Ochsner Health System To Revitalize Recently Closed Louisiana Heart Hospital

L to R – Bill Davis, CEO, Slidell Market SMH-Ochsner Partnership; Townsend Underhill, Stirling Properties Sr. Vice President of Development; Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President; Patti Ellish, CEO, St. Tammany Parish Hospital; Warner Thomas, president and CEO, Ochsner Health System.

LACOMBE, LA – Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) has reached an agreement to lease the recently closed Louisiana Heart Hospital property from Stirling Properties. Ochsner, working together with each of its partners, St. Tammany Parish Hospital (STPH) and Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH), plans to repurpose the recently closed building to open a Post-Acute Care Hospital to include long-term acute care, skilled nursing and inpatient rehabilitation services in one convenient St. Tammany location. This effort will also result in job growth and expanded administrative services in the region by opening a dedicated North Shore Service Center, project reps said.

         “We are excited that this facility will once again be opened and provide much-needed medical services for our residents as well as jobs for our local health care workforce,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish president. “We appreciate Ochsner’s commitment to St. Tammany Parish, and we look forward to another leading-edge healthcare facility, providing high-quality medical care.” 

         The new facility represents an opportunity that is the first of its kind in the parish, reps said. One that allows Ochsner, along with each of its partners, St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Slidell Memorial Hospital, to work together and more cost effectively integrate the full continuum of care for patients. Along with increased access to more post-acute care services, this is better for patients because it connects them to a larger, organized network of care, they said.

         “With each of our partners, St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Slidell Memorial Hospital, we are deeply committed to the North Shore region and providing patients with increased access to post-acute care services close to where they live and work,” said Warner Thomas, president and CEO of Ochsner Health System. “Over the next five years, we expect to invest nearly $15 million to deliver new and innovative models of care while also growing jobs and expanding administrative services in St. Tammany.”

         Over the next 12-18 months, Ochsner, working with its partners, plans to open a 30-bed long-term acute care unit to provide intense specialized care for patients with serious medical conditions; a 25-bed skilled nursing facility to provide highly skilled medical care for patients working through a short-term rehabilitation or for those suffering with a chronic condition who need longer-term care; a 30-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit for patients who need intensive rehabilitative care in an inpatient setting to help them regain the highest degree of independence; and an occupational rehabilitation area.

         “Since we formed a strategic partnership with Ochsner in 2014, we have been able to add new services, expand and enhance oncology infusion services, launch a comprehensive neuroscience program and open a thriving pediatric subspecialty clinic in Covington,” said Patti Ellish, CEO of St. Tammany Parish Hospital. “Our announcement today further illustrates Ochsner and St. Tammany Parish Hospital’s joint commitment to enhance access to quality healthcare services across the continuum of care.”

         In addition to expanding healthcare services, the new facility will house a North Shore Service Center with a focus on non-patient care office functions, keeping vital back-office support jobs in St. Tammany Parish. The organizations provide nearly 7,000 jobs in the parish, and with this addition, the potential to retain 190 jobs and add 125 more, project reps said.

         “Together, with Ochsner, we have been able to build upon our strengths at Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore, bringing additional access, value, expertise and technology to our patients in east St. Tammany,” said Bill Davis, CEO of Slidell Market SMH-Ochsner Partnership. “Now, through each of our service district’s partnerships with Ochsner, we have the opportunity to make a significant investment in our community by offering critical post-acute care services, growing jobs and expanding administrative services on the North Shore.”

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