MANDEVILLE, La. – From St. Tammany Corporation:
Marty Mayer, board president of St. Tammany Corporation, and Chris Masingill, the organization’s CEO, have announced the launch of “Northshore Healthscape: A Collaborative Enhancing the Pulse of our Regional Healthcare Economy,” a three-year healthcare sector strategy pilot program. Stakeholders in this collaborative representing St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes include North Oaks Health System, Ochsner Northshore-Mississippi Gulf Coast Region, Our Lady of the Lake Northshore, Slidell Memorial Hospital, St. Tammany Health System and St. Tammany Corporation.
Healthcare is a major economic driver on the Northshore in terms of both jobs and productivity, contributing more than $1.5 billion to the three-parish regional GDP. The industry represents 22,000 jobs in the area, and demand continues with 5,000 unique postings for jobs in the past 12 months alone. Projections indicate that jobs in this sector will increase by 11% by 2026. As population grows across the Northshore, local healthcare leaders have expanded services to improve access to care closer to home. As a result, patients generally do not have to travel long distances for the care that they or their families need. Northshore healthcare institutions need a talented and skilled workforce qualified to provide these enhanced services, so educating and training the next generation of talent is paramount.
Since February 2021, St. Tammany Corporation has facilitated quarterly virtual roundtable meetings with the healthcare industry featuring robust, collaborative, and solutions-focused dialogue. These quarterly virtual meetings are an opportunity to discuss strategic priorities for collaboration, workforce development, and talent retention. Northshore Healthscape is the outcome of these engagements and represents formalization of the collaboration among industry, workforce, and economic development.
Recognizing the unique opportunities, challenges, and needs of our healthcare ecosystem, the priority areas of work for the pilot program are capacity building, workforce and talent, ecosystem development, and strategic implementation. Key deliverables in the pilot program’s first year include a healthcare infrastructure assessment conducted by VisionFirst Advisors, targeted efforts to address immediate and short-term workforce and talent needs, the development of a Northshore healthcare branding campaign, and the production of an industry impact report.
“For North Oaks Health System, investing in collaborative efforts to position the Northshore as one of the most sought-after health care destinations is a natural extension of our mission to improve lives,” said North Oaks Health System President and CEO Michele Kidd Sutton. “The St. Tammany Corporation is to be commended for recognizing the value of a thriving healthcare ecosystem to economic development by bringing together Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, and Washington parishes’ industry leaders in this endeavor. Together, we are stronger, and I have every confidence that we will succeed in enhancing the prosperity of the Northshore and the quality of life for area citizens through our collective focus on developing our workforce and identifying and growing essential services.”
“Ochsner Health values strategic partnerships and regional collaborations to advance the health and well- being of our communities and align with our vision to inspire healthier lives and stronger communities,” said Corwin N. Harper, CEO, Ochsner Northshore and Gulf Coast Region. “Northshore Healthscape represents the dynamic relationship between the healthcare industry, economic development, and workforce with the desired outcome of enhancing access to quality care, increasing awareness of career opportunities in the healthcare industry and related fields, and showcasing the world-class healthcare services provided right here on the Northshore.”
“Our Lady of the Lake Northshore is excited to help advance healthcare across the Northshore Region through this collaborative partnership. With great intentionality and alignment, I am confident that this work will revolutionize healthcare delivery to the communities we serve by identifying and growing those services that are critical to keeping more of our patients and their families closer to home,” said Dr. Bryan Miller, physician executive and interim president, Northshore market, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.
“The ongoing workforce shortage has inspired us to come up with creative solutions to continue to provide the best options for our patients,” said Sandy Badinger, CEO of Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center – Northshore. “This collective of healthcare leaders, in partnership with St. Tammany Corporation, is creating an actionable framework that will benefit our entire region. It’s exciting to take these steps to enhance our workforce so that, ultimately, we can take care of our patients in the communities we serve.”
“We are grateful to St. Tammany Corporation for gathering the leading health systems on the Northshore into this pilot program. Rather than competition, we lead with ‘coopetition’ because we are cooperatively focused on strengthening our labor pool and elevating our region as a destination for world-class healthcare,” said Joan M. Coffman, FACHE, president and CEO, St. Tammany Health System.
“The launch of Northshore Healthscape represents a groundbreaking step for a regional, industry-sector specific strategy led by local economic development. We recognize the importance of access to cutting edge healthcare close to home and understand this access is a major factor in where people and companies choose to locate,” said Mayer. “I am proud of the St. Tammany Corporation team for having this vision and for engaging partners from across the Northshore to partake in this pilot program.”
“The Northshore is at a pivotal point in determining actionable next steps to transform the healthcare ecosystems in our region,” said Masingill. “The healthcare industry is vital to the well-being of our community and our economy. Northshore Healthscape is a collaborative and innovative initiative harnessing the dynamic relationship between economic development, workforce and talent, and industry. St. Tammany Corporation is honored to serve as the coordinator for this regional pilot program.”
“Talent development and talent acquisition are central to the sustainability of healthy communities and vibrant economies. Central to our mission, Northshore Technical Community College is committed to supporting Northshore Healthscape in partnership with St. Tammany Corporation,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, chancellor, Northshore Technical Community College. “This progressive alliance will ensure pathways to prosperity for our citizens and build upon economic development opportunities that help healthcare systems of the Northshore thrive.”
“The Workforce Board for Tri-Parish Works is excited to see this healthcare partnership come together. The Board is committed to serving as part of this talented team of partners ready to assist in addressing the collective workforce and talent pipeline needs,” said Melissa B. Kirsch, executive director, Workforce Development Board: Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany. “Now is the time for innovative and impactful solutions, and we expect this collaborative approach will return positive impacts to both the participating employers and our community as a whole.”