Assistant Vice Presidents



Kathy Felps RN
AVP/Nursing
Acute Care


Focused on the adult acute population, Kathy is a member of the nursing leadership team at St. Tammany Health System, following a shared governance model. A senior healthcare executive with strong clinical expertise grounded in fiscal discipline, her forte is fostering a culture of clinical quality excellence and facilitating collaboration with physicians and external stakeholders in a manner that meets stringent fiscal realities. She is known for making tough decisions in a fair and transparent context.

Kathy's areas of specialty include care management, case management, utilization review, informatics, strategic planning, performance improvement, regulatory compliance, budget, public policy, labor management, change management, organizational behavior, leadership development 


Melissa Hodgson, ABC APR

AVP/Communication
Public Information Officer


Melissa directs communication strategy for STHS. As Public Information Officer, she is the system's primary spokesperson and a member of the emergency management team. She is responsible for communication planning, PR counsel to executive and board leadership and governmental relations. Melissa and her team utilize social, mobile and online media as well as traditional PR and advertising to communicate health system news. The team produces Heart to Heart magazine and broadcasts Healthy Living and 90-Second Need to Know. 

Accredited by Public Relations Society of America (APR) and International Association of Business Communicators (ABC), Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in communication theory and public relations from the University of Alabama. She serves on the 2020 parish government transition team and has volunteered on boards for St. Tammany Chamber, YMCA, Leadership St. Tammany and Three Rivers Art Festival.


Cindy Ingram, MN RN NEA-BC

AVP/Women's and Children's Services


Cindy directs women and children’s services at St. Tammany Health System. Prior to her current role, Ingram served as department head of endoscopy, ambulatory care and pre-admissions. Before joining STHS, she served as assistant nursing director before taking over as director of quality management and medical staff services at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s Bogalusa Medical Center.

Cindy is a graduate of the LSUHSC’s Clinical Leadership Academy and a member of the Northshore District Nurses, Louisiana State Nurses and American Nurses associations. Cindy earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University and a master of science in nursing administration from Louisiana State University. She holds a Nurse Executive Advanced Board Certification (NEA-BC).


Teresa Krutzfeldt RN
AVP/Critical Care

Teresa directs critical care, neurosciences care, emergency care, respiratory care and the nursing liaison to the dialysis contracted service for STHS. She leads her team to great success with emphasis on bedside clinical knowledge, strong critical thinking skills, and implementation of innovative ideas to motivate the care team to perform in a highly reliable manner. She works closely with the interdisciplinary team to achieve exceptionally high standards of care.

 

Teresa is a graduate of Louisiana State University, earning a bachelor of science in nursing and later a master's in nursing in adult health and acute care. Her clinical experience is in critical care and emergency departments in five states in 10 years. Prior to joining the STHS team in 2006, she was the associate nursing administrator for adult health-medicine services at Medical Center of Louisiana, now known as University Medical Center.



Melonie Lagalante, MSHA MBA

AVP/Diagnostic and Outpatient Services

Melonie joined St. Tammany Health System in 2005 as practice administrator of the physicians network. In 2007 she took over leadership of Paul D. Cordes Outpatient Pavilion, responsible for facility operations and overall outpatient growth strategy. Since that time, Melonie’s role has expanded to include responsibility for inpatient and outpatient radiology and laboratory services as well as the Cordes Pavilion, Women’s Pavilion, Mandeville Diagnostic Center, outpatient wound care, outpatient rehabilitation services, cardiopulmonary services and the Sleep Disorders Clinic. Melonie also participates in direct-to-employer business development ventures and is involved in numerous growth strategy endeavors.

Melonie is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she earned a bachelor of science in health care management with a minor in finance. She earned a master of science in health administration and master of business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She is a 2010 graduate of Leadership St. Tammany and has held numerous leadership positions with the local chapter of Medical Group Management Association.  She is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.



Joseph Landers, MD FACP
Medical Director of Hospital Medicine


Joe is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been a member of STHS hospital medicine since 2006.  Prior to that he practiced general internal medicine in Covington for seven years.

As a hospitalist, Dr. Landers specializes in the care of adult medical patients who require admission and treatment in the hospital setting. “Caring for hospitalized patients allows me to focus on providing the best quality of care and quality of service to my patients and their families," he said.

Dr. Landers is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He attended LSU Medical School in New Orleans and completed a residency in internal medicine at Ochsner Foundation Hospital. He has been elected to fellowship status in the American College of Physicians.

Nancy Ledet, RN MSHA CNOR
AVP/Surgical Services


Nancy is responsible for the main campus operating rooms, offsite outpatient surgery center, anesthesia, post-anesthesia care unit, endoscopy, pre-operative unit, pre-admission testing, equipment processing, sterile processing and surgical services. Nancy’s keen business insight and financial acumen combine with her strategic and analytical mindset to produce a highly skilled and driven clinical executive with integrity and accountability. Nancy negotiates business agreements for surgical services capital, products, contracts and services.

An OR nurse since age 19, Nancy also holds a registered nursing degree and a master’s in health services administration (MSHA). She is professionally certified in perioperative nursing practice (CNOR) and a member of the National Vizient Contracting Board/ Perioperative Council. Early in her career, Nancy served as a certified surgical technologist with specialty in orthopedics and neurosurgery. She was a circulator for all specialties and served as first assistant for gynecology.



Julie Nevers, RN MSN
AVP/Care Coordination


Julie is responsible for leading, managing and organizing a comprehensive care coordination program at St. Tammany Health System. She is project driven with a focus on transitions of care, readmissions and addressing social determinants of health. Julie is a strong believer in utilizing the patient centered approach in healthcare and has been instrumental in numerous projects within the organization and the community.

Julie is a registered nurse with 25 years of experience who also holds certification from the Commission of Case Managers. She earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University and bachelor's degree from William Carey University.

Mike Portie, CHSP CHFM
AVP/Support Services


Mike began his career in healthcare facilities management over 40 years ago; the past 35 years have been at STHS. Starting off as a maintenance mechanic, Mike quietly and diligently worked his way to the director of support services.  Mike’s responsibilities include plant operations, project management, food and nutritional services, environmental services and security. Mike is responsible for providing “Exceeds Standards” level of service that make the health system run efficiently and effectively each and every day from testing and maintaining utility/life safety equipment, preventing and controlling the spread of infections to protecting the personal safety of staff, visitors and patients.

Mike has a good working knowledge of The Joint Commission standards.  He was life safety surveyor for The Joint Commission for four years.  This experience only strengthened his specialized knowledge of CMS / The Joint Commission Environment of Care and Life Safety Code Standards. Mike maintains certifications as a certified healthcare safety professional (CHSP) and certified healthcare facilities manager (CHFM).


Karen Raiford, MBA CHFP

AVP/Finance
Controller


Karen directs the financial operations of St. Tammany Health System. She began her tenure with St. Tammany Health System in 2010. During her employment with STHS, she has worked her way up from Staff Accountant to Assistant Controller and her most recent position as Controller.

Karen graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor of science in accounting. She earned a master's in business administration from Louisiana State University. Karen is a certified healthcare financial professional. 


Nicole Suhre CFRE

Executive Director
St. Tammany Hospital Foundation


Nicole has been with St. Tammany Hospital Foundation since 2006 and became executive director in 2016. She graduated from the University of New Orleans with a degree in communications and holds the certified fund raising executive (CFRE) credential. Nicole is proud to lead a team of talented nonprofit professionals as they work together with the STH Foundation Board of Trustees to connect their mission with the community.

When asked what she loves most about working for the foundation, Nicole said, "I truly enjoy the sense of purpose I have while raising money for a worthy cause. I go home at night knowing that the work I do helps make my little corner of the world a better place for my family, friends and neighbors, and what could be better than that?"

Paula Toups RN

AVP/Home Health, Hospice
and Palliative Care


Paula directs post-acute and outpatient programs for home healthcare, hospice  care and palliative healthcare for STHS. She joined STHS in 2013 and was instrumental in developing the Palliative Care Consult Service and Clinic. With a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama School of Nursing, Paula worked as a registered nurse in critical care. It was during this time that she developed an interest and passion for hospice and end of life care. 

Prior to her current role,  Paula developed hospice programs in several cities around the southeast while working as a regional manager for a national hospice company. Paula is excited for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients and families needing post-acute care at STHS. She leads a team of qualified and dedicated staff who were instrumental in achieving deemed status for home health and hospice by The Joint Commission.



Dionne Williams
AVP/Physicians Network


Dionne started her tenure with St. Tammany Health System in 2005 as a manager for the physicians network.  In 2007, she took over as administrator and in 2013 became the director of St. Tammany Physicians Network. She is responsible for strategic planning, physician recruitment, budget and project management for the employed physicians network.

She has a bachelor’s degree in health care management with a concentration in human resource management from the University of Alabama.  She is currently pursuing a certificate in administrative leadership through Tulane University. Dionne has been a member of the local Medical Group Management Association since 2005 where she has previously served as secretary.  She is also is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Nancy Ledet is responsible for the main campus operating rooms, offsite outpatient surgery center, anesthesia, post-anesthesia care unit, endoscopy, pre-operative unit, pre-admission testing, equipment processing, sterile processing and surgical services.
Nancy’s keen business insight and financial acumen combine with her strategic and analytical mindset to produce a highly skilled and driven clinical executive with integrity and accountability. Nancy negotiates business agreements for surgical services capital, products, contracts and services. 
An OR nurse since age 19, Nancy also holds a registered nursing degree and a master’s in health services administration (MSHA). She is professionally certified in perioperative nursing practice (CNOR) and a member of the National Vizient Contracting Board/ Perioperative Council.
Early in her career, Nancy served as a certified surgical technologist with specialty in orthopedics and neurosurgery. She was a circulator for all specialties and served as First Assistant for gynecology.