Kenneth Cochran

Kenneth Cochran, DSc, RN, MBA, FACHE

Principal

Health Management Associates

New Orleans, LA

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Kenneth Cochran is a healthcare executive with more than 20 years leveraging his clinical, business and academic background to deliver strategic planning, operational excellence, top-line revenue growth, positive physician relations and organizational alignment. Beginning at age 16 as a nurse assistant, Kenneth has demonstrated a commitment to the healthcare industry and a drive to bring innovative solutions to the industry’s challenges. He has a strong track record of culture improvement, stakeholder engagement, change management and financial turnaround. 

Before joining Health Management Associates, Kenneth served as president and chief executive officer to two health systems and a county-owned, nonprofit community hospital. Most recently, Kenneth worked for Opelousas General Health System (OGHS), a parish owned entity, where he managed the organization’s resources, promoted its services to the market, oversaw growth and profitability, and implemented strategic and short-term initiatives. Enacting his growth and development plan, he increased physician recruitment, added more than 10 sites of care, and launched a school-based telemedicine clinic. These strategies increased patient visits by over 150 percent in two years and physician practice revenues by over $25 million in four. 

Kenneth’s other initiatives included the Healthy St. Landry Initiative, positioning OGHS at the center of full-scale community health improvement by addressing issues such as education, housing, healthcare access, domestic violence, and poverty abatement. He formed the WellSmart Health brand to expand medical services outside the main market, which now represents the entire medical group and retail pharmacies. Initiating OGHS’s strategy for value-based reimbursement, Kenneth converted the legacy physician hospital organization into a clinically integrated network and launched an accountable care organization and a Medicare shared savings program. He collaborated on a network for participation in Louisiana’s Medicaid quality incentive program and instituted formal diversity, equity, inclusion and fairness campaigns and committees. This resulted in near immediate gains for the organization. 

Further demonstrating his operational and strategic development acumen, Kenneth was responsible for the performance of the River Valley Health Partners system and Cibola General Hospital. With these organizations as well, he grew physician recruitment, enacted strategic initiatives and increased net revenues by 24 percent and 62 percent respectively. 

Prior to his chief executive roles, Kenneth held various positions across a variety of markets, including serving as Colorado Plains Medical Center’s chief nursing officer, Good Samaritan Hospital’s vice president and chief nursing officer, and Delano Regional Medical Center’s acute care services director. He also worked as Mercy Hospitals’ emergency department and occupational health center nurse manager and King Fahad National Guard Hospital’s assistant nurse manager and staff trauma nurse. 

Kenneth earned his doctorate in health system leadership from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He has a master’s degree in business management from California State University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Troy State University. Kenneth is board certified and a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is a certified emergency room nurse and is board certified in nurse administration. Kenneth is also trained in the Studer Group’s Journey of Excellence principles of sustained growth. 

Kenneth is a father of five and a new Opa to his first grandchild. He is a skilled martial artist, holding a First Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo and a Jujitsu Blue Belt.