Woman’s Hospital President and CEO, Announces Retirement

BATON ROUGE, La. – After serving as president and CEO of Woman’s Hospital for more than 23 years, Teri Fontenot has announced her plan to retire in late summer 2019. Details were shared in a press release.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank Teri for her invaluable leadership and significant contributions to Woman’s. For more than two decades, she has represented us across the state and nation with both determination and grace,” said Renee Harris, MD, Woman's Hospital Foundation Board chair. “Under Teri’s direction, Woman’s has not only remained steadfast in its mission to improve the health of women and infants, but has strengthened its role in the community through expanded services and strategic partnerships. She has led the organization in growing beyond its original Baton Rouge roots, reaching throughout the state and region with breast and gynecologic cancer care and specialized obstetrical services. Her leadership has positioned us for the future in an ever-changing healthcare environment.”

Fontenot began her career at Woman’s in 1992 as chief financial officer and became CEO in 1996. Under Fontenot’s leadership, Woman’s became the largest birthing hospital and neonatal intensive care unit in Louisiana, and is the only independent, nonprofit women’s hospital in the country. Fontenot has also led tremendous growth and development for the organization that includes a $340 million replacement campus, which opened in August 2012 with increased capacity for services and expansion. Recent notable achievements include a strategic partnership with Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center to open the region’s only specialized breast and gynecologic cancer facility in one location. The Birth Center of Baton Rouge, a midwife model of care facility, recently moved to Woman’s campus to provide a continuum to the hospital’s core obstetrical service.

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“Woman’s is in a position of strength, and I’m confident that it will continue to be a national leader in women’s and infants’ health. We are financially strong, have an excellent reputation, and our services are highly sought. Most importantly, we have a talented, dedicated and compassionate team of physicians and staff, and an amazing culture,” Fontenot said. “New perspectives and leadership will allow Woman’s to further develop unique opportunities to fulfill its mission to improve the health of women and infants.”

Fontenot’s leadership service to the healthcare field includes numerous state and national healthcare boards, including the American Hospital Association. She was elected chair of the AHA in 2012 and is the only Louisianian to serve in that role in the AHA’s 120 year existence, and was the fifth female chair. Other healthcare service includes a six-year term on the Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health for the National Institutes of Health and chair of the board of the Louisiana Hospital Association.

She currently serves on the LHA Professional and General Liability Insurance Funds board and was board chair for over a decade. She is also on the American College of Healthcare Executives Board of Governors.

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Other governance service includes 12 years on the board of directors of the Sixth District Federal Reserve Bank and as the Audit Committee chair; and the New Orleans Federal Reserve branch board. She is currently an independent director on the boards of Amerisafe (AMSF) and LHC Group (LHCG), the Baton Rouge Water Company, and the Baton Rouge advisory board for IBERIABANK.

Fontenot was named Businessperson of the Year in 2013 by the Baton Rouge Business Report, received the inaugural Becker’s Hospital Review Healthcare Leadership award in 2013, and was the only Louisianian named to Modern Healthcare magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare in 2011 and 2012. She was a 2011 inductee of the Louisiana State University E. J. Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction, and named to Modern Healthcare magazine's inaugural list of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare in 2005. 

The Woman’s Hospital Board of Directors has engaged Korn Ferry, a national search firm that specializes in healthcare executive placements, to assist them in selecting the next CEO. To facilitate a smooth transition, Fontenot will remain at Woman’s until her successor is appointed.

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