The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation is proud to welcome Ochsner to St. Bernard Parish. Ochsner Health System is now serving as the manager of the St. Bernard Parish Hospital, overseeing day-to-day operations.
“We are thrilled to have a world-class operation like Ochsner managing the hospital,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation. “Following Hurricane Katrina, one of our Foundation’s top priorities was establishing quality healthcare here in the parish, and we are very pleased with the direction the hospital is headed.”
The Meraux Foundation donated an 11.5 acre piece of land valued at $2.8 million for the hospital in 2010. This freed up funds for the parish and allowed for the world-class, $70 million facility to be built in Chalmette. Relying on the hospital as an anchor, the Meraux Foundation is working with partners, like the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, to facilitate the development of the surrounding properties to add more services for residents and boost the local economy.
Ochsner hosted an event on Wednesday to celebrate an agreement to solidify the long-term partnership that began in October of 2016 when Ochsner began overseeing daily operations at the hospital.
Public officials and leaders gathered at the event and all spoke of the community effort behind the hospital. Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the crowd via video, acknowledging the Meraux Foundation and saying that the hospital is a testament to people of St. Bernard Parish.
“The hospital is emblematic of what can be accomplished when good people work together for a common cause,” said Gue. “We are grateful to those who partnered on this project to do what is best for the people of St. Bernard. We all benefit from this success. We would also like to recognize and commend all of the past members of the Hospital Service District for their vision, dedication and hard work in making this a reality for the citizens of our parish.”
Dr. Rebekah Gee, the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, remarked that the hospital in St. Bernard Parish saves lives because of the precious time it saves residents who would otherwise have to drive to New Orleans to receive treatment when experiencing certain life-threatening emergencies like strokes and heart attacks.
Ochsner has implemented their tele-stroke and tele-psych programs, which provide expert neurovascular and psychiatric care coverage 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to patients in St. Bernard, through Ochsner’s telehealth program, CareConnect 360.
Ochsner plans to expand access to care by opening a new health center in the St. Bernard Medical Office Building with women’s services and a multi-specialty clinic. Some services offered in the new clinic will be cardiology, general surgery, pain management, colon/rectal, and ocular plastics. In addition, they will be installing and implementing EPIC, the most widely used electronic health records system, increasing the hospital’s efficiency in the delivery of care.