Ochsner joins group in Civica Rx effort

Ochsner Health System has teamed up with 11 health systems across the country as founding members of Civica Rx, a new not-for-profit generic drug company.

Civica Rx represents about 750 hospitals across the United States whose focus is to address national drug shortages and high prices of lifesaving medications.

Established in September, Civica Rx was originally composed of three philanthropies and seven health systems experiencing the impact of drug shortages, an issue that affects all aspects of the health care delivery system.

Ochsner and its patients have been affected in several of these situations, including shortages of specific local anesthetics required for common surgical procedures, nonopioid pain management medications and some IV antibiotics used to treat severe infections.

The initiative is being undertaken to lower costs and provide more predictable supplies of many medicines. 

“Overall, pharmaceutical costs are a major issue in health care today, with no price control and constant drug shortages. With major market shifts across the industry, this has created an unsustainable situation,” said Warner Thomas, president and CEO of Ochsner Health System. 

The initial focus of Civica Rx is to bring more than 14 hospital-administered generic drugs to hospitals and health care systems in 2019, with additional medications prioritized by the health care systems as the next phase of focus for the company. Civica Rx is working toward becoming a Food and Drug Administration-approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to trusted supply partners.

Initial governing members of Civica Rx include Catholic Health Initiatives in Colorado; Gary and Mary West Foundation in California; HCA Healthcare in Tennessee; Intermountain Healthcare in Utah; Laura and John Arnold Foundation; Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; Peterson Center on Healthcare in New York; Providence St. Joseph Health in Washington; SSM Health in Missouri; and Trinity Health in Michigan.

In addition to Ochsner, new founding members are Advocate Aurora Health in Illinois and Wisconsin; Allegheny Health Network in Pennsylvania; Baptist Health South Florida;  Franciscan Alliance in Indiana; Memorial Hermann Health System in Texas; NYU Langone in New York; Sanford Health in South Dakota; St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania; Spectrum Health in Michigan; Steward Health Care in Texas; and Unitypoint Health in Iowa.

Civica Rx is collaborating with the American Hospital Association’s Center for Health Innovation to address inquiries about the initiative.

Superior Ford gets equity investment

Superior Ford of Zachary has announced a private equity partnership with Baton Rouge insurance executive Scott McKnight.

Superior Ford President and CEO Patrick Campbell said the investment positions the East Baton Rouge-area car dealership for future expansion in southeast Louisiana. The amount of equity in the partnership was not disclosed, but Campbell and McKnight called the arrangement significant for the future of Superior Ford.

McKnight, whose family founded Wright & Percy Insurance in 1882, is vice president and director of business development for BancorpSouth Insurance Services Inc., a bank-owned brokerage firm that has 32 offices in nine states. McKnight holds an MBA from LSU.

Superior Ford was established in 1986, with Campbell joining as a partner in 2010. Two years later, Campbell became sole owner of the dealership.

Workforce Leadership Academy launched

The New Orleans Business Alliance is accepting applications for its inaugural Workforce Leadership Academy to grow a network of talent and workforce development leaders in the city.

“The New Orleans Business Alliance will build on the already successful talent and workforce development training programs facilitated by New Orleans’ five ‘opportunity centers,’ ” said Quentin L. Messer Jr. president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “This new program, open to workforce development professionals throughout our city, strengthens the workforce development landscape by providing a clearer understanding of best practices nationally that bolsters a more collaborative and easier to navigate system for employers and employees.”

The academy addresses themes such as employer engagement and industry needs; effective career pathway strategies; and strengthening connections among training providers, job seekers and employers. Academy members come from community and economic development organizations, business associations, community-based organizations, public agencies, community colleges, industry intermediaries and labor unions.

The program includes an opening retreat in late March, five full-day working sessions between April and October, a second retreat in November and a closing capstone presentation event in December. Academy graduates join a national network of alumni.

The 12-month fellowship is in partnership with the Aspen Institute and will involve guest faculty from across the nation, providing the group with an opportunity to collaborate on developing practical solutions to solve some of the city’s most challenging workforce issues, Messer said.

The academy is funded by the alliance, as well as Aspen Institute grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Information is at nolaba.org.