linked in pixel

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans Awarded Palliative Care Certification from The Joint Commission

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans (OMC-New Orleans) has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Palliative Care Certification by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

The certification recognizes OMC-New Orleans’ efforts to provide patient and family-centered care and to optimize the quality of life for adult and pediatric patients with serious illnesses. Palliative care addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice.

OMC-New Orleans underwent a rigorous onsite review on November 17, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Palliative Care Certification recognizes health care organizations commitment to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for palliative care patients.”

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans is one of 73 programs across the United States to achieve the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for Palliative Care. The Palliative Care program is the first in Louisiana to receive this certification, and there are no Joint Commission certified programs in Mississippi or Alabama. Dr. Thomas Morel, Chair, Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care at Ochsner Medical Center, leads the team of highly qualified team members who care for the needs of seriously ill patients on a daily basis and have all met the Joint Commission requirements.

“Our goal for Palliative Medicine at Ochsner is to provide the best care possible for those with serious advanced illness,” said Dr. Susan Nelson, System Chair, Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care. “Our interdisciplinary team works tirelessly to deliver compassionate, timely and empathetic care to our patients and their family members. We are honored to receive this seal of approval from the Joint Commission as recognition for all the great efforts by our team.”

To learn more about the Palliative Medicine & Support Care program at Ochsner Health, visit

For more information on this recognition, please visit The Joint Commission website.


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 heart 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 over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 36,000 employees and over 4,600 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 47 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 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit