Ochsner continues in LaPlace with 87 employees

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — Many residents may still be getting used to the new signage and name, but Ochsner officials said the transition from River Parishes Hospital to Ochsner Medical Complex — River Parishes, official as of Nov. 1, is going smoothly.

David Gaines, senior vice president of public affairs for Ochsner, said the facility is operating with cardiopulmonary services, 24-hour emergency care, laboratory services, occupation medicine, outpatient therapy services and radiology services. He added Ochsner is testing the feasibility of adding MRI equipment to the LaPlace site.

Gaines said with the current offerings and as a part of Ochsner Health System — a national referral center and one of the Gulf South’s leading health systems — River Parishes residents will have access to essential, high-quality health care services.

“The strength of the site includes being tied to so many facilities and specialists within the Ochsner system,” Gaines said, adding the LaPlace site “allows for an integrated care model.”

He said Ochsner will continue to use existing partnerships with St. Charles and St. James Parish Hospitals, as well as other hospitals in the New Orleans area, to work closely with its River Parishes medical center to meet local needs for surgery and inpatient care.

Giselle Hecker, senior public relations specialist with Ochsner, said the River Parishes site is fully staffed with 87 employees, up from the originally estimated number of 65.

When asked how many of those employees were previously employed at River Parishes Hospital, Hecker said she couldn’t provide specific information on that.

She said volunteers who previously served at River Parishes Hospital are “joining our Kenner groups and we are implementing a Golden Opportunities program for the Kenner region, which now includes LaPlace.”

According to Ochsner’s website, Golden Opportunities is a membership program for ages 50 and up that promotes an active, healthy and independent lifestyle.

Gaines said in September sites were being assessed for a possible future location for the facility.

He said the assessment was taking traffic patterns and parish growth into account, and Parish President Natalie Robottom and other parish leaders would be asked what they though was best for the parish.

He mentioned Belle Terre Boulevard as one of the locations being scouted, adding Ochsner may end up deciding to run the facility at River Parishes Hospital’s current location.

Gaines said on Monday Ochsner was “on a deliberate pace” in searching out possible properties.

“We are looking for and have identified a couple of sites (to build a) “more modern facility,” Gaines said, adding “within the next six months” a decision would be made where and if the facility would be moving.