Senior Leaders

The hospital’s senior leadership is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Slidell Memorial Hospital and for carrying out policies and directives as approved by the Board of Commissioners.

Sandy Badinger 1

Sandy Badinger, MBA

Chief Executive Officer-Slidell Division

Sandra "Sandy” Badinger is the Chief Executive Officer of the Slidell division, which includes Slidell Memorial Hospital, Ochsner Medical Center – Northshore and related clinics and outpatient facilities. Badinger, who served as Interim CEO from December 2019 to April 2020, began her position at SMH as Chief Financial Officer in July 2012.

Badinger has more than 24 years of experience in healthcare accounting and finance, including leadership positions in diverse and multi-hospital systems in the Greater New Orleans region. She came to SMH from Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital in Hammond, where she served as chief financial officer since shortly after the specialty surgical opened in 2011. While there, she established significant operational and financial processes for the new facility. Prior to that, she served as the chief financial officer at Fairway Medical Center in Covington from 2008 to 2011. She also served as chief financial officer at another St. Tammany area hospital, Louisiana Heart Hospital, from 2007 to 2008.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and for a year afterward, Badinger worked for Universal Health Services. UHS operated Chalmette Medical Center for many years and later acquired Methodist Hospital as well as Lakeland Medical Center — both in New Orleans East. She started her 11-year career with UHS as a staff accountant, then went on to serve as assistant controller, controller, New Orleans Market controller and ultimately chief financial officer.

Badinger holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans.

Badinger is married with two children and is an active member of St. Jane de Chantal church. She sits on the St. Tammany Chamber Board, the Northshore Extended Care Hospital Board of Managers, the Ochsner Health Network Executive Committee and the Northshore Rehabilitation Hospital Board.

Claire Chitwood head shot

Claire Chitwood

Chief Operating Officer-Slidell Division

Claire Chitwood is the Chief Operating Officer of the Slidell division, which supports both Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center- Northshore and related clinics and outpatient facilities.

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.

Claire 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 Claire 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, Claire 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, Claire 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.


Holly Sanchez

Chief Administrative Officer

Holly Sanchez serves as Slidell Memorial Hospital's Chief Administrative Officer and oversees the day-to-day business operations of the hospital as well as SMH's information technology.

Sanchez began working as SMH's IT Services director in 2011, after acting as an independent consultant to the hospital since 2010. Sanchez accepted the role of Chief Information Officer in 2018, bringing more than 25 years of experience in information technology support specific to healthcare. She has proven ability to develop and execute strategies that result in increasing efficiency and driving revenue for the organization.

Previous to her experience at SMH and as an independent consultant, Sanchez acted as IT/engagement director for five years at Zavata, Inc., formerly Siemens Medical Solutions, in Pennsylvania, and as assistant director of management information systems for five years at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in New Orleans. Sanchez also served as assistant director of information systems at Children's Hospital of New Orleans.

Sanchez also dedicates her service to other organizations, including Mt. Olive Luthern Church, Crossfit Reign, St. Catherine of Siena School and Mount Carmel Academy.

Pat Bolander

Patrick “Pat” Bolander, MBA

Chief Financial Officer-Slidell Division

Patrick “Pat” Bolander serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Slidell division, including SMH, Ochsner – Northshore and related clinics and outpatient facilities.

Bolander has several years’ experience as Chief Financial Officer for various healthcare facilities. Most recently, he served as CFO for HighPoint Health Systems (LifePoint) in Gallatin, Tenn. At HighPoint, a 4-hospital system, Bolander was responsible for administrative supervision of several departments, all aspects of the annual operating and capital budgets, and collaborating with the CEO and Division leadership to develop hospital strategic plans. His experience working collaboratively with multiple healthcare facilities is a benefit to his new role as Slidell Division CFO.

Prior to his work at HighPoint, Bolander was also CFO at East Cooper Medical Center (Tenet Health) in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Indiana University Health (Methodist & University Hospitals) in Indianapolis; Johnson City Medical Center (Mountain States Health Alliance) in Johnson City, Tenn.; and other hospitals in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. Patrick has also worked as Controller at HCA hospitals and Central Business Office in Florida.

Bolander earned a Master of Business Administration degree from East Tennessee State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Indiana State University.

Bolander and his wife Wendy have one son, Alec, who is 20 years old.

Kimberly Walker

Kimberly Walker, RN, MSN

Chief Nursing Officer-Slidell Division

Kimberly Walker serves as the Chief Nursing Officer of the Slidell division, which includes Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center – Northshore. Walker oversees nursing operations, including evaluations, strategy and implementation, care delivery and daily activities, in order to provide excellent service and quality care to all patients. Walker, who originally served as SMH Chief Nursing Officer since 2021, began her position as CNO over the Slidell division in April 2022.

Walker has several years’ experience in the healthcare industry. Walker joined Tenet Health in 2018 and served as Chief Nursing Officer for St. Joseph Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Under Walker’s leadership in Tucson, the hospital accomplished the implementation of a virtual patient sitter platform, reduction of overall nurse employee turnover, and developed a successful nursing shared governance program led by unit-based councils. Prior to joining Tenet, Walker served as Administrative Director in large for profit and not-for-profit hospital systems. Walker also has a great deal of experience leading Perioperative Services, along with designing and relocating a state-of-the-art operating theater.

Walker earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Millersville University in Lancaster, Penn., her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix and is currently enrolled in a Master of Business Administration program at Grand Canyon University.

Walker describes herself as a servant leader that always puts the needs of her staff and community first. She prides herself on building and uniting teams that focus on a common goal. Her second passion is growing young leaders, helping them to carve out their career goals. Helping individuals see and understand the bigger picture is the key to Walker’s success.

Walker’s nursing career has been dedicated to creating high-quality patient outcomes and developing the next generation of healthcare providers.

Photo IMG 0231 GIL GANUCHEAU 2022 01

Gilbert F. Ganucheau, Jr., JD

Chief Legal Officer

Gilbert "Gil” Ganucheau, Jr., serves as the Chief Legal Officer for Slidell Memorial Hospital. Earning his law degree from Tulane University School of Law in 1983, Ganucheau has been practicing healthcare law for the past 23 years.

Ganucheau’s work with Slidell Memorial Hospital began in 1995, serving as the Associate General Counsel, and later as the Corporate Compliance Officer through 1999. In 2015 he joined the SMH Team as General Counsel/Director of Legal Services, and in 2018 was named Chief Legal Officer for the hospital.

Prior to re-joining SMH, Ganucheau served as an Attorney for the healthcare law firm of Kathleen L. DeBruhl & Associates, L.L.C. for 16 years. During his time at the firm, he served as lead litigation counsel and successfully defended multiple qui tam cases and investigations by U.S. Attorneys Offices and qui tam relators.

Ganucheau is involved with several professional organizations, including:

  • Louisiana State Bar Association
    Health Law Section, Chair 2010-2014,
    Public and Governmental Law Section, Chair 1991 - 1993
  • American Bar Association, Member Health Law Section
    Fraud and Compliance Interest Group, Vice Chair 2004-2000
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • Slidell Bar Association, President 1991-1992

Ganucheau is married with four children and 11 grandchildren. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce. He is a Deacon of the Archdiocese of New Orleans assigned to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Slidell.

James Newcomb Md

James Newcomb, MD

Vice President, Medical Affairs-Slidell Division

Dr. James Newcomb acts as Vice President of Medical Affairs for the Slidell Market, drawing on his experience in clinical practice and hospital administration to lead the medical staffs of both Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore.

He earned his medical degree from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 1984. Following graduation, he completed his residency training in family practice at the Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge. Dr. Newcomb practices at Ochsner Health Center – Slidell. He has been on staff at Ochsner since 2006 and is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice.

Dr. Newcomb is a well-known, highly regarded physician in our community. He has been practicing medicine in Slidell for nearly 30 years and has held several notable positions, including vice president of medical affairs at Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore, and medical staff president, board representative and board vice chairman at SMH.

Matthew Mc Elveen

Matthew McElveen, MD

Vice President, Medical Affairs-SMH Physicians Network

Dr. Matthew McElveen acts as Vice President of Medical Affairs for the SMH Physicians Network.

Dr. McElveen has several years of experience in the healthcare industry. After being trained and board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology in 2005, he joined Northlake Oncology at SMH. Dr. McElveen became the Medical Director of the SMH Regional Cancer Center in 2011, and in 2015, Northlake Oncology joined the SMH Physicians Network. Dr. McElveen also serves as a Member-at-Large on the SMH Medical Executive Committee and is a founding member of the SMH Foundation, where he still serves as an active board member.

Dr. McElveen graduated from Louisiana State University Health and Sciences Center in New Orleans in 2000. He completed a residency program in internal medicine at LSU Health and Sciences Center in 2003. After residency, Dr. McElveen underwent training in a two-year medical oncology fellowship program at LSU in New Orleans. Dr. McElveen is a native of the city of New Orleans. He has five children and has practiced in Slidell since 2005.