After a two-year search, the publicly owned St. Bernard Parish Hospital has a new leader.
Charles Lindell, the hospital’s chief operating officer for the past two years, has been named its chief executive officer, the board of directors said Wednesday.
Lindell succeeds Wayne Landry, a former Parish Council member who has served as the hospital’s interim CEO since late 2012, when the nonprofit Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System withdrew from managing the hospital.
Landry, who resigned his seat on the hospital’s board last year after a state Ethics Board opinion said he was prohibited from holding both positions, has said he is considering running for parish president this year.
The process for tapping a new hospital head began with “a large number of applicants, who were screened to five and then to three individuals,” said Jim DiFatta, chairman of the St. Bernard Hospital Service District.
The parish built the $70 million hospital using a combination of federal disaster money, tax credits and state capital outlay funds. It opened in 2012.
The hospital generated $23.7 million in operating revenue in the 2013 fiscal year, its first full year of business, and had $27.4 million in operating expenses. It had about $55 million in outstanding long-term debt at the end of 2013, according to a report released in October by the state’s legislative auditor.
The 113,000-square-foot hospital has an intensive care unit, four operating rooms, two endoscopy rooms and a 10-bed emergency room. It had a staff of about 150 full-time employees in 2014.
“We will continue to build our physician network and to enhance our imaging services, cardiac catheterization lab and newly opened outpatient rehabilitation services, which are all vital to the citizens of St. Bernard,” Lindell said in a statement.
Last year, St. Bernard voters overwhelmingly rejected a one-year property tax proposal that would have generated an estimated $9 million to expand medical services.
Hospital officials wanted to use the one-year cash infusion to hire at least eight health care specialists and implement a new billing and records system.
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