While Warner Thomas might have had some experience with healthcare through his work as an accountant at Ernst and Young after college, it wasn’t until he became Chief Operating Officer of Ochsner Clinic in 1998 that he truly understood the importance of healthcare in making the community a stronger place—and the way it could impact his own life in the process.
To hear him tell about his own journey with Ochsner, it’s clear that he truly believes in what the organization is doing. “On my first day at Ochsner, I looked and felt different than I do today,” he says. “I was out of shape because I hadn’t previously focused on my health and fitness, but something prompted me to make a change on that very first day, and I started working out. I kept at it, every day. Only later, when I competed in my first Ironman Triathlon in 2010, did I realize just how far I’d come.” That personal triumph has had far-reaching effects. “My personal journey to becoming healthier has influenced my work at Ochsner. Whatever health issues are facing our patients and community—mental health, fitness, access to healthy foods—I firmly believe that we have the opportunity and responsibility to help people overcome those challenges.”