A new grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to LSU's School of Social Work is being split among Ochsner and several other organizations in Baton Rouge to tackle Alzheimer's training. 

Ochsner Health System plans to make several more investments in its Baton Rouge health care network. 

Warner Thomas, CEO of Ochsner Health System, told a crowd during the dedication of the nonprofit organization's newest medical center in Baton Rouge that it expects to build urgent care clinics and other health care centers across the region soon.

The new Ochsner buildings include urgent care centers near the intersection of Highland and Interstate 10, along with another on Airline Highway in Gonzales. Likewise, there are plans for two new health centers providing primary care in south Baton Rouge at the intersection of Bluebonnet and Burbank and another near La. 44 and La. 30 in Gonzales. An existing Prairieville health center run by the New Orleans-based hospital system is expected to double its footprint and add physical therapy. The organization also is investing in a new physical therapy building in Hammond.

The Ochsner Medical Complex inside of The Grove property development just south of Bluebonnet and I-10, has been the largest investment by the Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge to date totaling $116 million.

“We’re already setting records since opening this facility a few months ago,” Thomas told the crowd about the January opening.

Since 2014, Ochsner Baton Rouge on O'Neal Lane off I-12, which has 150 beds, had seen outpatient surgery volume increase by more than 20 percent in the region. That inspired the investment at The Grove.

The five-story building in The Grove sits on a 25-acre plot, spans 255,000 square feet and includes a 10-bed hospital and surgical center. The organization expects to have 85 medical professionals working on-site split between primary care and specialties such as neurosurgery, physical therapy and an infusion center.

“This is the single largest investment in the history of Ochsner,” Thomas said.

Eric McMillen is the CEO of Ochsner Baton Rouge and oversees the new facility.

The organization has 1,000 patients in its self-described digital medicine program in Baton Rouge, geared toward preventing future crisis situations for individuals with chronic diseases. It sends patients home with blood pressure cuffs that connect to smartphone apps to collect more frequent data so doctors can adjust medications in real-time rather than on a quarterly basis.

“Traditional health systems have not been great at managing chronic disease and we are going to change that at Ochsner,” Thomas said.

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