BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Ochsner Health System is going to start paying the medical school education of students who commit to work with Ochsner in Louisiana for five years, the organization's CEO said.
The Advocate reported that Warner Thomas, who heads the medical system, discussed the plans Wednesday during a meeting at the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge.
"We're going to pay their medical school way if they make a five-year commitment to stay in Louisiana and practice at Ochsner," Thomas said. He was speaking about people who intend to practice primary care medicine and psychiatry, the newspaper reported.
The program will start with 30 students this summer. Citing the tight labor market, Thomas said the health system also will pay for current employees who want to advance in their career from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse or from a medical assistant to an LPN.
The company has set aside about $10 million for the tuition-paying programs.
Ochsner employs more than 26,000 people across hospitals and other facilities stretching from northwestern Louisiana to the state's southeastern border with Texas and into Mississippi along the Gulf Coast.
In September, the health provider signed a partnership with Rush Health Systems in Mississippi. That organization operates seven hospitals. Thomas told attendees at the Rotary meeting that Ochsner was planning to continue building similar relationships east of Louisiana.