The partnership will create a new stand-alone college of medicine in New OrleansTrain the healthcare professionals of tomorrow
NEW ORLEANS, January 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Xavier University of Louisiana (xavier) and Ochsner Health (Ochsner) today announced an agreement to form a joint medical school. The two institutions will create a strong pipeline of physicians who will tackle longstanding inequities within the country’s healthcare system and train the healthcare workforce of the future. By anchoring their partnership with a faculty of medicine, xavier and Ochsner affirm their legacy of promoting excellence in health care and education for the next generation, providing new opportunities for marginalized populations in Louisiana and United States.
To launch the College of Medicine, Ochsner and xavier will form a nonprofit corporation, create a new program, and utilize the facilities, staff, and administrative processes of both institutions. The new College of Medicine will be governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by Ochsner and xaviereach establishment appointing an equal number of directors.
This initiative builds on a long-standing partnership between Ochsner and xavier which dates from the early 1980s, when Ochsner and At Xavier’s College of Pharmacy has come together to provide more clinical training sites for pharmacy students. At Xavier’s College of Pharmacy is the oldest in Louisiana and was for years among the best in the nation in producing African American graduates with Doctor of Pharmacy degrees.
“Our work with Ochsner and other partners who hold a vision of healing a broken world at heart is a testament to At Xavier’s mission to promote a fairer and more humane society”, says dr. Reynold VerretPresident of Xavier University of Louisiana. “xavier was entrusted with this mission by our foundresses Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament almost a century ago. Our dedication to preparing more Black healthcare professionals in our fight against health inequities is our answer to the call of our nation’s critical need and is the pride of their heritage. »
XULA and Ochsner: a legacy of collaboration
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and disproportionately affected people of color, highlighting the health disparities faced by historically marginalized communities. Ochsner Health and xavier again forged partnerships to improve health equity through new graduate programs in health sciences and the creation of the Ochsner Health and Xavier University Institute for Health Equity and Research (OXIHER). A few years earlier, xavier and Ochsner also worked to improve diversity within the health sciences through a memorandum of understanding to establish a new physician assistant (PA) program. In May 2022Ochsner and xavier celebrated the first class of 37 students graduating from the full-time Graduate PA program, which leads to a master’s degree in health sciences and trains the next generation of providers to make a meaningful impact in health care.
“Ochsner has a long and storied history of excellence in medical education, and we are honored to continue our work with xavier to improve the health of our state and our region,” said Peter NovemberCEO of Ochsner Health. “The xavier medical students will receive exceptional clinical training in our integrated healthcare system, and this significant expansion of our partnership with xavier demonstrates our commitment to training the next generation of healthcare providers to solve the critical shortage of physicians in United States and meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve. »
In 2022, xavier became a full partner on the Healthy State Advisory Board by 2030, an ambitious plan to raise Louisiana at the bottom of national health rankings. Collectively, partners from multiple sectors and industries across the state have engaged in comprehensive public health, education and awareness initiatives.
“Investing in education, training and workforce development is essential to building a healthier state and stronger communities. Our partnership with xavier advances our Healthy State mission to improve diversity among health care providers, which has been linked to better care for diverse communities in our region and across the country,” said dr. Leonard SeoaneMD, FACP, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies for Ochsner Health. “We must work together to solve the challenges facing our healthcare workforce and ensure that communities across the country have access to the highest quality care.”
Bridging the national and local labor gap
For decades, Xavier University of Louisiana has produced more African American students and students of color earning medical degrees and doctorates in health sciences than any other institution of higher learning in the nation. Ochsner, the largest university health system in Louisiana, has a long history of training medical students, residents and fellows. Ochsner invests in excellent health care, workforce development and education for communities in the southern Gulf. Institutions are uniquely positioned to co-lead efforts to close the health workforce gap.
“With their landmark agreement to establish a medical school at one of the nation’s top HBCUs, xavier and Ochsner have answered the call to shape the health of the state, the country, and the world for generations to come,” said Dr. Anne McCallFirst Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of Xavier University of Louisiana.
Research shows an urgent need for an HBCU College of Medicine now, as the demand for doctors is expected to increase. Louisiana is projected to rank third nationally for doctor shortages by 2030, according to a Human Resources for Health analysis. Representation of African Americans within medicine lags behind, as they make up 5% of the nation’s physicians — although black and African American populations make up 13% of American residents. A new faculty of medicine with xaviera high-ranking HBCU, and Ochsner, a high-performing academic health system with experience in training medical students, will result in representation among practicing physicians with excellent health care training, which is essential for improving health outcomes by improving quality of care, access and patient confidence in their healthcare providers.
To learn more, please visit www.xula.edu and www.ochsner.org.
SOURCE Ochsner Health System
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