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LSU Appoints Viator Hospital Administrator for Earl K. Long Medical Center

Baton Rouge (February 5, 2009) – The LSU Health Care Services Division (HCSD) has appointed Kathy Viator, DNS, RN, hospital administrator for Earl K. Long Medical Center (EKLMC) in Baton Rouge, La.

“Dr. Viator has both the clinical and executive experience for leading the Earl K. Long Medical Center,” said Dr. Michael K. Butler, HCSD CEO.  “She has served in an exemplary fashion as the medical center has expanded to meet demands for its services and as it has responded in times of emergency, such as the arrival and destruction of Hurricane Gustav.”

Dr. Viator, who has served as EKLMC acting hospital administrator since March 2007, has 30 years of experience in hospital management and health care.

As chief operating officer/associate hospital administrator from 2005 to 2007 for EKLMC, which has a daily average census of 95 and 170,000 clinic visits annually, she was responsible for the management of more than 1,500 employees and three off-campus clinics. 

With expertise in facility management, state fire marshal requirements, and DHH licensing, she oversaw multiple new construction and renovation projects, including the start-up of the LSU Surgical Center and its on-campus clinics and the building of the North Baton Rouge Clinic, scheduled to open in the spring of 2009.

Under her leadership, Dr. Viator has moved EKLMC to a patient-centered culture. In January 2009, the hospital received the 2009 Outstanding Patient Experience Award from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings organization, for ranking in the top 15 percent nationally for exemplary service to patients. In fact, EKLMC far exceeded the top 15 percent; its percentile ranking was 3.32, placing it among the top four percent in the nation. 

“Patient-centered care is always foremost both in our philosophy and in our daily practice of health care,” said Dr. Kathy Viator, acting EKLMC hospital administrator.  “This day-to-day delivery of quality health care translates into patients who are highly satisfied with their experience at our hospital.”

Besides providing quality health care to those with and without the ability to pay, EKLMC serves as a teaching facility for graduate medical education, nursing, and allied health.  Dr. Viator has a wealth of experience in health care education.
Her knowledge spans curriculum development and evaluation for undergraduate and graduate nursing programs as well as program accreditation.

She is on the adjunct faculty of the graduate nurse executive programs of the University of Southern Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) and has taught health care management in nursing for the University of Phoenix.

She has been the director of organizational development for St. Tammany Parish Hospital, where she was responsible for development and training of mid-level managers, development of orientation and core curriculum for new managers, and the daily operations of a number of departments and facilities as well as oversight and implementation of all clinical education and leadership development.

As coordinator for the Baton Rouge satellite campus of SLU, she oversaw the daily operation of the campus and management of faculty and student populations.  As assistant professor in the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs of SLU, she has taught theory and clinical courses in leadership, management, and pediatrics.  She was also on the faculty of the Baton Rouge General School of Nursing.

Her clinical experience includes serving as a registered nurse at Woman’s Hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center, and the East Feliciana School Board.

She received her Doctorate in Nursing Science and Master of Nursing from the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and her Bachelor of Science degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. 

As an expert in healthcare leadership and management, Dr. Viator has made numerous paper presentations at state and national nursing conferences. Her expertise related to the nursing shortage has been sought by the Nursing Supply and Demand Council. In that capacity, she led a team to develop an action plan that targeted both workforce and workplace needs related to practicing nurses.

The LSU Health System - Health Care Services Division is one of the largest public health care delivery systems in the country.  It has over 31,000 admissions, 180,000 patient days, 981,000 outpatient visits, and over 270,000 emergency department visits.  Each year 1100 residents and fellows from the LSU and Tulane Schools of Medicine and Ochsner Health System and 2,200 nurses and allied health students from many colleges and universities are trained in LSU facilities.

LSU is the largest single provider of uncompensated inpatient care in Louisiana.  LSU HCSD hospitals have an economic impact of over $1.4 billion in asset business activity, $568 million in personal earnings, and generate over 12,000 jobs.

For more information, contact Marvin McGraw, Director of Communications and Media Relations, LSU Health Care Services Division, 225.922.1424 or mmcgra@lsuhsc.edu.

Dr. Kathy Viator click for hi-res.