Accolades: Loyola, Ochsner, LCMC, Obatala, Jones Walker, Entergy and More

NEW ORLEANS – Here’s a roundup of awards and accolades for greater New Orleans organizations:


Billboard named Loyola University New Orleans to its annual list of top music business schools for 2023. 

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“This continued recognition is an incredible honor but really a testament to the work we’ve been doing for more than three decades in our acclaimed music industry program,” said Kate Duncan, director of Loyola’s School of Music and Theatre Professions.

Niche, a website that helps students choose schools, ranked Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans among the top three charter schools in New Orleans. LFNO earned its highest marks for its faculty and commitment to diversity. 

“We are excited to have this empirical measure of our commitment to excellence so soon after our six-year charter renewal last spring,” said Dr. Chase McLaurin, CEO of LFNO. “The French Accredited model at Lycée gives our students the best of both worlds: Louisiana’s educational curriculum and that of the world-renowned education system in France. Thanks to the nature of our state-issued charter, families from anywhere in Louisiana can choose Lycée.”

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Children’s Hospital New Orleans has been ranked among the world’s best specialized hospitals for pediatrics by Newsweek for the third year in a row. The ranking program features the top 200 hospitals for pediatrics worldwide, and Children’s Hospital New Orleans ranked No. 60 in the world, and No. 32 in the United States.

“It is an honor to see our team’s hard work realized,” said Children’s Hospital New Orleans President and CEO Lucio A. Fragoso. “This is a truly extraordinary accomplishment that reflects our ongoing commitment to provide the best possible care for kids right here in Louisiana.”

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The American Medical Association has recognized LCMC Health as a Joy in Medicine organization. The distinction is granted to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members through proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

“LCMC Health’s employees are not just our most vital asset, they are the heartbeat of our organization,” said Kristen Gradney, LCMC Health chief wellness officer. “Each day, our extraordinary team demonstrates unwavering dedication to patient care, exhibiting courage and perseverance. It is extremely important that we provide the reciprocal support our employees deserve to help them navigate the challenges they face everyday.”

Ochsner Health has received a 2023 Vizient Pharmacy Vision Award. Ochsner is recognized for Excellence in Innovation, which honors teams who have implemented novel approaches to complex patient care in conjunction with other departments. 

“Pharmacists have been integral to the patient care interdisciplinary team in acute care settings for years,” said Deborah Simonson, Ochsner’s vice president and chief pharmacy officer.

Ochsner also has earned Gold recognition from the American Medical Association as a Joy in Medicine recognized organization. The distinction is granted to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members through proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

“The well-being of our clinical care teams is deeply personal to me and to Ochsner,” said Nigel Girgrah, MD, chief wellness officer at Ochsner Health. “We all enlisted in the healthcare profession to be healers, clinicians, and educators. Unfortunately, the litany of tasks outside of direct patient care has resulted in more burnout than ever before. At Ochsner, we are committed to building a culture of well-being for our care teams and we are honored to be recognized by the AMA for these ongoing efforts.”

Ochsner also was named among the “Best Hospitals According to Patients & Health Care Providers” by WebMD, an online publication for health news and information.

“We are honored to be the only health system in Louisiana and one of 26 hospitals across the nation to be named the Elite Choice in all five specialties in the 2023-24 WebMD Choice Awards,” said Robert Hart, MD, chief physician executive, Ochsner Health and president, Ochsner Clinic. 

Obatala Sciences has received the Minority Health Products and Services Firm of the Year Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

“It highlights our commitment to our mission of disrupting the method of traditional drug development and supporting research that leads to the discovery of safer, more efficacious therapies for all patients who suffer from metabolic diseases such as obesity and type II diabetes, regardless of their ethnic, socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds,” said Dr. Trivia Frazier, co-founder, president and CEO of Obatala Sciences.


Jones Walker has achieved Mansfield Rule 6.0 certification status for 2022–2023. The Mansfield Rule is a structured certification process designed to ensure all talent at participating law firms has a fair and equal opportunity to advance into leadership. 

“We are proud to have completed Diversity Lab’s thorough process and ultimately achieve Mansfield Certification status,” said Bill Hines, managing partner of Jones Walker. “This is a meaningful step forward and creates measurable steps in achieving the firm’s diversity in leadership goals.”

Kean Miller has achieved Mansfield Certification for the fourth year in a row following the completion of a 12-month Mansfield Rule 6.0 certification process. 

“Diversity and inclusion are foundational to our culture. We are proud to be recognized by the premiere legal diversity program as a legal partner that actively supports and advances attorneys who have traditionally been unrepresented in the profession. We look forward to continuing our involvement with Diversity Lab and participating in Mansfield 7.0,” said Vic Suane, chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.


Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company has been recognized by S&P Global Market Intelligence as one of the top three most active acquirers of specialty finance lenders over the past seven years.   

The report, released by S&P on Sept. 29, indicates that while US bank mergers and acquisitions have slumped in recent years, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust has bucked that downward trend and is one of the industry leaders in net acquisitions of specialty lenders. Purchases were made across the United States but most recently in Minnesota, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

According to Gulf Coast Bank & Trust President and CEO Guy T. Williams, the bank’s growth in these areas is fueled by its desire to diversify lending options for borrowers. Among those new options are business leasing, debtor in possession loans, new business acquisition loans and business restructuring loans. 


The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center was named the “Best Luxury Hotel & Conference Centre 2023” by LUXlife Magazine.

“This recognition reflects the dedication, commitment, and exceptional service that the hotel has consistently provided to its guests, further solidifying its reputation as a premier destination in New Orleans,” said Daniel Rhodes, the facility’s general manager.


Entergy has been recognized by Site Selection magazine as a top utility for economic growth for 16 consecutive years. 

“This recognition highlights how deeply we are invested in the customers we serve and the community we call home,” said Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO. “As the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in the state, we have a responsibility to continue to drive economic growth for the region.”

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