Teri G. Fontenot, president and CEO of Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana began a one-year term as the chair of the American Hospital Association on January 1, 2012, becoming the top elected official of the national organization that represents more than 5,000 of America’s hospitals and health systems. Fontenot is the first chair to be elected from Louisiana, and is the fourth woman to hold the office in the AHA’s 114 year history.
“2012 is a pivotal year for healthcare delivery,” said Fontenot. “The Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, the impact on hospitals and physicians resulting from congressional action to curb the federal deficit, and a presidential election will require leadership and collaboration from our field. I’m honored to serve in this role as hospitals rise to the challenges of providing safe and affordable care for patients in their communities.”
Active at the state and national level, Fontenot has served as chair of the Louisiana Hospital Association and chairs the board of directors of Louisiana Hospital Association Insurance Trust Fund. She held a six-year appointment on the NIH Advisory Council of Women’s Health Research and served for six years on the Sixth District board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta.
Fontenot’s previous involvement with the AHA includes chair of the AHA Health Forum, its for-profit subsidiary, a member of the AHA Board of Trustees, an ex officio member of the Executive Committee, chair of the Operations Committee, and as a member of the governing council for the Section for Maternal Child Health.
Fontenot joined Woman's Hospital in 1992 as senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer and assumed her current position in 1996. Previously, she served as chief financial officer at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, La.; Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center in Fort Myers, Fla.; and Opelousas General Hospital in Opelousas, La. She received an accounting degree from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from Northeast Louisiana University. She is a certified public accountant and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Fontenot was named to the inaugural list of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine in 2005 and was the only honoree from Louisiana in the 2011 Top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. She was also a 2011 inductee into the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction.