University Medical Center New Orleans Names New Leadership Team

NEW ORLEANS – University Medical Center New Orleans has added new executives to its leadership team alongside President and CEO Emily Sedgwick.

Dr. William Killinger has been named chief medical officer. He practiced as a cardiothoracic surgeon for over two decades. Before joining UMC, he served as chief medical officer at HCA Houston Clear Lake Hospital and Mainland Hospital. Killinger received his BA degree from Emory University, his MBA from Brandeis University and his MD degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for general surgery residency, the University of Pittsburgh for cardiothoracic surgery fellowship and received further fellowship cardiothoracic training at Cleveland Clinic.

Luisa “Dee” Gallardo has been named chief nursing officer. Most recently, she served as associate chief nursing officer at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she led and developed a patient-focused safety culture for over 3,900 in the nursing community. Gallardo received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She also received a Master of Science in nursing leadership from the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing and became a licensed vocational nurse at St. Phillips College of Nursing. 

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Puneet Freibott has been named chief administrative officer. She has served in executive leadership positions in nonprofit academic magnet institutions and for-profit hospital systems. Her most recent executive leadership role was with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the adult teaching hospital for the Washington University School of Medicine. In 2022, the hospital was named one of the top twenty hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

Bernard Q. Flores has been named vice president of operations. Before joining the UMC team, he held the role of director of facilities support services at Houston Methodist Baytown, where he developed new processes that included facility infrastructure assessment, patient experience improvement initiatives, and staff and contractor safety training. Flores received his Master of Business Administration with a project management concentration and is a certified healthcare facility manager.

Dr. Julia Galvani has been named vice president of quality and safety. She is a certified professional in healthcare quality and patient safety who has held several leadership roles in quality and safety for nonprofit academic institutions and for-profit healthcare systems. Most recently, she served as the administrative director of quality and patient safety for Tulane Medical Center and Lakeside Hospital. Galvani earned her MD from the National University of Córdoba in Argentina. She completed her general surgery residency there before completing her fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery at a hospital in Spain.

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Carla Johnson has been named associate chief nursing officer. She has more than 26 years of clinical and progressive nursing leadership experience in both critical care and medical/surgical settings. Most recently, she served as director of clinical nursing surgical units at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership degree at Texas Tech University Health Science in 2020.

Jennifer Schwehm has been named associate chief nursing officer. She previously served as assistant vice president, quality and patient safety and was recently recognized on Becker Healthcare’s list of 26 patient safety experts to know. Prior to joining UMC, she was the director for patient safety and quality at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, where she spent 15 years in a host of other nursing positions. Schwehm earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2004, and a Master of Science in nursing in healthcare systems management from Loyola University New Orleans in 2009.

Cindy Mousa has been named associate vice president of human resources. In her previous role as AVP of employee relations at Ochsner Health, Mousa implemented and maintained a center of excellence for employee relations for a staff of approximately 35,000. She received her Bachelor of Science in management from the University of New Orleans in 2006, before completing her master’s in healthcare management from the University of New Orleans in 2020. 

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“We are excited to add such experienced and talented individuals to our leadership team,” said Dr. Sedgwick in a press release. “This entire group of healthcare leaders all have successful track records in their fields. We look forward to them helping UMC continue to build upon our reputation of delivering exceptional care to our patients, serving our community, and being an excellent training center for healthcare professionals in Louisiana.”

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