programs; a comprehensive facility construction and renovation plan; and community outreach. While in Dublin, he hosted a television segment called “Meet the Doctor.”
Garner earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Louisiana State University, a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Tulane University and a Doctor of Education Degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston. He is credentialed as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). Dr. Garner holds an assistant adjunct professorship appointment at Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and is a member of a National Alumni Advisory Board for the Office of Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University.