BATON ROUGE, LA – On September 16 at 10:30am, Ochsner Health System will announce that construction has begun on a $2.5 million, 10,200 square foot health center in Prairieville designed to bring healthcare closer to families in the state’s fastest growing parish. The new Ochsner Health Center – Prairieville, 16222 Airline Highway, will more than triple the existing Ochsner footage, featuring additional primary care physicians, and laboratory and imaging services. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2010.
According to the Ascension Parish Economic Development Corporation, Ascension parish is the fastest growing in Louisiana, with 61% of its population between the ages of 20 and 64 years old.
“The distinction between East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes has become virtually seamless as populations, particularly those raising families or retiring, move towards less congested neighborhoods but still desire medical care close to home. Ochsner is helping expand available medical care in Ascension parish by increasing convenient, primary care in their backyard,” says Mitch Wasden, CEO of Ochsner Baton Rouge.
This expansion is also an investment in the local economy and community by employing local workers and contractors, B.J. Couvillion, Inc. and Ritter Maher Architects, and adding additional medical staff. Initially, the facility will employ four physicians and one nurse practitioner with a full medical staff; however, Ochsner is leaving plenty of room for growth.
“We’re taking a long-term approach to the Prairieville health center; as the region continues to grow we anticipate employing up to six, full-time physicians with medical specialists rotating throughout on a weekly basis,” explains Wasden. Current providers include: Dr. Robert Hart, Internist and Pediatrician, Dr. William Baird, Internist, Dr. Melissa Love, Family Medicine, Dr. Kendra Michael, Pediatrician and nurse practitioner Claire Pasqua, NP.
Once complete, the new facility will feature 18 exam rooms, laboratory services, and imaging, such as x-ray, PACS*, and mobile MRI and CT units, for internal medicine, pediatrics and family practice patients. “This expansion is good news for Ascension Parish residents as it translates into more accessible, faster appointments, closer to home; whether it’s for preventive care or something more serious we hope local residents will take advantage of this expansion,” says Robert Hart, MD, Ochsner Baton Rouge Medical Director and Prairieville physician.