Christus, Ochsner finalize Lake Charles partnership

Christus Health has finalized an agreement with Ochsner Health System to create a joint venture of health care operations in the Lake Charles area.

The partnership, originally announced last summer, became effective Sept. 1.

“It’s been a very exciting period for us in Southwest Louisiana, especially over the past couple of years,” said Jeff Puckett, chief operating officer for Christus Health. “From the Christus perspective, with our 45,000 associates and 15,000 physicians, we are so very honored to be here today to fully announce what I think is probably one of the biggest health care decisions this community has had for many years.”

Puckett said the strengths Christus Health has in Louisiana, and in particular Southwest Louisiana, is one of the many reasons Ochsner chose to enter into the partnership.

“The great thing about partnerships is that they can have a bigger impact on the community than a single organization can have,” Puckett said.

The joint venture includes two hospitals, a charitable foundation, ambulatory surgery center, imaging centers and 13 clinics.

He said Christus Health will manage the hospitals — Christus Ochsner St. Patrick and Christus Ochsner Lake Area — and Ochsner will manage the physician and clinic operations, which will be renamed Ochsner Christus Health Centers.

“It’s an exciting partnership and this is just the beginning of it,” Puckett said. “We’re taking health care to the next level.”

Warner Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Ochsner Health System, said one of the most beneficial aspects of the joint venture will be the collective ability to recruit additional physicians for critically needed programs, such as pediatrics, women’s services, cancer services and specialty care like oncology and neurology.

“Ochsner feels a great sense of responsibility to work closely with our partners across the Gulf South to implement innovative technology that allows for new, integrated care delivery options while also enhancing population health, including a focus on empowering patients through our digital health offerings to effectively manage chronic disease,” Thomas said.

The health system will be governed jointly, with seats being held by representatives from both Ochsner and Christus, and local members.

“As our area continues to rapidly grow it is so important for us to identify partners in medicine, technology and innovation to improve access to health care in this region,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “That includes not only technology, but physicians, nurses and specialists that will work every day to change lives and to save lives in the Lake Area. I can think of no better partner than Ochsner.”


Lake Charles’ Christus Health has finalized an agreement with Ochsner Health System to create a joint venture of health care operations in the city on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. 

Crystal StevensonEditor