Newswise — Today, Jennings American Legion Hospital (JALH) joins Ochsner Health (Ochsner), becoming Ochsner American Legion Hospital (OALH). As part of the Ochsner family, OALH will be better positioned to expand access to high-quality, affordable, innovative care to residents of Jefferson Davis Parish and the surrounding communities.

This announcement builds on the letter of intent signed in 2019 to explore a merger between JALH and then Lafayette General Health – now Ochsner Lafayette General (OLG). Effective today, OALH becomes part of the OLG region and will operate under a long-term lease agreement that includes the hospital, medical office building and affiliated facilities. The Jennings leadership team will continue to manage day-to-day operations of the hospital.

“We have a strong, healthy hospital, but healthcare is complex and rapidly changing. By joining Ochsner Health, we’ll be better positioned to meet the evolving needs of patients in Jennings and the surrounding communities for generations to come,” said OALH CEO Dana Williams.

The depth and breadth of care for which Ochsner is nationally recognized will now be available close to home. Joining Ochsner means that OALH will be able to grow existing programs and offer new services across the region. In addition, Ochsner will invest $3.25 million to install and implement Ochsner’s instance of Epic, a nationally recognized electronic health record system. OALH patients will be able to use the MyOchsner patient portal to easily schedule appointments, communicate with their doctors, request prescription refills and view visit summaries, lab and imaging results from their laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Ochsner is also committed to the physical, mental and financial well-being of its employees. Effective today, the minimum wage at OALH increases to $12 an hour. This positively impacts more than 150 employees and represents an annual investment in the OALH workforce of $570,000.

“Jennings American Legion Hospital has a strong history dating back more than 70 years, when the James O. Hall Post 19 established a hospital to meet the needs of its community. We’re committed to maintaining and growing its legacy to serve local patients for generations to come,” said OLG CEO Patrick Gandy. “OLG has had a clinical affiliation with Jennings since 2016, and we look forward to expanding our relationship while at the same time keeping care local.”

As Jennings American Legion joins Ochsner, the health system will focus on the following to benefit patients:

  • Expanding access to specialty and sub-specialty services so that more patients can receive the care they need closer to home. Together, OALH and Ochsner will diversify services offered in the region, including an opportunity to expand post-acute care. The system also plans to recruit physicians and increase medical staff to serve more patients across more specialties.
  • Enhancing critical services, including a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient services, women’s services and cardiology.
  • Innovation in healthcare delivery through Ochsner’s expanded technological and digital capabilities, including expansions in telehealth, digital monitoring and clinical improvements guided by artificial intelligence. This will enable patients to take control of their own health and stay well.
  • Access to Ochsner’s robust clinical research network, one of the largest in the Gulf South, so that Jennings patients will be able to participate in groundbreaking, novel therapies, including the latest in cancer treatment close to home.
  • More efficient, affordable care through the sharing of best practices and resources. Economies of scale will allow Ochsner to find efficiencies throughout the system, and then invest more in programs and resources locally.

“I’m extremely proud of the services Jennings American Legion Hospital has been able to provide since opening its doors in 1960, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our patients, our people, and the community we serve as we become Ochsner American Legion Hospital,” said JALH Board Chair Arthur Matte. “I’m confident we’ll be able to do even more for the people of Jefferson Davis Parish with access to the resources of such a large system.”

“The challenges health providers have faced in the last two years are unprecedented, but we have seen the benefits of working together. There is no doubt, we are stronger through collaboration,” said Amanda Logue, M.D., Regional Medical Director, Ochsner Lafayette General. “We are excited to take this step forward with the Jennings team as they join Ochsner. We already share similar values and a deep-rooted commitment to the communities we serve.”

OALH will operate under a transition services agreement through December 2022 and will continue to use current platforms, technology, and equipment. Employees will continue to be employed by OALH during this time, while maintaining their current human resource systems, payroll and benefits. Full transition to Ochsner employment and systems is expected by January 1, 2023.


About Ochsner Lafayette General

Ochsner Lafayette General has more than 5,500 employees and serves 220,000 patients per year. The organization includes Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC), Ochsner Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital, Ochsner Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, Ochsner St. Martin Hospital, Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics UHC), Ochsner Acadia General Hospital, Ochsner Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital, Ochsner American Legion Hospital and a number of clinics, urgent cares and professional centers. Ochsner LGMC is the only Level II Trauma Center in Southwest Louisiana. Both Ochsner LGMC and Ochsner UHC are major teaching hospitals, providing graduate medical education across many disciplines. To learn more, visit

About Ochsner American Legion Hospital

Ochsner American Legion Hospital is a 49-bed non-profit acute care hospital located in Jennings, Louisiana. In the early 1950s, in response to community need, the membership of James O. Hall Post 19 American Legion committed to establishing a hospital which began operations on April 5, 1952, ultimately dedicated and operational at its present location in December 1960. The hospital continues its commitment to patients though a mission-driven culture of excellence. Ochsner American Legion Hospital is fully-accredited by The Joint Commission and offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services.

About Ochsner Health

Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 34,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 40 hospitals and more than 300 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit