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Lourdes Executive Leadership Team

Alexander J. Hatala President and CEO

Alexander J. Hatala

President and CEO, Lourdes Health System and President, St. Francis Medical Center

Alexander J. Hatala, FACHE, President and CEO of Lourdes Health System, has been with Lourdes since 1986, when he joined Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center as the executive vice president and chief operating officer.  He is responsible for the overall strategy and operations of the health system and its affiliates.

Under his leadership, Lourdes has become well-known for its culture of innovation.  Lourdes acquired the former Rancocas Hospital (now Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County) in 1998, and since that time has transformed the system to become one of the leading health systems in the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region, with an extensive physician network and numerous community-based ambulatory care centers. He was instrumental in Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center becoming the region’s largest provider of cardiology services and expanding the hospital’s organ transplant program (the only transplant program south of Trenton) to perform kidney, pancreas and liver transplants.

Mr. Hatala has maintained a steadfast commitment to providing high-quality patient care during his 30 years of leadership.  The Lourdes cardiovascular program is recognized as one of the best in the nation.  Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center has been named by HealthGrades as among America’s Best 100 Hospitals for Cardiac Care as well among the Top 50 Hospitals in the Nation for Cardiac Surgery.  The hospital also has received top national honors for cardiac care from Truven Health Analytics and Becker’s Hospital Review.  The Lourdes cardiac program has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and made national and international news when the emergency medicine team used a fitness tracker to diagnose and treat a patient with asymptomatic atrial fibrillation.

Mr. Hatala’s dedication to the community and the values-based mission of the organization is unwavering.  Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey ever to have received the American Hospital Association’s Foster McGaw award, the nation’s top national honor for service to the community.

Mr. Hatala is a member of the Board of the New Jersey Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board. He is a member of the New Jersey Conference of Catholic Health Care Facilities and the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Mr. Hatala previously served as a member of the Board to the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey and Samaritan Hospice.

Kimberly D. Barnes

Kimberly D. Barnes

Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Ms. Barnes directs all the activities related to the development and implementation of the health system’s strategic and operating plans. She oversees all communications functions, including marketing, brand management, media relations, website and social media.  She is responsible for fundraising, grants, advocacy, volunteers and hospital concierge services. Ms. Barnes is the Chairperson of the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers and the Chairperson of the Southern Jersey Behavioral Health Innovations Collaborative.

Reginald Blaber, M.D.

Executive Director, Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute, Vice President of Cardiac Services for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center, and President, Lourdes Cardiology Services

Dr. Blaber is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the cardiovascular service line, including business development, clinical quality, patient satisfaction and financial performance.  He provides oversight of the service line’s co-management organization and cardiology physician practices, which include over 50 physicians. Dr. Blaber also serves as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and is a practicing cardiologist. He is on the Joseph Fund Board of Directors and a member of the board of the Haddonfield Ambulance Association.

Maria Lariccia Brennan, DNP, RN, CPHQ

Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Ms. Brennan drives the nursing strategy for the organization and oversees daily nursing operations.  She is responsible for ensuring consistent standards of care across all three hospital sites and implementing innovative clinical practices. Ms. Brennan directs the education and research initiatives for the system and oversees the schools of nursing.  She is one of the lead executives responsible for patient experience, staff engagement, quality and performance improvement.  She is a member of the American Organization of Nursing Executives (ONE) and the President of the Organization of Nurse Executives of New Jersey.

Steven Fox, M.D.

President of Lourdes Medical Associates and Chief Medical Executive, LHS Health Network

Dr. Fox oversees the employed physician practices of more than 160 physicians at Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center. He is responsible for developing and implementing practice strategy, leading physician recruitment, engagement and overseeing operations. He is the chief clinician for the LHS Health Network accountable care organization, which includes 160 independent and employed primary care physicians.  In this role, he oversees all clinical initiatives, drives physician engagement and ensures alignment with clinical goals and strategy.  He is also a practicing general cardiologist. Dr. Fox is a board member of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.


Russell Hansel

Interim Vice President, Mission for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Mr. Hansel provides oversight for the awareness and integration of mission and values in the organization. He assists in the development of policies and procedures that further the commitment to the poor and vulnerable. He oversees the Community Benefit and Social Accountability reporting. Mr. Hansel directs the spiritual care team at all three hospitals, directs grant staff and is responsible for the volunteer function at St. Francis Medical Center.

Maureen Hetu

Maureen Hetu

Regional Chief Information Officer for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Ms. Hetu is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s telecommunications and information technology and systems in the hospitals, outpatient sites and physician practices. She provides leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives. Ms. Hetu directs the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems in support of business operations.

Barbara A. Holfelner, RN, MSN

Barbara A. Holfelner, RN, MSN

Vice President, Internal Audit, Corporate Ethics and Privacy for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Ms.  Holfelner oversees all aspects of the Corporate Ethics and Internal Audit Program for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center. The program ensures that the regulatory, ethical, clinical and Code of Conduct Standards are upheld.  Ms. Holfelner is also the administrative liaison with the Osborn Family Health Center and is responsible for the neuroscience service line. Ms. Holfelner is a member of the Samaritan Hospice Quality Committee and a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives Advisory Board and Osborn Family Center Board of Directors.

Annmarie Horan, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Chief Human Resources Officer for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Ms. Horan is responsible for overall Human Resources operations and aligning HR strategy to meet organizational business outcomes with a focus on a positive corporate culture, employee engagement, talent management, retention, succession planning, recruiting, compensation, benefits, data analytics and organizational development. She is certified as a Senior Professional of Human Resources, an Executive Coach and a Six Sigma Green Belt. Ms. Horan is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resource Administration and the International Coaching Federation.

Mark Nessel

Mark Nessel

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lourdes Health System

Mr. Nessel oversees operations for Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County. He is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of both hospital facilities and implementing the health system’s strategy. He provides leadership oversight for the development of high-quality and cost-effective services. He has direct administrative oversight for Nursing, Mental Health Services, Surgical Services, Plant Operations, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Food Services, Security, Information Systems, Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation and Imaging.  Mr. Nessel is responsible for enforcing procedures to ensure patient and physician satisfaction as well as high employee morale. He is on the board of directors of Catholic Health Services of the Diocese of Philadelphia.


Alan Pope, MD, FACP, FCCP

Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Lourdes Health System

Dr. Pope has oversight of clinical programs, medical education, research, performance improvement, bundled care payment programs, case management functions and the transplant service line. He is responsible for the development and implementation of medical staff strategic planning and oversight. Dr. Pope is a practicing pulmonologist and intensivist. His membership in professional societies has included leadership roles in the regional medical society.


Robert E. Ruggero

Senior Vice President of Operations for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center

Mr. Ruggero oversees facility management including construction, renovation and maintenance of hospital and outpatient facilities. He also provides leadership for supply chain management and property management.


Jennifer Schwartz, Esq.

Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center and President, LHS Health Network

Ms. Schwartz is personally responsible for organization-wide legal and policy initiatives for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center. In this role, she is responsible for business contracts and negotiations, acquisitions and mergers; joint ventures and alternative business arrangements; anti- trust investigations; risk management; employment and labor matters; and health system litigation. She is also President of the LHS Health Network, an accountable care organization. In that role, Ms. Schwartz leads its strategy, operations and performance with respect to value-based programs with third-party payers. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.

To contact a member of the Lourdes Leadership Team, follow this link to send an email. Place the name of the person you are trying to contact in the subject line. Messages will be forwarded to the appropriate leader.

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