Jefferson Parish-based Ochsner Health System has officially launched a network that it says will give patients access to 25 medical facilities and more than 3,000 physicians across Louisiana.

The facilities and doctors initially making up the Ochsner Health Network belong to five founding partners, officials said Thursday: Ochsner itself; St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington; Lafayette General Health ; Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma; and CHRISTUS Health Louisiana, which has facilities in Alexandria, Coushatta, Mamou, Lake Charles and Shreveport and manages one in Natchitoches.

The network’s goal is to allow patients across the state greater access to care while reducing costs.

“The future of health care is all about collaboration and partnership, and the Ochsner Health Network partners and physicians are committed to the belief that no Louisianian should ever have to leave our state for the care they need,” Ochsner President and CEO Warner Thomas said in a statement.

Ochsner has been expanding its regional presence for years and is now Louisiana’s largest health system.

In addition to leading the newly launched health network, it either owns or operates hospital facilities in communities such as New Orleans, Kenner, Gretna, Baton Rouge, Raceland and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

Furthermore, earlier this month, Ochsner announced that it would soon embark on a $250 million project to add six stories to its main eight-floor hospital building on Jefferson Highway and expand other facilities in the New Orleans area.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert hailed the Ochsner-led network as an arrangement that puts patients first and is supportive of public-private partnerships in the state.

“This collaboration is a prime example of the benefits of coordinated best practices,” Kliebert said in a statement. “Together, we can help ensure access to high-quality care for thousands of Louisiana residents.”