Ochsner expands Prairieville clinic

Michael Tortorich
Ochsner Health System officials hold a ceremonial ground breaking Wednesday morning in Prairieville.

PRAIRIEVILLE – Ochsner Health System will build a $2.5 million, 10,200 square foot health center designed to bring healthcare closer to Ascension Parish residents, Ochsner officials announced during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning.

The new Ochsner Health Center, located at 16222 Airline Highway, will more than triple the existing Ochsner footage. It will feature additional primary care physicians, and laboratory and imaging services.

Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2010.

Ascension is the fastest growing parish in Louisiana, with 61 percent of its population between the ages of 20 and 64 years old, according to the Ascension Parish Economic Development Corporation.

“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,” Ochsner Baton Rouge CEO Mitch Wasden said.

Initially, the facility will employ four physicians and one nurse practitioner with a full medical staff.

“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,” said 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, picture archiving and communication systems, 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,” said Robert Hart, MD, Ochsner Baton Rouge Medical Director and Prairieville physician.

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