Selected Podcast

The Chief of Henry Mayo's Medical Staff Speaks to the Community

Meet the new chief of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Medical Staff.
The Chief of Henry Mayo's Medical Staff Speaks to the Community
Featured Speaker:
Louie-Marc Contreras, MD, FACS
Dr. Louie-Marc Contreras is a trauma surgeon.  He was recently elected chief of of the medical staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Melanie Cole (Host): Welcome to It's Your Health Radio with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. I'm Melanie Cole. And today, we're going to meet Dr. Louie-Marc Contreras. He's a trauma surgeon and the new chief of the Medical Staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. He's here to speak to the community. Dr. Contreras, welcome to the show. I'm so glad to have you here. As we get into this, I'd like you to tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: Thank you. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Louie-Marc Contreras, as you've already said. And I came to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in 2004 after I finished my surgical residency. I'm a general surgeon in private practice and also a practicing trauma surgeon. So I do both general surgery and trauma surgery. And over the years, I've been more involved with a hospital administrative process as well as the clinical collaborations and protocols and practicing my trade as a surgeon overall.

Melanie Cole (Host): So I heard that you have an undergraduate degree in philosophy and biology and you're working on an MBA. That's a lot.

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: That is true. Well, the philosophy and biology was years ago. And I don't want to date myself, but that was before cell phones, well, the Apple cellphone so to speak and iPods or whatnot. So that was a long time ago. But currently, I am working on my MBA and I'll be actually finishing graduating in one month. Not that I'm counting.

Melanie Cole (Host): Congratulations. I think that degrees in philosophy and things like that would really go a long way to helping you work with the wonderful staff and the medical staff at Henry Mayo. I want you to tell the listeners what a chief of the medical staff is. What do you do?

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: The chief of medical staff is the person that runs the medical staff organization. Hospitals as a whole are run by the medical administration on one side. And the medical staff for the doctors, the physicians involved and they come under the board of directors who are involved with the risk and all the daily initiatives for the hospitals overall. And so the chief of staff runs the medical staff portion of the hospital.

Melanie Cole (Host): It's a pretty big job. And before we get into some of the fun things about you that I'd like to, you know, let the listeners in on, what would you like to say to the community as the new chief of the medical staff? What words of wisdom can you tell us? What would you like them to know?

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: Well, I would like the community to know that I'm taking this position as an opportunity, as I believe over the years, the hospital is one that I've seen improve. And what I'd like to see is for what I see it becoming. Nothing is ever perfect, but we can certainly strive towards perfection. And what I've seen it grow through the years to serve a community, heal a community and empower community, and I want to continue that in my role as a chief of staff. And I see this as a place that many will have an opportunity to make a difference for this community. And realistically, the philosopher in me wants this to spread to really have the world become a better place. And that's what inspires me and drives me.

Melanie Cole (Host): I love that. Along those same lines, Dr. Contreras, what is your philosophy of care? What do you want patients to know about how you approach disease and wellness and care for the whole person?

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: Well, my background is from Loma Linda, My training at the medical school was the treatment of patients as a whole person, as a whole being. And so the order of it will be wellbeing and wellness before disease. And I think that's the key distinction. Often in the past, disease has been treated as a disease and not as a person. And I think there's been a progression and evolution of care that we're seeing now and in society where it's just not the disease, it's the person. And that's where the differences in technology as well as the delivery of care is changing. And we can go into more detail with that, but there are subtle nuances of that. And that's where when you treat patient with a certain disease process, you're treating the whole person, and that's why the initiatives for the care of that patient in the overall guidelines of care for that patient within the hospital is more than just that disease now, it's about an experience and that we're seeing that in society itself.

Bluntly put it like the restaurant industry is one aspect that has changed. If you look at it, the core part of a restaurant is to feed people. It's gone beyond that, you know, we just don't heat up food and give it and give someone nutrition because that's the core of it, which is akin to like having someone with disease, we take care of the disease and that's it and then you go home. But now, it's a whole experience. Now you have to tailor the restaurant. You have to have people serving you. You have to have an experience where your whole experience is made for the better. And that's almost what I would like to see in healthcare and medicine, and that's what we're seeing throughout the nation. And this is what the patients want and deserve. And that's how I see as healthcare nowadays.

Melanie Cole (Host): Boy, I sure would like to see that myself. It's a wonderful vision and you certainly sound like the kind of man that can accomplish this. Now, I just really want to ask you, what do you do for fun? I'd like you to tell us a little bit about your family and life outside of work and what are some things that patients and even the medical staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital may not know about you.

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: I'd like to do a little bit of everything. I'm one not to say no to a lot of things, which could be dangerous, I guess. I like to say yes to most things within reason, of course, and experience a lot of things in life. I like to travel quite a bit. I believe I've been to 34, 35 countries in my lifetime. I think that's a trivial thing, a trivial pursuit question, I suppose. And I like sports. I like the martial arts. I am heavily involved in jujitsu and married with one child, he's 13 years old and also has similar characteristics to my wife's dismay that we're pretty much the same. So it's two on one, I guess. But he is heavily in soccer and this summer we're going to Spain for a tournament that he's going to, so he's doing well.

Melanie Cole (Host): Rock on. How fun. As we wrap up this provider profile, Dr. Contreras, I'd like you to just speak about what you are looking for, what you are hoping to accomplish at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, your vision for the hospital.

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: My vision for the hospital is a lot more than what I've already stayed earlier. And that's really to make a difference in the community. This is a community in Los Angeles and California in a sense kind of isolated into itself, and so we can do a lot here. And for the hospital itself to be able to serve the community, I always like to think about transformation, to have a transformational change with culture, the way we care and collaboration. And that will be, that has been, will be continue to be the focus of my efforts.

My personal vision that I've always indicated to my staff, my medical executive committee and everyone that I run into is that we have to become the healthcare team of tomorrow. And the reason I phrase it that way is because we can't sit on what we already are good at now. So we have to focus on what can be tomorrow and if we can become that, then we'll be in a better place. And that fits in with Henry Mayo's mission and vision, which is to improve the health of the community through compassion and excellence and to have a patient-centered environment. I believe that's what it is. I haven't memorized it, but that's the core of it.

Melanie Cole (Host): And what would you like to say as we end here to the staff that you are now the chief of that medical staff? What do you want them to know about how you're going to approach...? Because, you know, Dr. Contreras, this has been tougher this last couple of years on the medical community than in any time in my years in this business. And I've been in this business for 30 years. And I can tell you now, I see burnout. And I see frustration and sadness and all of these feelings that are so overwhelming. I'd like you to just speak to the staff just now about what you are looking for from them, but what they can expect from you.

Dr Louie-Marc Contreras: What I'm looking for is for, first of all, is the vision of becoming the healthcare team of tomorrow. And that's where it comes into play, because if we focus on the now and what's happened, we'll be bogged down with the difficulties and the stresses of now. But if we focus on, I guess, one could call it the North Star and that's the healthcare team of tomorrow where we can navigate towards that'll help everyone understand why we're doing what we're doing again.

With the last few years, that's been lost of why we're doing what we're doing because of whatever anyone may want to call it, the politization, the economic impacts and the pandemic, but all these things pass, whether we like it or not. And that's the tricky nature of world history and nature. It will continue to move with you or without you. And the only thing we can really do is take control of the situation, understand why we're doing things. And I'm giving that reason why we're doing things and that's to take care of patients as a whole person. For their wellbeing and wellness and to become the healthcare team of tomorrow, providing care for the community and ideally beyond the community, make an influence in the world overall and understand the landscape of medicine, politics, and even the world events now, with the events in Europe are certainly something that we have to navigate through. But we have to remember our goals and our passions. And especially in medicine, it's all about quality, teamwork, safety, accountability, integrity, and respect. If we do that as a whole, maybe the rest of the world will take notice as well. We can make a difference in our own lives in the healthcare community, but I also like to think we can make a difference in the world as well by the way we act and how we conduct ourselves and how we treat patients and how we treat each other as well.

Like I always said like a surgeon, we have to think big, make small moves and move fast. And that's what I want to do as my tenure as the chief of staff. We'll think, act and disrupt like every other industry is doing now. They're disrupting.

Melanie Cole (Host): You got me off a clump here. I mean, I'm choked up. What a wonderful way to end this introduction of you. And I just know you're going to do great things for the wonderful staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and for the community in the Santa Clarita area. Thank you so much, Dr. Contreras, for joining us and telling us about yourself today. And to learn more about Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital services, please visit

That concludes this episode of It's Your Health Radio with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. I'm Melanie Cole.