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Ochsner Health Pledges Zero Health Gaps for World Health Day

The initiative counters growing global healthcare disparities by mobilizing executive leadership of organizations across the world to prioritize health equity action.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – In recognition of World Health Day, Ochsner Health is proud to announce that it has taken to the Global Health Equity Network (GHEN) Zero Health Gaps Pledge. The initiative counters growing global healthcare disparities by mobilizing executive leadership of organizations across the world to prioritize health equity action.

World Health Day, celebrated annually on April 7, is an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO aims to “promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.” The 2023 theme of World Health Day is #HealthForAll.

The Zero Health Gaps Pledge is part of the Global Health Equity Network (GHEN), which brings together key stakeholders from public and private sectors to advance a collective vision of Zero Health Gaps within the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving Zero Health Gaps would mean that all individuals have the fair and just opportunity to fulfill their human potential in all aspects of health and well-being. By taking this pledge, Ochsner is declaring its commitment to meaningful action and collaboration toward health equity.

“At Ochsner, we serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate to inspire healthier lives and stronger communities,” said Corwin Harper, Chief Growth Officer, Ochsner Health. “We agree that there is a need for greater affordability, accessibility and equity to advance health outcomes, which is why we are the first healthcare organization in the Southeast United States to sign the Global Health Equity Network’s Zero Health Gaps Pledge.”

According to the World Economic Forum, the pledge is a direct response to the persistent and growing global health disparities between and within countries. For example, the average life expectancy for people in high-income countries is 78, compared with just 64 for those in low-income countries. In recent years, the global climate and health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the seriousness of these inequities and the dire consequences of not addressing them. The Zero Health Gaps Pledge is a plan for action that works toward correcting these issues.

Ochsner was motivated to pledge its support for Zero Health Gaps as it is directly in line with the system’s vision of achieving a Healthy State by 2030, a bold and collaborative plan announced in 2020 to realize a healthier Louisiana. The mission of Healthy State is to eliminate barriers to healthcare, bring resources to the underserved, urban and rural communities; collaborate with local and state leaders as well as public and private sector partners to research and better understand health disparities; utilize technology and innovation to improve outcomes and invest in Louisiana’s next generation of healthcare providers and frontline staff. Working together, Ochsner and its Healthy State partners can tackle the leading causes of poor health and create healthier communities for all Louisianans.

“Ochsner’s signing of the Health Equity Network Zero Health Pledge demonstrates our commitment to deepen our understanding of health inequities, train the next generation of physicians, and improve health and wellness for all,” said Leonardo Seoane, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health. “Through our Healthy State initiative to realize a healthier Louisiana,, we are committed to viewing healthcare and wellness through a lens of equity. We understand that we can’t have a Healthy State unless we have an equitable state. With our motto of ‘global health is local health,’ the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School has trained physicians with a unique perspective, better preparing the next generation to apply lessons learned locally and face challenges of the global health gap.”

“The last few years have, indeed, brought us a great deal of change – but this change gives us unprecedented opportunity to create the future we wish to live. Every day, in hundreds of ways both large and small, Ochsner is building that future,” said Deborah Grimes, Chief Diversity Officer, Ochsner Health. “We look forward to joining important work of addressing Health Disparities by signing the Zero Health Gaps Pledge.”

Read more about Healthy State here. Visit the World Economic Forum’s page to learn more about the Zero Health Gaps Pledge.


About Ochsner Health

Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and kidney transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including 4,000 patients enrolled in 685 clinical studies in 2022. It has more than 38,000 employees and over 4,600 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 48 hospitals and more than 370 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2022, Ochsner Health treated more than 1.4 million people from every state and 62 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator of physicians, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit