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Ochsner Lafayette General and Oceans Healthcare have formed a partnership to boost access to behavioral health services in southwest Louisiana.

The development of an around 120-bed hospital will be led by Oceans Healthcare.

Expected to open in late 2024, the hospital will operate under the name, Ochsner Behavioral Health Acadiana.

The hospital will include inpatient services for adolescents, adults and geriatric patients, as well as outpatient treatment options.

It will serve as the largest behavioural health centre in the region.

The partners plan to invest approximately $30m in the health facility. 

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Preliminary site considerations are underway. However, no firm location has been chosen yet.

Just as this partnership, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and Oceans Healthcare formed a behavioural health partnership in Shreveport, Louisiana, last year.

Oceans Healthcare CEO Stuart Archer said: “Despite the growing number of people experiencing mental illness, Louisianians – and so many across the country – still struggle to access care. This new hospital is the next step in our partnership with Ochsner and its acute care providers to bring important mental health services that, for many, have been out of reach.

“We’ve proven our joint venture model works to provide best practice operations, reduce strain on emergency services and reduce overall costs. We look forward to carrying out our shared vision to provide critical services to vulnerable members of our communities.”

Ochsner Lafayette General CEO Patrick W. Gandy, Jr said: “Access to behavioural health care remains a scarcity for so many, and Louisiana is one of the most affected states. Ochsner Lafayette General remains steadfast in our commitment to increase accessibility and expand vital services.

“Oceans Healthcare is a trusted, qualified provider and by leveraging their expertise, we are better positioned to support the growing need for mental health services in our community.”