AUSTIN, Texas — Heart Hospital of Austin has selected Brett Matens as its new chief executive officer (CEO), replacing David Laird, who recently retired after 16 years as the hospital’s CEO.

Matens, who assumed his new role on May 11, 2022, was the chief operating officer (COO) of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center from 2003 to 2016 before serving as COO of HCA Healthcare’s Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center—a 680-bed facility in Denver, Colo.

“Brett’s experience growing hospital operations in both Denver and Austin, combined with his knowledge of our market and our healthcare system, make him the ideal person to build on Heart Hospital of Austin’s legacy as one of the highest performing cardiovascular facilities in the nation,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “I look forward to the many contributions he will help us make to further advance the exceptional cardiovascular care in our community.”

Before joining Heart Hospital of Austin, Matens oversaw the development and execution of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center’s electrophysiology, therapeutic GI, auto-immune bone marrow transplant (BMT) and pediatric BMT programs, among others. As a senior executive for this large facility, he was responsible for various clinical, ancillary and support departments, as well as key service lines, including cardiovascular, solid organ transplant, orthopedics/spine and BMT.

Prior to this, Matens led strategies at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center to open Austin’s first adult BMT program and advance the hospital’s trauma program from Level IV to Level II. He also managed three major expansion and renovation projects totaling more than $150 million including the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and Cath Lab.

Matens received a Master of Health Administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, La., and a Bachelor of Science from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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Heart Hospital of Austin

Heart Hospital of Austin, which is part of St. David’s HealthCare, is a 72-bed hospital and one of the highest performing cardiovascular facilities in the nation, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It features a comprehensive 24-hour emergency department; an advanced Executive Wellness Program; six operating rooms (ORs), including three hybrid ORs; three catheterization labs; and electrophysiology services. Heart Hospital of Austin is a 12-year recipient of Watson Health’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals award, has been ranked by Healthgrades as the No. 1 cardiac program in Texas for six consecutive years, and is home to one of the largest non-academic cardiovascular research programs in the world.