SMH and Ochsner Name Claire Chitwood as Chief Operating Officer

(March 10, 2023 – Slidell, La.) – Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Ochsner Health welcomed Claire Chitwood as divisional chief operating officer in January. Chitwood supports both Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore.

Chitwood is a senior healthcare executive with more than 20 years’ experience working in a variety of operational roles within physician organizations, clinics and hospitals. She brings a solid foundation in healthcare technology and operations that includes responsibility for human resources, ancillary services, plant operations, and physician recruitment and contracting. Her background includes being a strategic partner to administrative and clinical leadership and demonstrates a strong commitment to providing exceptional service to patients. Her varied and multi-faceted exposure has also provided her in-depth knowledge in the areas of finance and compliance, making her a well-rounded operations leader.

Chitwood most recently served as the senior vice president/chief administrative officer for Phelps

Health, a county-owned, 242-bed community hospital with several clinics serving a 6-county area in Rolla, Mo. There, she served a year-long appointment as a transitional leader; Phelps was going through a transition, and Chitwood was responsible for uniting the hospital and medical group, developing a strategy and culture to bring them together as one organization. She was instrumental in creating service lines, revised physician and provider contracts, and created retention and recruitment strategies for the organization.

Prior to her position at Phelps, Chitwood was chief operating officer at Granger Medical Clinic, the largest physician-owned medical group in Utah. She was responsible for operations within all clinical sites, lab and imaging, environmental and facility services, interpretive services, human resources, payroll, and information technology and systems. She invested in building a culture of accountability and respect for others, decreasing attrition by 50% within 18 months. As chief ambulatory officer at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, a 525-bed health system in Edinburg, Texas, she had responsibility for all the operations within the clinics, but also worked closely with inpatient services as a member of the administrative team. During her tenure, she was instrumental in new service line development to include a complex organ transplant program. Additionally, Chitwood served as administrator of ambulatory services and clinic operations at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, a 220-bed, Level II trauma center in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Claire holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from Mississippi State University.