Woman’s Hospital Selects Dr. Barbara Griffith as CEO

Barbara Griffith, MD, has been selected as the new chief executive officer at Woman’s Hospital, one of the largest women’s specialty hospitals in the country. Griffith, who currently serves as the chief medical officer and chief of business operations for Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, N.C., will assume the role of CEO this fall.

“Woman’s Hospital is a special system of care for women and their families with a tremendous footprint in our region,” said Donna Fraiche, chair of the Woman’s Hospital Board of Directors. “We needed a unique professional who would embrace and further our mission. The Board is confident that Dr. Griffith is the right person to lead Woman’s into an exciting future. Her expertise in healthcare delivery and strategy, balanced with the compassion and commitment of a physician, are the perfect combination to lead the organization’s strategic direction.”

Griffith’s healthcare experience includes 20 years of clinical practice and more than 15 years in a variety of leadership roles that have spanned hospital leadership, operations, physician practice management, clinical affairs, and board governance. At Duke Regional, Griffith also led business development and strategy for clinical programs while focusing on excellence in patient care, quality, and safety.

“It’s an honor to be chosen for this prestigious role and to have the Board’s confidence in my experience and ability to lead Woman’s to a strong future,” said Griffith. “The commitment to providing exceptional care to patients and their families at Woman’s is truly inspiring. I look forward to joining the team and building on the foundation that has been laid before me.” 

Earlier in her career, Griffith served as president (2005-2014) and, more recently, CFO (2014-2019) of Durham Emergency Physicians, the medical practice that staffs Duke Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department, caring for more than 60,000 patients annually. As an active leader within Duke Regional’s medical staff of more than 1,000 providers, she served as medical staff president in 2008-2009.
Board-certified in emergency medicine, Griffith obtained a medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She trained in emergency medicine at Christiana Care in Newark, Del. Her business training includes healthcare executive education at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and American College of Healthcare Executives.

Griffith will assume the role of CEO from Robert Burgess, who has acted as interim CEO since Teri Fontenot’s retirement earlier this year. Fontenot, who was named CEO Emeritus, served 27 years at Woman’s Hospital, including as CEO from 1996-2019.

“We are thankful to Teri for the incredible foundation she established at Woman’s and to Robert for upholding our standards of excellence while we searched for our new leader,” Fraiche said. “His guidance helps ensure a smooth transition into Dr. Griffith’s tenure as CEO.”

The Woman’s Hospital Board of Directors hired Korn Ferry, a national search firm that specializes in healthcare executive placements, to assist in selecting a new CEO.

“We said from the beginning that our plan was to announce a new CEO by September, and we were fortunate to find our candidate ahead of schedule,” said Fraiche. “I believe that’s a true testament to the reputation of Woman’s. I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Griffith to Baton Rouge and our Woman’s family, and I know she will uphold and strengthen our tradition of exceptional care.”