Rush Health Systems joins Ochsner Health

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Rush Health Systems and Ochsner Health announced the signing of a shared mission agreement on June 17th to merge Rush with Ochsner.

The merger is building on the partnership between the two health systems that began in 2019.

“The opportunity to partner and become a part of Ochsner, who is the leading health care provider in the Gulf south. It means more resources it means more access to capital. It means improving the great care and providing services that we have today would just be enhanced even more,” said Rush Health Systems CEO, Larkin Kennedy.

Ochsner and Rush announced they will work together to expand access to east Mississippi and west Alabama patients by providing high-quality, affordable, and innovative care.

The agreement will allow Ochsner’s specialized care to be available to local communities. Rush will be able to offer new services for the patients it serves across the region.

“We definitely see neuroscience as an area of opportunity. Cancer services and bringing more cancer research trials to this area. Ochsner is a large academic medical center and the opportunity to bring research trials here is very exciting for Rush. And we would like to see if there are opportunities to grow and expand mental health services in the region which is another area that we find that lots of communities need expansion of mental health care. In addition to that building on our digital capabilities,” said Ochsner Health President and CEO, Warner Thomas.

The minimum wage at Rush will increase once the merger is complete.

“We’ll raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour consistent with all of our organizations that are part of Ochsner Health that’ll impact about 400 employees, and we’ll be investing just under $2 million in that minimum wage increase,” said Thomas.

“I think it will help us recruit physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists medical assist. Whoever it may be because we’re going to be able to provide continue to provide, continue to provide very competitive wages and benefits,” said Kennedy.

Rush Health Systems will become Ochsner Rush Health when the merger is complete in mid-2022.

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