Speakers included Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System (OHS); Patti Ellish, President and CEO, St. Tammany Parish Hospital (STPH); David Callecod, President, Lafayette General Health (LGH); Stephen Wright, Senior Vice President, Group Operations, CHRISTUS Health (CH); and Phyllis Peoples, President and CEO, Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC).
The event focused on the changes in the healthcare industry and the importance of partnerships to sustain growth while maintaining local access to care.
The overarching vision for the Ochsner Health Network is an opportunity for the highest quality healthcare organizations, initially including five founding partners encompassing 25 facilities across the state, and more than 3,000 physicians including physicians who are part of Ochsner Physician Partners and St. Tammany Quality Network, to come together and provide more value for more patients.
The goals set forth by the partners are to build upon unique strengths and share best practices to improve quality, safety and the patient experience, provide greater access to care for patients across the region and reduce healthcare costs.
“This collaboration is a prime example of the benefits of coordinated best practices that put the patient first,” said DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert. “It’s exciting to see this group of Louisiana organizations lead the Gulf South region in care coordination. I commend them for their work to implement the Ochsner Health Network and for their support of Louisiana’s public-private partnerships. Together, we can help ensure access to high-quality care for thousands of Louisiana residents.”
“Together, the Ochsner Health Network partners will expand services and solutions to improve care, collaborate to support physicians, utilize the most advanced tools and technology, empower employers with solutions, review data to re-engineer cost structures and develop leaders and physicians to innovate as they navigate the ever changing healthcare environment,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “As the national destination for care, Ochsner is preparing to increase capacity to support patients referred by our partners so that they have coordinated access to the specialized care for which Ochsner is nationally recognized.”
Patti Ellish described the key accomplishments between St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Ochsner over the last year including the launch of the electronic health record, Epic, in the STPH clinics in early June – a project that improves the integration of care for patients as they move between Ochsner and STPH. In addition, the partnership has brought Ochsner pediatric subspecialists into the service district to collaborate with local pediatricians to improve access to new services now available for children and families in west St. Tammany parish. She stressed that decision to join the Ochsner Health Network is a proactive move that allows STPH to remain the highly regarded community asset they have always been and continue to fulfill their responsibility to the local community in the future.
David Callecod, noted that the natural evolution of Lafayette General Health’s success as a system was to join the Ochsner Health Network. As a leader in patient experience, LGH plans to share best practices and continue to build clinical excellence. One of the first advancements detailed was the implementation of Ochsner’s telemedicine program in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lafayette General Medical Center. The added support of specialists such as Ochsner pediatric neurologists will allow LGH to utilize things like a Total Body Cooling System locally without having to transport the most delicate patients. Additionally, work will begin soon to better manage chronic disease for LGH patients and across Louisiana.
Stephen Wright of CHRISTUS Health highlighted the recent announcement of the partnership with CHRISTUS Health Louisiana, which included six facilities, completing the network’s statewide presence. In addition to an opportunity to work together on clinical research studies, he prioritized work on Medicare Advantage to increase cost savings for those patients. An early assessment on materials management for CHRISTUS has created more than $3 million in savings opportunities.
Phyllis Peoples called out the unique opportunity for Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) to align with other very strong organizations through OHN while maintaining independence for both the hospital and physicians. Ochsner and TGMC have worked successfully together in a public/private partnership at Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center and OHN is seen as the natural evolution of this relationship. Peoples will also work to identify significant cost reduction opportunities through the network along with the opportunity to invest in additional training and development for leaders and physicians through the Ochsner Leadership Institute.
“At the end of the day, it’s about taking care of patients and providing high-quality healthcare to the state of Louisiana,” said Thomas. “The future of healthcare is all about collaboration and partnership and the Ochsner Health Network partners and physicians are committed to the belief that no Louisianan should ever have to leave our state for the care they need.”
At its monthly meeting yesterday, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved the continuation of the Delgado Community College Culinary Center for Workforce Excellence through December 1, 2016.
Netchex provides its clients with a comprehensive suite of Web-based services and the support of payroll services specialists. The company was established in Mandeville in 2003 and has grown into a leading provider of payroll, human resources, time and attendance, and benefit services in the South. The company has offices in Dallas, Atlanta and Jackson, Mississippi, and has an overall workforce of nearly 120.
“The unbeatable combination of low business costs and a skilled workforce found in our region has helped Netchex become the fastest growing company of its kind in the United States,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “This decision to expand their operations in Mandeville demonstrates that the Greater New Orleans region serves as the ideal location for business growth and success.”
Governor Jindal said, “Netchex is truly a Louisiana success story, and the expansion of the company’s headquarters is a testament to how Netchex is able to thrive in Louisiana’s nation-leading business climate. Netchex has grown from a small team to the fastest-growing business services provider of its kind in America, thanks in part to the company’s stellar leadership team and the highly skilled talent that could only be found in Louisiana. We congratulate Will Boudreaux and his entire team as they start this exciting new chapter in the company’s history.”
Founders Boudreaux and Stuart Ethridge had previous executive experience in the payroll industry for publicly traded firms before they set out to establish Netchex. Taking on industry giants, the pair embraced the tenets of Web integration, accountability for service, and value, eventually making Netchex one of the South’s largest employee services providers. The company’s steady growth led to the need for an expanded headquarters facility.
“As we looked at our growth trajectory, it was clear that we needed a larger footprint physically to support our efforts,” Boudreaux said. “The expansion plan includes migrating to a facility to absorb our growth, better manage our business and be reflective of the strong brand we have built. Additionally, this expansion plan serves as a real beacon to promote quality jobs here in St. Tammany Parish. We turned to LED for guidance and support when we recognized that rapid expansion was needed. They were tremendous in fully understanding our priorities and creating a custom package that met all of our needs. No doubt, their ability to leverage competitive state programs cemented our decision to grow Netchex right here in Louisiana.”
LED began discussing expansion plans with Netchex in January 2015. To secure the headquarters expansion, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1-ranked state workforce development program. The company will participate in the state’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive, and Netchex is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs Program.
“Netchex has fostered strong relationships in Mandeville, and their desire to expand locally is a testament to the vitality of our local economy,” said Mayor Donald Villere of Mandeville. “Will Boudreaux, Stuart Ethridge, and their entire, enterprising team are a credit to Mandeville’s growing business community.”
Though Netchex has additional office locations in the South, Louisiana won the site selection competition with other states, including locations in Texas and Florida, to ensure Netchex would retain and expand its headquarters in Mandeville. The company will begin moving into the leased office space in early 2016. Hiring for the new positions has begun.
“Netchex’s expansion in St. Tammany Parish illustrates the ideal business retention success story, growing local human capital and further developing our workforce,” said CEO Brenda Bertus of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation. “Thanks to these innovative entrepreneurs, even more customers across the country will have access to cutting-edge information technologies developed right here in St. Tammany.”
The Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC) is Metairie's brand new space dedicated solely to the arts; the theater and the event space will be a place for culture, amazing theater and music, and the community from now well into the future. Basically, it's totally amazing, and they're having their kick-off Grand Opening Gala this weekend. And because we love y'all so much, we have half-price (!) tickets available.
The Grand Opening Gala is this Saturday, June 20th at 6:30 p.m. at the new JPAC, located at 6400 Airline Drive in Metairie. The Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo Duo (both of them Grammy winners) will be the headliners, while the opening act will showcase JPAC artists-in-residence led by Maestro Dennis Assaf, along with additional performances by Delta Festival Ballet, Jefferson Ballet, Jefferson Chorale, and many more. It's going to be an amazing night of music and dance, PLUS all tickets come with entry to the open bar gala opening, which kicks off right at 6:30.