Lafayette General Health announced on Thursday, October 1, that they have merged with Ochsner Health.
Lafayette General Health will now be known as Ochsner Lafayette General.
A press conference was held at 11:00 am to announce the completion of the merger. See LIVE VIDEO below:
The combined health system will now become the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Gulf South.
Lafayette General says the merger includes an investment of nearly half a billion dollars from Ochsner over the next 10 years.
"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 in a press release. "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."
The health system says that the process of merging the two together began back in September 2019.
The merger received approval from the Louisiana Attorney General's Office on September 4, 2020.
Ochsner Lafayette General says they 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
As part of the agreement Ochsner will reportedly 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.
- 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 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.
Ochsner Lafayette General says that they will maintain an open medical staff, allowing physicians to choose how they affiliate with the organization.
Patients can continue with their current providers and will have access to even more specialty care and services, they say.
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