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Ochsner, Moody's, Amtrak, Lagasse, Sportsman Expo: Biz Shorts

Written by  // Wednesday, 13 August 2014 10:22 //

BATON-ROUGE-SKYNews from press releases about Ochsner's Health System, Sportsman Expo, Amtrak and the Lagasse Foundation headline our Louisiana Biz Shorts, today:

Ochsner Health Sysstem

Moody's Investors Service has reaffirmed the Baa1 rating assigned to Ochsner Health System and states Ochsner’s financial outlook remains stable. This outlook reflects Moody’s belief that Ochsner will continue to improve operating performance in FY 2014 and enhance liquidity and related balance sheet ratios.

According to Moody’s Ratings Report, “the Baa1 rating and stable outlook are attributable to a leading and growing market position in a broad regional area for this highly integrated hospital/physician system with a strong reputation for providing high-end quality services.”

The credit ratings report pointed out several areas of strength for Ochsner, including a peak year of performance in fiscal year (FY) 2013 over the previous five years and a strong improvement in operating cash flow despite declines in same store volume metrics as the system moves toward population health management. The improvement in FY 2013 follows the completion and implementation of the Epic electronic health record system and the continuation of efficiency and cost control initiatives, Moody’s said.

Additionally, the report also noted that Ochsner recorded a sizable 35 percent growth in unrestricted liquidity in 2013 to improve cash on hand by 20 days over 2012. This area is budgeted to improve further in 2014.

Ochsner has steadily grown market share over the past few years and is implementing strategies to continue to garner business with a wider regional draw for its services, Moody’s stated. FY 2014 year-to-date performance is near budget, and Ochsner fully expects to meet its full year budget with continued improvements in the second half of the year.

“We are certainly pleased with Moody’s review of our financial stability,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “The past two years have seen an unrelenting focus on improving patient care and quality, as well as an expansion of patient services through significant capital investments in our Baptist and Jefferson Highway campuses. We have also continued to invest in our clinical programs and information technology capabilities to successfully address the changes caused by the implementation of healthcare reform. We expect that with our constant concentration on improving quality while reducing cost, we will continue to improve our ratings in the coming year.”

The complete Moody’s Investors Service ratings report can be found online at moodys.com.

Webcast: Louisiana, The Entertainment Capitol of the World--Thursday August 13, 2014

Southern Sportsman's Festival and Expo

The inaugural Southern Sportsman’s Festival & Expo, in addition to showcasing the latest in outdoor trends, including fishing, hunting, archery, camping, boating, grilling, and sports, will feature music, food, seminars and fun for the entire family. Over 120 exhibitors, stationed inside and outside of the Alario Center, will be offering expert advice and selling the latest in state-of-the-art equipment.

Presented by Super Chevy Dealers and the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, the new Southern Sportsman’s Festival & Expo is designed for sportsmen (and sportswomen) of all ages and interests. From people who enjoy the music, food and outdoor entertainment aspects of a festival, to those who enjoy interacting with hunting & fishing experts, swapping stories, getting tips, and purchasing the latest gear, the Show promises something for everyone.

In addition to The Bud Light Music Stage (featuring live music throughout the weekend from country singer Hannah Belle Southerland, and some of New Orleans’ favorite bands, including: Christian Serpas and Ghost Town, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Review, Pocket Aces Brass, Idlewild String Confederation, Joey Thomas, 90 Degrees West and Casey Saba); The Beer Garden and the Festival of Food, there will be activities from:

•         LA Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Mobile Aquarium

•         A Casting Inflatable; “Ruby Redfish” mascot

•         Super Chevy Dealers Ride & Drive, where people can test drive the latest vehicles from Chevrolet either on-road or off-road on a custom built track           located behind the Alario Center;

•         A 3-D archery tournament and a kids indoor archery range;

•         Ducks Unlimited Laser Shot hunting simulator; Redneck Olympics – featuring fun, interactive games for kids (and kids at heart);

•         Boy Scouts of America’s Pinewood Derby Demos, Monkey Bridge, and much more.

•         Hovercraft rides from Southern Hovercraft

•         Retriever demos with B. Moore Retrievers

There will also be giveaways galore, such as: chartered fishing trips from the guides of Marsh & Bayou; a Big Green Egg from Contractors Discount Appliance; Gator Outfitters outdoor gear; Drytunes – the world's first Waterproof Wireless Speaker with Internal Dry Storage and much more!

WHEN:

Friday – Sunday, August 15 - 17, 2014

Friday: 2PM – 8PM (“Free Kids Friday” - Kids get in free with parents on Friday);

Saturday:10AM – 8PM

Sunday: 10AM – 6PM

(Load-in begins Wednesday, August 13 at noon)

Friday's activities will be followed by an Exhibitors' Party hosted by the Southern Sportsman's Festival & Expo. The party will be held from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. and will feature another great music set by country singer, Hannah Belle Southerland. The public is invited to stay for the party.

WHERE:

Alario Event Center, 2000 Segnette Blvd., Westwego, LA 70094

TICKETS:

Tickets are available at the Alario Center box office.

General Admission is $10;

3-Day Pass - $15 (Click HERE to purchase online);

Kids 16 & under - $5 with Adult;

Military (with ID) - $5

For more information visit: www.southernsportsmansfestival.com.            

PARKING:

The Southeast Louisiana Council of Boy Scouts of America will be providing Boy Scouts to assist with parking during the event. While parking is FREE the Southern Sportsman’s Festival & Expo suggests a donation to help support the Boy Scouts.

Amtrak

An expanded partnership between Amtrak and two bus carriers can take passengers to and from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and Amtrak trains in Jackson, Miss., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and New Orleans.

Connections to Amtrak City of New Orleans, Crescent and Sunset Limited trains are now available on Amtrak.com and other sales channels in a partnership with Greyhound Lines and Capitol Trailways. Bus stop and station information is also on Amtrak.com, with locations listed on the attachments, along with sample fares.

Several of these Gulf Coast communities, including Biloxi and Mobile, were served by Amtrak until 2005, when the service was suspended east of New Orleans following the landfall of Hurricane Katrina.

Amtrak is analyzing its national network to identify more opportunities to form partnerships with other bus carriers to expand connectivity, increase ridership and provide additional intercity travel options for more communities.

Louisiana films readies for George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, NCIS, more

Lagasse Foundation

Emeril and Alden Lagasse and the Board of Directors of Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) announce Brian Kish as new President of the New Orleans-based organization. As part of a nationwide search, Kish was chosen among a group of competitive and qualified candidates to lead the growth and advancement of the Foundation as it expands its support beyond New Orleans and the Gulf South. Kish, former Senior Vice President of Development at the University of Arizona Foundation, will join the Emeril Lagasse Foundation staff on September 8.

“When we met Brian, we knew we had found our new leader. He brings a national perspective and a remarkable skill set to build upon the successes of the Foundation’s first 12 years,” said Chef Emeril Lagasse. “Under his guidance we look forward to furthering our reach and improving more lives.”

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