CHRISTUS Health and Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) announced today that they have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to pursue a joint venture of current CHRISTUS operations in the Lake Charles area. The joint venture will have responsibility for all future health care facilities and services operated by the two health systems in the region. The anticipated agreement will build on the collective strengths of both CHRISTUS Health and Ochsner, improve care for patients and expand local access to health care services and specialties such as maternal fetal medicine, pediatric subspecialties, neurosciences and oncology.
“This is an exciting time for our health system and the people of Southwest Louisiana,” explained Ernie Sadau, president & CEO, CHRISTUS Health. “With today’s announcement we are sharing our intentions of bringing together two vital, not-for-profit organizations. We’re also reinforcing our deep commitment to continue to provide high quality care and improve the health of the communities we serve.”
“We are two of the leading health systems in our state and nationally,” said Warner Thomas, president & CEO, Ochsner Health System. “Our opportunity, and in fact responsibility, is to work even more closely together and do more to expand, innovate and improve health care in our region.”
CHRISTUS and Ochsner will become more integrated partners in the Lake Charles region, building upon a successful, two-year relationship including telemedicine and clinical trials, and will share responsibility for the current and potential services available to patients there. At closing, Ochsner will assume management of the clinics and employed physicians in the CHRISTUS Physician Group and Lake Area Medical Group. A new joint board of directors will be formed to govern strategic decisions for the integrated system in the Lake Charles area, and seats will be held by both CHRISTUS Health and Ochsner.
When the transaction is complete, CHRISTUS Health will be the majority owner of the not-for-profit entity and will continue to manage all other portions of the joint venture, including CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and soon to be acquired Lake Area Medical Center. In the interim, Lake Area Medical Center is expected to be called CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital.
“We have a great deal of respect for the physicians in the Lake Charles area and look forward to working more collaboratively together to serve patients,” said Dr. Ed Martin, Chief Medical Officer of Ochsner’s West Region. “In every partnership there’s an opportunity for physicians from both organizations to learn from one another and to share best practices and resources.
Following due diligence, today’s announcement is expected to be finalized by fall 2017 including the new structure, an anticipated name change and co-branding. When the agreement is finalized, the new entity will look for opportunities to expand health care services in the area, bring more specialties not available to the area and focus on the health of the residents of the Lake Charles region.
“Over the next few months, we’ll work toward the signing of a definitive agreement,” said Sadau. “By becoming more integrated in Lake Charles, we are building on a long history of a commitment to Louisiana, to our people and to the communities we serve. This is an exciting opportunity to ensure exceptional access to health care remains close to home for the Lake Charles community.”
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About CHRISTUS Health
CHRISTUS Health, an international Catholic, faith-based, not-for-profit health system, is headquartered in the Dallas area and is comprised of almost 600 services and facilities, including more than 60 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 350 clinics and outpatient centers and dozens of other health ministries and ventures. CHRISTUS services can be found in 60 cities in the U.S., Mexico, Chile and Colombia. The system employs approximately 45,000 Associates and has over 15,000 physicians on facility medical staffs who provide care and support for patients.
About Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 29 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 18,000 employees and over 1,100 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.