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Michael J. McBride, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System said Wednesday it has ended the tenure of President and CEO Mike McBride after a little over a year at the helm of the state’s largest Catholic health care organization.

The health system, which is based in Baton Rouge and oversees a network of six hospitals throughout Louisiana, said it has tapped Dr. Richard Vath as interim head of the organization. Vath, a pulmonologist, joined the health system in 2006 and has served recently as its chief transformation officer. He is a former chief medical officer for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

“A strong working relationship between the sponsors of the ministry and system CEO is critical to charting and sustaining the course of our health care ministry,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday. “After a year of working together and much discernment, we have made a decision to end Mike McBride’s service as CEO of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.”

Ryan Cross, a spokesman for FMOLS, declined further comment, other than to say McBride “and the sisters had a different approach to leading the ministry.”

McBride started as CEO on Feb. 19, 2018, replacing John J. Finan Jr. The health system’s hospitals include Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and Women's & Children's in Lafayette, St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe and Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa.

McBride came to Baton Rouge from Texas, where he served at CHI St. Luke’s Health in Houston as senior vice president and president of suburban hospitals. When hired by the Franciscan system, officials said McBride's experience in Catholic health care would bring a unique and exciting complement to the leadership of the system's ministry teams. They said his faith and personal values had been foundational to his success, working closely with physicians and team members to achieve high-performance results.

Before CHI St. Luke's, McBride served as president and CEO for St. Mary’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado. He served the CHRISTUS Health ministry in Texas for more than 15 years, where he held multiple hospital leadership roles.

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