Ochsner Rush Health merger now official

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:41 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Rush Health Systems has officially merged with Ochsner Health, becoming Ochsner Rush Health. The Monday announcement is a conclusion of the process that began with a letter of intent to merge in June 2021. The health provider said work has already begun to expand access to patients in East Mississippi and West Alabama.

“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 of 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.”

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
Ochsner Rush Health said it’s working to expand existing programs and offer new services for the patients across the region and has increased the minimum wage to $12 per hour, impacting more than 400 employees.
Ochsner Rush Health said it 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.

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