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Rush Health Systems Officially Becomes Ochsner Rush Health

Merger means expanded access to local, highly specialized care for patients in Mississippi and Alabama

Rush Health Systems Officially Becomes Ochsner Rush Health

Meridian, MS – Rush Health Systems has officially merged with Ochsner Health (Ochsner), becoming Ochsner Rush Health. Today’s announcement is a conclusion of the process that began with a letter of intent to merge in June 2021. Work has already begun to expand access to patients in east Mississippi and West Alabama, including more opportunities for patients to receive high-quality, innovative care close to home.

“This is an exciting time for our community, and we are proud to be the trusted healthcare provider of the region. As Ochsner Rush Health, our patients will benefit from the skills and experience of both teams with enhanced access to new services and highly specialized care,” said Larkin Kennedy, CEO Ochsner Rush Health. “By coming together, we’ll be able to do more to enhance and expand clinical services focused on the critical needs of the communities we serve while ensuring our patients have access to local, high-quality care for generations to come.”

Ochsner Rush Health will anchor services in the east Mississippi/west Alabama region for Ochsner Health. Updated names and branding to reflect the new organization and its enhanced capabilities will also be rolled out at regional hospitals:

  • Ochsner Rush Medical Center
  • Ochsner Specialty Hospital
  • Ochsner Choctaw General
  • Ochsner Scott Regional
  • Ochsner Laird Hospital
  • Ochsner Stennis Hospital
  • Ochsner Watkins Hospital

The depth and breadth of specialized care for which Ochsner is nationally recognized will now be available to local communities. Ochsner Rush Health is already working to expand existing programs and offer new services for the patients across the region. Employees of Ochsner Rush Health are benefitting from an increase in minimum wage to $12 per hour now that the merger is complete. This move positively impacts more than 400 employees and represents an investment of at least $1.5 million in the people who play vital roles within the health system.

“We are committed to continuing the 100-year legacy of Rush Health Systems’ founders and are truly excited that they have joined the Ochsner family. We look forward to building upon the work Rush has done to improve care in Mississippi and Alabama. Together, we are combining our strengths to lead healthcare innovation in the Gulf South,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health. “Technology and integration are critically important in today’s healthcare environment. Maintaining a shared focus on opportunities will strengthen our organization and ensure Ochsner Rush Health’s ability to provide care for future generations.”

Ochsner Rush Health will focus on the following to benefit patients, including:

  • Expanded access to specialty and sub-specialty services so that more patients can receive the care they need closer to home, including cardiology, neurology and highly specialized stroke care, women’s services, cancer treatment and surgical oncology.
  • Innovation in healthcare delivery through Ochsner’s expanded technological and digital capabilities, including expansions in telehealth, digital monitoring and clinical improvements guided by artificial intelligence.
  • Access to Ochsner’s robust clinical research network, one of the largest in the Gulf South, so Ochsner Rush Health patients will be able to participate in groundbreaking, novel therapies, including the latest in cancer treatment, close to home.
  • More efficient, affordable care through the sharing of best practices and resources. Economies of scale will allow Ochsner to find efficiencies throughout the system, and then invest more in programs and resources locally.

“For decades, our organizations have benefited from a strong relationship, dating back to when Dr. Leslie V. Rush, Sr. hosted Dr. Alton Ochsner as a guest speaker at several special events. We are thrilled to bring the talent and knowledge of our physicians and providers together to benefit patients so that we can provide even more services for patients in east Mississippi and west Alabama,” said Ochsner Chief Medical Officer Robert Hart, M.D.

Ochsner Rush Health is governed by a board comprised of local community members, a local physician and representatives from Ochsner Health. Ochsner Rush Health medical staff will continue to be comprised of employed and independent physicians. All medical staff retain existing privileges as part of Ochsner Rush Health, and patients may continue to use existing insurance at all facilities.

About Ochsner Rush Health
Founded more than 100 years ago, Rush Health Systems joined Ochsner Health in 2022, making it part of the largest health system in the Gulf South. With its long legacy of medical innovation, quality care and service to others, Ochsner Rush Health is comprised of 7 hospitals and more than 30 clinics, with 250 staff and contracted physicians and 95 advanced practice providers. For more information, please visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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 34,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 40 hospitals and more than 300 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi 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