Ochsner Health Invests $20M, Partners with Delgado to Train Next Generation of Healthcare Providers
March 01, 2021
NEW ORLEANS – Today, Ochsner Health (Ochsner) and Delgado Community College (Delgado) announced a new partnership to train the next generation of nurses and allied health professionals in Louisiana. The Ochsner Delgado School of Nursing and Allied Health will help meet critical workforce demands while providing opportunities for locals to thrive in high-wage careers.
Ochsner is committing $20 million to expand Delgado’s nursing and allied health education through its Ochsner Scholars program, which was announced last year as part of Ochsner’s 10-year vision to build a healthier state.
Half of Ochsner’s contribution will be used to develop a new, state-of-the-art building on Delgado’s City Park Campus, consolidating the school’s existing Allied Health Division and Charity School of Nursing programs under one roof. The project is slated to break ground in the spring and open for classes in 2023.
The other half will be used to cover full-time tuition for Ochsner employees to pursue degrees and credentials in nursing and allied health programs at Delgado. Additionally, two adjunct faculty members from Ochsner will augment the programs beginning this fall.
“The events of recent months have increased awareness regarding the necessity for a well-trained, dedicated healthcare workforce in the city, region and state. For many decades, Delgado’s Charity School of Nursing and our Division of Allied Health have provided outstanding education for students seeking to do meaningful, rewarding work as healthcare professionals,” said Larissa Littleton-Steib, Chancellor, Delgado Community College. “Ochsner is an innovative, future-focused organization, and we are pleased to be partners, working side-by-side to advance healthcare education and improve the lives of those we serve.”
Delgado has a decades-long tradition of training healthcare professionals in the greater New Orleans area, graduating some 1,200 nursing and allied health professionals each year.
“It’s an honor to partner with Delgado to build on its legacy of training healthcare professionals. Together, we are creating a talent pipeline that will meet the long-term needs of our community,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health. “This partnership marks a significant achievement of our comprehensive strategy to improve healthcare access, health equity and health outcomes.”
The announcement comes at a critical time both for Louisiana and the nation as the need for more nurses and allied health professionals continues to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 175,900 openings nationally for registered nurses each year over the next ten years, and the Louisiana State Board of Nursing Center for Nursing forecasts a significant shortage of nurses across the state over the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that the field of allied health to grow 18% by 2026, more than double the growth of other occupations.
“We are grateful for this partnership and investment by Ochsner. In today’s financial climate, this agreement underscores the importance of public-private partnerships in meeting the workforce needs of the industry and the educational and workforce training needs of the communities we serve,” said Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “Nursing and allied health occupations continue to be among the most in-demand professions in the country, and as the current health crisis continues, it is more important than ever that we provide greater access and produce more essential personnel to move our state and country forward.”
Ochsner’s 10-Year Vision for a Healthy State
In November, Ochsner announced a 10-year commitment to building a healthier state, which includes the Ochsner Scholars program. It will cover medical school tuition for students who choose to practice psychiatry or primary care in Louisiana with Ochsner. Additionally, through its partnership with Delgado and the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges, Ochsner will support tuition and workforce programs, like MA to LPN, surgical tech, lab tech and LPN to RN training programs. Ochsner Scholars will positively impact more than 3,000 students, including Ochsner employees, within the first five years.
“With the country facing a critical shortage of trained healthcare providers, Ochsner is extremely focused on training healthcare workers who will go on to build their careers in our local communities,” said Tracey Schiro, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Ochsner Health. “We are also excited to work with Delgado to invest in our own employees who want to further their education and advance their careers in healthcare.”
Delgado’s Legacy Training Healthcare Providers
Delgado, which will celebrate its centennial in 2021, has a rich history of educating nurses through its Charity School of Nursing, a nationally recognized program that provides associate degree (RN) and practical nursing (PN) programs. Currently, almost 900 students are enrolled in Charity School of Nursing programs, with 90% expected to remain in the New Orleans metro area for their careers. Charity has the largest associate degree program in the state and graduates 50% of the registered and licensed practical nurses in the New Orleans area. In 2019, Charity School of Nursing was ranked the #1 best value for RN programs of the 19 programs in Louisiana (based on cost and licensing exam pass rate).
With approximately 400 graduates each year, the Delgado Allied Health Division is the largest healthcare educator in Louisiana, as well as one of the largest in the nation. Nearly 100% of students find employment upon graduation. Delgado offers 23 different healthcare certificate and associate degree programs, including three that are the only ones of their kind in Louisiana: nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy and polysomnography. When non-credit programs are included, the total is 34, ranking Delgado Allied Health among the top 10% in size nationally.
For more information about nursing and allied health at Delgado, please visit www.dcc.edu. To learn more about careers at Ochsner, please visit ochsner.org/careers.