Beginning with his transporter job at Hotel Dieu Hospital in New Orleans more than 50 years ago, John Finan has embraced the ministry of Catholic health care. In every career encounter he sees ministry possibility, to behold Christ in each individual and to be the face of Christ to others. Focusing on those at the margins — the frail elderly, mentally ill, homeless, individuals with HIV/Aids — he is a voice for the vulnerable.
Today as the chief executive of Louisiana's largest Catholic health care system, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS), he is a catalyst for improvement desperately needed in a state where almost one-third of families live in poverty and consistently ranked last in most health measures.
The FMOLHS structure originally joined four acute-care organizations into a common ministry and mission. John accelerated efficiencies as a single entity despite geographic distance. The organization shares resources and talent while continuing to honor local identities, market and physician preference. His combined system/local approach yields consistent overall positive revenue, strong bond ratings and national recognition including Leapfrog, U.S. News and World Report and the AHA NOVA and Quest for Quality awards.
John assisted with 2005 recovery efforts to restore New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history. He partnered with Ascension Health on behalf of St. Bernard parish to re-establish health care services for the decimated area. Temporary clinic trailers brought necessary medical care and hope to families and businesses. John channeled national outreach to the area for years and was instrumental in restoring permanent health care which has now been handed off to local groups.
For decades, John has faithfully advanced Catholic health care ministry. He is known nationally for his leadership, serving on the CHA Board and as its board chair. He seeks contributions of Catholic health care leaders for FMOLHS and has likewise offered board service to Mercy (current vice chair), Marian Health System, the National Institute of Health and others. Under his leadership, FMOLHS joined with St. Joseph Health System as a founding investor of the Innovation Institute.
His influence is felt throughout our industry as he offers experience and Catholic perspective to governing boards, notably the American Hospital Association (AHA), VHA (now Vizient), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and the state hospital associations of both Louisiana and Missouri.
Recognizing the important link to education for communities, he serves Loyola University New Orleans as its Board of Trustees chair and has previously served on the boards of Barnes College and Washington University Medical Center.
In 2014, John invested in LaPOST, legislative safeguards for end-of-life decisions to follow patients between long-term care facilities and acute care delivery. He championed Louisiana Workforce Re-entry to reduce recidivism for persons re-entering society after prison. He advocated for Louisiana Medicaid expansion, a position opposed by the then governor prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act. With new state leadership elected, Medicaid rolls have been opened and 400,000 individuals covered in only the first five months.
In August 2016, historic floods struck South Louisiana with 2,300 FMOLHS employees impacted by rising water. Within 24 hours, John directed $1,000 deposited into each individual's bank account ($2.2M in total payments). He led a special PTO donation effort valued at a total of $417,000 with an average 27 hours per donor.
John Finan is committed to the Church, ministry sponsors and his organization's mission and core values. His integrity has created a remarkably strong, resilient enterprise.