Reposted from the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans

Last week, elected officials from state and local government, along with members of the business community and representatives of Ochsner Health System gathered to celebrate the contributions of healthcare partnerships on the local and regional economy. The event took place under Ochsner Medical Center’s new pedestrian bridge which crosses Jefferson Highway, connecting Ochsner’s hospital to a new internal medicine clinic and academics training building scheduled to open in January 2014.

Speakers 7-30Speakers included Senator John A. Alario, Jr., President, Louisiana State Senate; Kathy Kliebert, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; Paul Johnston, Councilman – District 2, Jefferson Parish Council; John Young, Parish President, Jefferson Parish; Todd Murphy, President, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce; James E. Maurin, Chairman, Ochsner Health System Board of Directors; and Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System.

Each noted the growth of healthcare in Jefferson Parish and the importance of partnerships to that growth. Speakers also emphasized how partnerships have led to expanded access to services for patients across the region.

Rendering 3 - BirdseyeMaurin pointed to the pedestrian bridge as a symbol of Ochsner’s growth and commitment to the residents of Southeast Louisiana. “Our board and the leadership of our organization have a larger vision of expanding access and growing services to care for more patients, not only from Jefferson Parish but throughout our region and beyond,” he said.

The addition of the 85,000 square foot internal medicine and wellness center will increase access to outpatient services for more patients and allow Ochsner Medical Center – Jefferson Highway to treat the most critical healthcare needs of the patients referred throughout the country.

The new 22,000 square foot academics and research building will allow The University of Queensland – Ochsner Clinical School to continue to grow, accommodating 240 medical students with classrooms, a testing lab and a student activity center.

Young noted the medical assets based in Jefferson Parish are unparalleled in the region which has a significant impact on the local economy. In fact, healthcare is the biggest contributor to the Parish’s economy.

Thomas closed the event by underscoring the need for collaboration in light of the evolving healthcare landscape. “It’s no secret that the challenges we face as healthcare providers today are truly unprecedented,” said Thomas. “The future of healthcare is all about partnership: with other healthcare providers, with government, with community businesses and with international organizations. In recent years, Ochsner has collaborated and partnered with several hospitals and providers, which has allowed us to work together, share resources and best practices, and increase patient access to affordable quality care.”

To learn more about Ochsner’s dedication to partnership, visit its recently launched website.