SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - After months of deliberations, Ochsner Health System officially is operating North Louisiana’s two safety-net hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe.
The 50-50 public-private partnership also comprises LSU Health Sciences Center.
Beginning Oct. 1, the two entities formed Ochsner-LSU Health System of North Louisiana.
“Ochsner will be responsible for the management responsibilities of the health system,” said Chuck Daigle, CEO of Ochsner-LSU Health of North Louisiana. “We commit to you that we will put patients first.”
LSU Health Sciences Center and Ochsner share the same mission, he added.
“To teach, to heal, to train and to serve the patients and to serve this community.”
With Ochsner at the helm, Daigle stated, plans are in place to renovate portions of Shreveport’s charity hospital, including enhancing facilities and equipment.
“We will invest in technology throughout, whether that’s intensive-care units or operating suites. We’ll see some renovations to the campus and renovations to the grounds.”
Although none of the changes will be immediate, Daigle hopes to expand Ochsner’s presence in North Louisiana with the possible addition of new facilities to expand access to health care throughout the region. These include new urgent care and primary care clinics, as well as hiring more physicians.
“Really, the goal is to keep people healthy,” Daigle said.
Dr. G.E. Ghali, chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center, said Ochsner’s management gives students in the school’s graduate programs more resources.
“I feel like we have a partner we can actually work with. With the Ochsner Health System, we have the ability to build or utilize additional clinical sites throughout North Louisiana.”
Ghali also said he feels financially stable with Ochsner, adding that such stability could help him expand the medical school in the near future.
He noted that the current medical school class averages about 130 students. “What I would like to see is our class go up to 150 and then, ultimately, 200 students per class,” Ghali said.
“The Ochsner Health System is going to help us achieve our mission of quality education, quality patient care and quality research.”
The agreement between LSU and Ochsner is for 10 years with two automatic five-year renewals after the partnership’s first decade.