LOCAL

Ascension Parish, Our Lady of the Lake partners to expand healthcare services

Staff Report

Our Lady of the Lake Health and Ascension Parish Government has entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement to provide enhanced access to healthcare services to residents of Ascension Parish.

With the agreement, the Parish and Our Lady of the Lake will jointly operate the Ascension Parish Health Unit and the Ascension Counseling Center, according to a parish government news release.

The partnership also will increase educational outreach and community events that improve physical and mental health and quality of life for Ascension Parish residents.

“For over 22 years, Our Lady of the Lake Health has been committed to serving the people of Ascension Parish at Our Lady of the Lake Ascension and the 11 Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group clinics throughout the parish,” said Our Lady of the Lake Health President Chuck Spicer. “We go where we are called to serve, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to Ascension by expanding the services we provide to the Ascension Parish Health Unit and the Ascension Counseling Center.” 

Alvin "Coach" Thomas leads the invocation at the beginning of the Ascension Parish Council meeting held Feb. 2 at the courthouse in Donaldsonville. Council members approved the partnership between parish government and Our Lady of the Lake during the meeting.

Our Lady of the Lake Ascension is a full-service hospital with 78 beds and more than 475 employees providing inpatient and outpatient services, 24/7 emergency care, surgical care and more. Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group includes 11 affiliate clinics throughout Ascension Parish with 39 primary care providers and 31 specialists.

Our Lady of the Lake will operate the parish’s public health services and assume operational expenditures and billing for these operations. Existing employees of these units will remain employees of Ascension Parish in their current capacity and continue to receive parish benefit. All existing services of both the health units and the mental health units will remain in place.

“The mental and physical welfare of our citizens is a top priority,” Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment stated. “This agreement affords the Parish the ability to enhance and expand public health and mental health offerings, health and wellness campaigns, preventative screenings, and many other events and services in a way that we would not be able to on our own. Our Lady of the Lake is the leading healthcare provider in our region and will provide access to the expertise, technology, equipment, knowledge and providers necessary to improve the quality of life and health of our citizens.” 

The partnership between Ascension Parish and Our Lady of the Lake Health will bring significant benefits and resources to residents who take advantage of the units’ services. 

“Patients will now have access to Our Lady of the Lake’s secure online patient portal, MyChart, where they can quickly and safely access their health information,” Dr. Chris Trevino, chief medical officer of Our Lady of the Lake Ascension, stated. “The partnership also provides citizens greater access to care through telehealth and additional on-call services with 24-hour, 7-day-a-week coverage. Referrals to needed primary care and specialist appointments will become easier as patients will have access to Our Lady of the Lake’s broad provider network.”

Other terms of the agreement include the provision for Our Lady of the Lake to provide psychiatric services and providers, to work with willing public agencies such as the Council on Aging, Sheriff’s Office, School Board, Health and Mental Health Units, and the Recreation Department to offer events, classes, support groups and screening events. Our Lady of the Lake has also agreed to contribute to annual public health and wellness events and campaigns.

Our Lady of the Lake Health will begin this joint operation of the Ascension Parish Health Unit and Ascension Parish Mental Health Unit this summer.