Leadership

Patti Ellish FACHE
President and CEO

St. Tammany Parish Hospital President and CEO, Patti Ellish has transformed a small community hospital into a thriving regional medical center. Under her leadership, this facility has tripled in size to serve the fastest growing parish (county) in Louisiana. 

A native New Orleanian with nursing, bachelor’s and master’s of health administration degrees, Ellish began her career in health care at West Jefferson Hospital in 1974, rising to Director of Nursing by 1996. She left West Jefferson to become Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Memorial Health System of East Texas where she led significant growth and improvement before joining St. Tammany Parish Hospital as CEO in 2000.

Ellish is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives, past chair of Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans, board member of Louisiana Hospital Association and Northshore Healthcare Alliance and member of Northshore Business Council and Women’s Leadership Council of Greater New Orleans. She has earned regional recognition including YLC Role Model, Top 10 Female Achievers, and New Orleans CityBusiness Woman of the Year, including its hall of fame.


Sharon Toups FACHE 
Senior Vice President
Chief Operating Officer

With a background in education and physical therapy, Sharon Toups brings the principles of customer service and patient experience to her work leading the operations of St. Tammany Parish Hospital as STPH Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. 

Toups is responsible for the ancillary and support departments, as well as leading facility enhancement projects for the hospital. Prior to her present role, Toups rose to executive leadership of the Gulf South’s largest health system, beginning as a physical therapist, and directing physical medicine and rehabilitative services before joining the executive team as vice president of ancillary services.

Toups earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical therapy and education. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, president of the Women’s Healthcare Executive Network, and a member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council.


Kerry Milton RN
Senior Vice President
Chief Nursing Officer

After launching her career as a medicine and oncology nurse at East Jefferson General Hospital, Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer Kerry Milton joined St. Tammany Parish Hospital as a telemetry registered nurse.

Through bachelor’s and master’s degrees and successive promotions in nursing management, Milton built her executive career on patient care and sound management principles. Her roots at the bedside bring an important perspective on the value of personal attention and quality initiatives.

Milton is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, VHA Gulf States Nurse Executive Group, Women’s Healthcare Executive Network and Louisiana Organization of Nurse Executives.


Robert Capitelli MD
Senior Vice President
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Capitelli received his medical doctorate from Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1975. After initial surgical training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Dr. Capitelli moved to Baltimore, where he completed an otolaryngology and head and neck surgery residency at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Md.  Dr. Capitelli returned to Covington,in 1983 where he enjoyed a successful 22-year career as an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon. 

In 1987, Dr. Capitelli was named the first medical director at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. Initially a part-time position, his administrative role at St. Tammany Parish Hospital steadily increased. In 2006, following Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Capitelli decided to retire from the practice of medicine and continue his work as Senior Vice President/Chief Medical Officer on a full-time basis. 

Dr. Capitelli is chairman of the Quality Committee and brings a physician’s perspective to the senior executive team.


Tim Lessing 
Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer

From his history leading finance operations for large Midwestern healthcare systems, Tim Lessing brings decades of finance and information technology experience to St. Tammany Parish Hospital as STPH Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to his present role, Lessing rose to executive leadership in one of the nation’s leading operators of general acute care hospitals with 122 hospitals in 29 states. Lessing began his career in the U.S. Air Force, transitioning into the private sector and hospital accounting, management and leadership over 30 years.

Lessing earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in management and business. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.



 Midge Collett RN JD
Vice President
Corporate Compliance

As an attorney and registered nurse, Midge Collett brings a unique perspective to her work as St. Tammany Parish Hospital’s Vice President of Legal Affairs/Chief Compliance Officer.

Previous to her affiliation with STPH, Collett was a staff attorney with Lemle & Kelleher in New Orleans and East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie, an adjunct faculty member with University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., and a registered nurse with Baton Rouge General Medical Center.

Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed Collett to the Louisiana Emergency Response Network. She is a member of the Louisiana Hospital Association Legislative Regulatory and Policy Council, Louisiana State Bar Association and Louisiana Society of Hospital Attorneys.


 Patrick Torcson MD
Vice President
Chief Integration Officer

Dr. Torcson is vice president and chief integration officer at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. His role as CIO is to promote clinical and service quality through information technology and to develop a clinically integrated network for population health management.

Dr. Torcson has been a member of the STPH medical staff for more than 20 years. While a full-time clinician he held numerous medical staff leadership roles including chief of the medical staff, chair of medical care services and chairman of credentials. Dr. Torcson was a founding member of the STPH Department of Hospital Medicine and serves as the medical director for the hospitalist program. 

Dr. Torcson is a graduate of Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine training at the Ochsner Medical Foundation in his hometown of New Orleans.  He also received a master of medical management degree from Tulane University. 

Dr. Torcson is board certified in internal medicine and completed the first focused practice in hospital medicine recertification through the American Board of Internal Medicine. He has been elected to Fellowship in the American College of Physicians and is a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine.