Southwest Health System, Ochsner Health System Announce Strategic Partnership

NEW ORLEANS – Southwest Health System (Southwest) and Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) announced a strategic partnership that brings together two strong healthcare providers in the region. The partnership is designed to allow the collaboration needed to offer patients access to more highly specialized, innovative care locally and to provide an opportunity to share best practices and protocols while increasing learning opportunities for physicians and leaders at both organizations.

         “Our partnership represents a collaborative opportunity to share best practices, appropriately expand specialty services and implement advanced, patient-centered technology,” said Southwest Health System CEO Norman Price. “We are excited to partner with Ochsner and work with them and with other partners in their network to continue to improve quality and decrease the cost of care while offering access to higher acuity healthcare closer to home.”

         The partnership provides benefits for both organizations, physicians and, most importantly, patients, who will gain better access to the depth and breadth of care for which Ochsner is nationally recognized with the convenience of being treated close to home, Ochsner reps said. The alignment, both clinically and financially, will create greater opportunity for joint investments in new programs and the expansion of patient services and resources in the region.

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         The two organizations plan growth and development in several area that are a priority in southwest Mississippi, including comprehensive cancer care, cardiac electrophysiology care and other potential services locally including pediatric, rheumatic, orthopedic, endocrine and infectious disease subspecialty care. In addition, Southwest will offer a full suite of TeleHealth services to allow for local consults, second opinions and additional support for high-acuity patients and their care teams as well as greater access to more clinical trials as a result of the partnership.

         “This partnership is representative of our joint commitment to the broad region we serve” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “Our goal in this partnership is to bring more high-acuity care, through telemedicine and outreach clinics, directly into southwest Mississippi communities.”

         Under the agreement, each organization will retain its name, assets and employees to allow them to continue doing the great work that has brought them to this point. The partnership does not change the governance, employees or medical staff relationships of Southwest Health System or of Ochsner Health System.

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         Collaboration rather than competition will result in sharing of best practices, reduction of unnecessary costs, development of innovative care solutions through technology and clinical teamwork and a relentless focus on quality and value, Southwest reps said.

         “This affiliation affords collaboration of exemplary medical minds, enables advancement of state of the art technology, and will expand needed services in the region. Thus, at fruition, Southwest Regional serves as the role model for rural medicine in this country,” said Henry Lewis, MD, Southwest Health System Medical Director.

         Southwest Board President Renan Richmond said, “This opportunity represents two proactive and forward-moving organizations to come together around similar missions and a strong shared vision. This has already enables our patients in southwest Mississippi to receive seamless transition with our hematology oncology care with three Ochsner Healthy System physicians seeing patients each day. So far, more than 2,222 patients who would have had to go elsewhere to receive the lifesaving care they need have been served here in their community.”

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