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Date:November 15, 2016
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

LWC and Ochsner Health System expand Medical Assistant Training Program
Successful New Orleans-based program to move into River Parishes

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and Ochsner Health System have partnered to expand the successful Ochsner Medical Assistant Training Program to the parishes of St. John, St. James and St. Charles through funding provided by the River Parishes Workforce Development Board and the LWC.

This tuition-free Medical Assistant training and development program is targeted towards unemployed and underemployed individuals within the River Parishes. Launched in New Orleans in 2013, the four-month program features accelerated classroom, clinical and on-the-job training and addresses both the need for certified Medical Assistants and the need for additional career pathways. The training also allows students to be certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

More than 550 Medical Assistants currently in the Ochsner Health System play a critical role in healthcare delivery by typically being the first and last to see a patient, taking vitals and translating patients’ concerns to the physician before circling back at the end of the appointment to take questions and schedule follow-ups.

“I am thrilled our agency has the opportunity to partner with this world-class health system to expand a program with proven results into more areas of our state,” said LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “The LWC is committed to identifying successful and innovative models like this one that not only bring more individuals into the workforce, but also enhance workers’ skillsets so they can dive into their dream career.”

“As the healthcare landscape continues to change, there is an ever-growing need for well-trained healthcare professionals,” said Missy Sparks, Ph.D., associate vice president of talent management, Ochsner Health System. “Programs like the Ochsner Medical Assistant Training Program are important in creating opportunities where they may not have existed before and identifying the next generation of healthcare professionals. We are excited to have the opportunity to bring this impactful program to the people of the River Parishes community.”

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must have a high school diploma or equivalency, successful completion of a drug screen and criminal background check and the ability to commit to the 20-week program. After successfully completing the program and hiring requirements, 100 percent of the graduates will have the opportunity to interview for positions and 75 percent or more will be hired as a full-time Medical Assistant at one of the Ochsner Health Centers in the Southeast Louisiana area.

Since its inception, more than 100 individuals have completed the Medical Assistant Training Program and 94 percent are still part of our team today. Additionally, more than 400 Ochsner employees have received additional Medical Assistant training to further develop their skills and increase their scope of practice.

Enrollment for the spring 2017 session is now open. There will be two informational sessions open to the public on Wednesday, November 16, from 11:00 to 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center in Luling. For more information on the Ochsner Medical Assistant Training Program, please email

About the Louisiana Workforce Commission

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.

About Ochsner Health System

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner’s 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 1,000 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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