The time has come, effective today, Lafayette General is now known as Ochsner Lafayette General. There is a ton to unpack here, so we tried to make it easy by separating portions of this press release.
The newly merged system will enhance access to care and improve the health and well-being of communities across Acadiana.
According to a press release, Ochsner is now the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Gulf South. They are committed to expanding clinical services focused on the critical health needs of Acadiana and advancing digital innovation and patient-centered solutions in the Acadiana region. This merger includes an investment of nearly half a billion dollars from Ochsner over the next 10 years, which will infuse vital resources into the community to expand healthcare access, technology, and workforce opportunities.
“Our vision is to truly improve the health of Louisianans and people across the Gulf South,” said David Wilson, Chair, Ochsner Lafayette General Board of Trustees. “Ochsner is an organization with a national reputation, but Louisiana roots. They understand our state’s unique healthcare needs and are committed to advancing care in our region. As one system, we have an opportunity to truly make a positive impact in the lives and health of the people in our state.”
Today’s news of the change is a conclusion of a process that began with the Lafayette General Health Board of Trustees signing a letter of intent to merge with Ochsner in September of 2019, building on their existing, successful clinical affiliation. The merger received approval from the Louisiana Attorney General on September 4, 2020, clearing the path to complete the merger today, according to OLG.
“We’ve been looking forward to this day for more than a year. Lafayette General is a terrific health system known for its high-quality care and extraordinary commitment to patients. Ochsner shares those values, and as Ochsner Lafayette General, we can do even more great things together for patients in Acadiana,” said Andrew Wisdom, Chair, Ochsner Health Board of Directors.
Regional Updated Names and Branding
Ochsner Lafayette General will anchor services in the region for the statewide health system. Updated names and branding to reflect the new organization and its enhanced capabilities will also be rolled out at regional hospitals and clinics, including:
• Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
• Ochsner Acadia General Hospital – American Legion Post 15
• Ochsner Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital
• Ochsner Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital – a Lafayette General Medical Center Campus
• Ochsner Lafayette General Surgical Hospital – A Lafayette General Medical Center Campus
• Ochsner St. Martin Hospital
• Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics
What Can We Expect From The New Merger?
As part of this agreement and commitment to the region, Ochsner will invest $465 million in capital and resources over the next 10 years to expand care across Acadiana. Those commitments include:
An immediate investment of $94 million at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) including:
• The construction of a new tower with six inpatient floors, increasing the number of adult beds by 48. The project will also expand women’s services, including 23 new mother/baby beds and 15 new NICU beds so that more mothers and babies can receive care locally. Three of the floors will be shelled to prepare for future growth, which would include three additional 24-bed units, or 72 more beds.
• The construction of a new parking garage to include 550 additional parking spaces for the convenience of patients and visitors.
• The addition of 34 outpatient infusion chairs at the Cancer Center of Acadiana so that more cancer patients can receive care close to home.
Plans are to construct a state-of-the-art Center of Excellence building for the expansion of cancer services and neurosciences.
Further development of digital health in the region to empower patients and lower the cost of care. In addition, $1 million will be invested in the Healthcare Innovation Fund at the Ochsner Lafayette General Foundation to further digital medicine and technology initiatives in Acadiana.
Immediate facility upgrades and greater financial stability for Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics (UHC), enabling the hospital to continue serving the most vulnerable members of the community. Additionally, a $10 million, 10-year Community Support Fund, overseen by the Ochsner Lafayette General Board of Trustees, will be created to advance health and wellness across Acadiana, promote workforce development in the region, and support initiatives aligned with the mission of Ochsner Lafayette General.
Investment in graduate medical education at Ochsner LGMC to help train the physicians of the future, and add approximately 48 new residency positions at Ochsner LGMC, building on the 75 currently at UHC.
A commitment to support our employees, including an investment of approximately $21 million over 10 years to increase the minimum wage from $10 to $12 per hour, effective immediately. This positively impacts nearly 900 employees. In addition, effective January 1, 2021, employees will be eligible for an annual 2% retirement contribution on top of their current 401(k) match, which represents a $4 million annual investment in the long-term financial stability of Ochsner Lafayette General employees.
The implementation of Ochsner’s MA Now workforce development program in Acadiana, helping local community members to jumpstart a medical assistant career in healthcare, as well as an expansion of Ochsner’s pharmacy tech and LPN apprenticeship programs.
Investing in new classrooms at Ochsner Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital to grow existing RN and surgical technology programs.
The opening of a new community health center in an underserved area of Lafayette with a commitment to open more locations in the future.
This is obviously great for our community, and we look forward to all of the changes and increased care & professionalism in Lafayette, and across Acadiana.