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Ochsner Behavioral Health Acadiana to significantly increase care options in the region

LAFAYETTE, La. (November 17, 2022)  – Ochsner Lafayette General and Oceans Healthcare today announced it has formed a partnership to increase access to behavioral health services in southwest Louisiana. Oceans Healthcare will lead the development of an approximately 120-bed hospital that will operate under the name Ochsner Behavioral Health Acadiana and is expected to open in late 2024.

For more than a century, Ochsner Lafayette General has been a trusted resource for care throughout the region. The new behavioral health hospital will reflect the same level of high-quality care and commitment, now combined with Oceans Healthcare’s industry-leading expertise.

Plans include inpatient services for adolescents, adults and geriatric patients, as well as outpatient treatment options. The new facility will greatly increase access to services, create the largest behavioral health center in the region and fill a critical need for compassionate, comprehensive care for those experiencing mental health issues and co-occurring substance use disorders. Together, the partners will invest approximately $30 million in the expansion.  

Preliminary site considerations are underway, but no firm location has been selected at this time.

Similar to this partnership, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and Oceans Healthcare established a behavioral health partnership in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2021. 

“Despite the growing number of people experiencing mental illness, Louisianians – and so many across the country – still struggle to access care,” said Stuart Archer, CEO of Oceans Healthcare. “This new hospital is the next step in our partnership with Ochsner and its acute care providers to bring important mental health services that, for many, have been out of reach. We’ve proven our joint venture model works to provide best practice operations, reduce strain on emergency services and reduce overall costs. We look forward to carrying out our shared vision to provide critical services to vulnerable members of our communities.”

Ochsner Behavioral Health Acadiana was born out of great need. Each parish that comprises the Acadiana region is a designated mental health professional shortage area, meaning the region lacks the necessary number of mental health providers to care for those in need. In 2021, almost half of adults in Louisiana reported symptoms of anxiety or depression and more than 18% were unable to access necessary counseling or therapy, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Access to care and expanding services is an unquestioned priority for the community. As part of Ochsner Lafayette General’s Community Health Needs Assessment, mental health is among a short list of concerns like increasing primary care and focusing on maternal and child health.

“Access to behavioral health care remains a scarcity for so many, and Louisiana is one of the most affected states. Ochsner Lafayette General remains steadfast in our commitment to increase accessibility and expand vital services,” said Patrick W. Gandy, Jr., CEO of Ochsner Lafayette General. “Oceans Healthcare is a trusted, qualified provider and by leveraging their expertise, we are better positioned to support the growing need for mental health services in our community.”

Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center’s Level II Trauma Center is one of the busiest emergency departments in Acadiana and often that can mean treating behavioral health patients in a setting less conducive to their needs. Partnerships like this, between acute care hospitals and specialized mental health providers, serve to increase access, and the collaboration results in decreased emergency department utilization, increased quality and safety, and reduced overall cost of care.

Oceans’ strategic process closely aligns with that of Ochsner Lafayette General with a dedication to community involvement, support for residency programs and continued evaluation of future health needs in the region.

For more information about Ochsner Lafayette General, visit www.ochsnerlg.org. Learn more about Oceans Healthcare at www.oceanshealthcare-dev.idevdesign.net.

Oceans Healthcare is a growing behavioral health provider focused on healing and long-term recovery. Founded in 2004, Oceans provides inpatient and outpatient treatment with a special focus on the unique physical and emotional needs of older adults. With 33 locations, including 23 inpatient hospital campuses across the Southeast, Oceans treated more than 24,000 individuals in 2021. The company consistently achieves industry-leading performance metrics on national quality and safety measurements, as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission and was regularly named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. For more information, visit www.oceanshealthcare-dev.idevdesign.net.

Ochsner Lafayette General has more than 5,500 employees and serves 220,000 patients per year. The organization includes Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC), Ochsner Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital, Ochsner Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, Ochsner St. Martin Hospital, Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics (UHC), Ochsner Acadia General Hospital, Ochsner Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital, Ochsner American Legion Hospital and a number of clinics, urgent cares and professional centers. Ochsner LGMC is the only Level II Trauma Center in Southwest Louisiana. Both Ochsner LGMC and Ochsner UHC are major teaching hospitals, providing graduate medical education across many disciplines. To learn more, visit ochsnerlg.org

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