Washington Mardi Gras - January 27, 2018
Warner Thomas is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ochsner Health System. As the CEO of Ochsner, Louisiana’s largest non-profit health system, Mr. Thomas is responsible for the system’s overall strategic growth and development.
Mr. Thomas joined Ochsner in 1998 and served for 14 years as Ochsner’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Mr. Thomas was instrumental in Ochsner’s growth in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated much of the medical infrastructure in south Louisiana. In the years since the storm, Ochsner has acquired six hospitals and developed strategic partnerships and affiliations with 22 others – growing its presence across Louisiana and throughout the Gulf South region. Mr. Thomas has been instrumental in creating the largest healthcare system in the Gulf South.
Since joining Ochsner, Mr. Thomas has focused on implementing industry best practices and developing innovative partnerships with major companies such as General Electric, which has resulted in developing the operating capability required to successfully run a health system of Ochsner’s size. Mr. Thomas was the driving force behind the creation of Innovation Ochsner, an innovation accelerator designed to create health innovations as well as support and partner with companies working to revolutionize patient-centered care. He also spearheaded the creation of the Ochsner Learning Institute, which provides free professional education for all Ochsner leaders to better prepare them to confront challenges, seek opportunity and ignite enthusiasm around best practices in healthcare.
Mr. Thomas’ expertise and ability are nationally recognized. In 2014, Mr. Thomas was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on issues affecting Medicare. He has served as Chairman of the American Hospital Association Section for Health Systems Governing Council, and is a past member of the Board of the American Medical Group Association and Association of American Medical Colleges Advisory Panel for Health Care and Council of Teaching Hospitals.
Mr. Thomas received his Masters Degree in Business Administration in 1994 from Boston University Graduate School of Management, and an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from New Hampshire College in Manchester, NH. He was a Certified Public Accountant, served on the board of the American Medical Group Association, is a Fellow in The American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and New Orleans Business Council, and a Board Member of the Louisiana Hospital Association.
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 28 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 specialties and subspecialties.
Eastan Lee Thomas, daughter of Linda and Warner Thomas, was born in New Hampshire, and moved to New Orleans within her first year. She is a high school senior at Louise S. McGehee School (class of 2017) in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Along with being a varsity volleyball player for the McGehee Hawks and a member of the 2016 Louisiana State Champion Volleyball team, she also played on the varsity basketball team during her freshman and sophomore years. Eastan
participated in the New Orleans District Honor Choir for four years and has been on staff at the Mélange, the McGehee literary magazine, for three years. She will be the editor of the 2017 edition.
Eastan has demonstrated academic strengths throughout her high school career and has been honored by both Mc Gehee and the New Orleans District. During her freshman year, Eastan earned awards in Physics I and French II while competing at the District Literary Rally. During her junior year, Eastan earned the French IV award for her enthusiasm and achievement and was again invited to the District Literary Rally where she placed first in the District. Eastan also was awarded the Janssen Chemistry Award at the end of her junior year for her achievements in science. She earned the Community Service Award for her volunteer work in the community which has included serving at Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, various community homeless shelters, and the Poydras Home (a New Orleans retirement community).
In the summer before her freshman year, Eastan participated in the People to People Student Ambassador Program, traveling throughout Great Britain while learning about each country’s history and culture. She also participated in a community service project in Scotland as part of this program.
Following her sophomore year, Eastan traveled to France as part of a student exchange program, living with a French family and attending a French high school for total immersion into French culture. Eastan was nominated by her high school teachers to participate in the National Youth Leadership Program and was selected to attend the medical program at Emory University during the summer of 2016. After being nominated by her teachers, Eastan also participated in the 2016 Science Scholars Summer Program at Tulane University.
Eastan is currently visiting colleges and universities across the country in preparation for application in the fall. She looks forward to entering college in the fall of 2017.