East Jefferson General Hospital President and CEO Dr. Mark Peters has announced his retirement from his position effective March 16, after 15 years at the helm of the community-based hospital.

Dr. Peters began his tenure at EJGH in 2000 as Medical Director before being promoted to his current role in 2002. Dr. Raymond DeCorte, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, will serve as interim CEO while a national search moves forward.

“In mid-January of this year, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and began treatment at East Jefferson,” said Dr. Peters. “I wish to thank everyone for their kind words and many prayers. This means so much to me and my family. However, I must devote all of my time and effort to my health and my family, and will be retiring from East Jefferson effective March 16, 2017. I retire knowing our patients are in the best of hands.”

Dr. Jeffrey Sketchler, Chief of the EJGH Medical Staff, adds, “Dr. Peters has led East Jefferson General Hospital through the most turbulent times in our industry. And he has done so with a deep sense of purpose and diplomacy not found very often these days.”

While at East Jefferson General Hospital, Dr. Peters led the institution through the aftermath and recovery from Hurricane Katrina, remaining one of just three hospitals open and operational in the region. Dr. Peters served as chairman of the Coalition of Leaders for Louisiana Healthcare, a group of healthcare and business leaders organized to make healthcare a state priority and modernize the state’s healthcare delivery after Hurricane Katrina. He also chaired numerous non-profit fundraising efforts, including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.

EJGH became Louisiana’s first Nursing Magnet designated hospital in 2002 under Dr. Peters with Magnet Recertification in 2006, 2012 and 2016, making East Jefferson General Hospital one of a handful of institutions to reach that level of quality excellence.

EJGH Board Chairman Henry Shane notes, “Dr. Peters created a new chapter of this institution, collaborating with our medical staff and team members to lead East Jefferson to national prominence. His dedication and vision inspired our board to strive for greater things.”

In 2008, Dr. Peters brought the national leader in cancer care, MD Anderson, to the state when EJGH became an affiliate of the Houston-based healthcare leader. In 2013, that care was enhanced with the multimillion dollar expansion of the institution’s cancer treatment center, tripling patient capacity.

Under his leadership, EJGH was named the No. 1 hospital in the state of Louisiana, and no. 19 in the country by CareChex in 2016 for overall patient care and patient safety.