Ms. Pratt earned a Master of Health Administration from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1986. During her graduate program Mary Ellen was awarded the opportunity to participate in the World Health Organization International Workshop on the Managerial Process for National Health Development. Upon completing her masters, Ms. Pratt was an Assistant Administrator at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic from 1986 to 1992.
From 1992 to 2004, Mary Ellen was an Assistant Administrator at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center in Thibodaux, Louisiana. In 2004 Ms. Pratt returned to academic medical centers, by serving as the Administrator of University Hospital and Clinics-Holmes County, owned by the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Since 2007 Mary Ellen Pratt has been the Chief Executive Officer at St. James Parish Hospital. While at St James Parish Hospital Mary Ellen has been the recipient, QHR CEO Award for Most Increased Admissions (2009) and QHR CEO Award for Best Performing Critical Access Hospital (2010). In 2012 she received the Community Leader Award from the River Parishes Chamber of Commerce.
Mary Ellen serves as the Chair of the AHA Small and Rural Hospital Governing Council, a Board member for the Louisiana Rural Health Association, and a member of the Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Health Issues Group. She has participated in various State and National taskforces appointed by LHA, AHA, NRHA and the Office of Rural Health Policy. Mary Ellen is currently a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Rural Health Association.