New Ochsner Health, MD Anderson partnership brings integrated cancer care to Louisiana

Ochsner Health and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are partnering to build an integrated cancer care program in southeastern Louisiana, the organizations announced Thursday.

Called the Ochsner MD Anderson Cancer Center, their collaboration is the first to bring MD Anderson’s best practices and clinical leadership to the state’s cancer patients. It is the seventh such arrangement MD Anderson has with major health systems.

"We are pleased to welcome Ochsner Health as our newest partner, and we applaud their team’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and patient-centered care, which aligns with our own mission to end cancer,” Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson, said in the announcement. “By working together, we are expanding our reach and impact, ensuring even more patients have access to high-quality cancer care and advanced treatments through clinical trials.”

The “first phase” of the program will establish Ochsner MD Anderson-branded facilities in seven of Ochsner’s New Orleans area, Baton Rouge and Covington hospitals and cancer centers. Additional sites will be certified at a later time, they said.

The collaboration will see certain Ochsner cancer physicians certified by MD Anderson to practice under the co-branded offerings and become adjunct members of MD Anderson faculty, Brian Moore, M.D., who will be serving as medical director of Ochsner MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in the announcement.

Cancer patients receiving care through the collaboration will receive a “holistic, patient-centric approach” guided by a multidisciplinary team. They’ll also be eligible to enroll in certain MD Anderson phase 1 clinical trials—though the organizations noted in the announcement that other cancer patients throughout Ochsner “will continue to receive high-quality clinical care and benefit from the largest clinical trials network in Louisiana and Mississippi."

“As the state’s leader in cancer care, we’re proud to partner with one of the global leaders in cancer care to provide a full continuum of services close to home for our patients,” Mike Hulefeld, president and chief operating officer of Ochsner Health, said in the announcement. “Beyond MD Anderson’s accolades and top national rankings, its clinicians and researchers advance innovative therapies through clinical trials several years before they become standard practice. Now, our patients will benefit from this expanded breadth of experience and therapies in Louisiana.”

Ochsner, which operates 46 hospitals and employs more than 37,000 people in the Gulf South region, previously treated more than 40,000 cancer patients annually through its Ochsner Cancer Institute and performed more than 300,000 preventive screenings across all locations in 2022.

It now joins other major systems like Banner Health, Scripps Health and Cooper University Health Care in partnering with the Houston-based cancer care leader.