The Ochsner Health System History Book

When Alton Ochsner and four colleagues opened New Orleans’ first multi-specialty group practice in 1942, they envisioned providing residents of the city with the highest quality medical care delivered with an unwavering attention to the needs of patients.

The history of Ochsner tells the fascinating story about how the five founders overcame opposition from the New Orleans medical community in the early years and later joined Ochsner Clinic to the Ochsner Foundation Hospital to became the standard for medical care in New Orleans and south Louisiana. Ochsner has now evolved into the largest private not-for-profit healthcare system in the region, encompassing eight hospitals and more than 38 neighborhood health centers.

Ochsner’s history is also a spellbinding story of a healthcare system that continuously reaches out to the communities it serves, becoming to many the model for what a twenty-first-century healthcare system should be.

Video gallery

History of Ochsner

History Book Movie

Ochsner has a rich and storied history starting in 1942. Learn more about the founding fathers of Ochsner and how the hospital on Jefferson Highway grew to the Ochsner Health System of the
present day.

Ochsner Celebrates 70 Years

ochsner 70th Anniversary

Ochsner was founded in 1942 and celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2012. Take a walk through Ochsner's history from the establishment of the Ochsner Clinic by its 5 founders to the now existing Ochsner Health System, a system of 8 hospitals and over 38 health centers.

Living the Legacy- Ochsner Goes Tobacco Free

Tobacco Free Movie

Ochsner Health System proudly continues Living the Legacy of our founder Dr. Alton Ochsner by officially becoming tobacco free at all Ochsner facilities and properties as of April 1, 2011. In 1939, Dr. Alton Ochsner was one of the first to discover the link between tobacco use and lung cancer. He then dedicated the rest of his life to educating the world on the dangerous effects of smoking.

10 Year Anniversary of Hospital and Clinic Unification

Unification Movie

In August 2001, Ochsner Clinic and Ochsner Foundation merged to form Ochsner Health System, ushering in an exciting time for the new Ochsner. The merger allowed a unified approach to be developed and for the organization to operate more efficiently.

What Ochsner Means to Me

Anne Savoie

"To me, Ochsner means being able to provide services to the community close to home, but also having access to the resources of a much larger community of hospitals."
Ann Savoie, Outpatient Infusion Nurse, Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital

Bobby Brown

"Ochsner means a lot to me... it’s a great place to work, the doctors, the nurses, the community... when you come to Ochsner they take care of you like a family." Bobby Brown, Team Leader, Food/Nutrition Catering, Ochsner Medical Center

Dr. Leandro Area

"There’s a special trust that grows with patients over a period of many years that doesn’t happen with just one visit. I have formed lasting relationships with patients and now treat several generations of the same families – grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren."
Dr. Leandro Area, Family Physician, Assistant Chairman of Department of Family Medicine, Head Physician, Ochsner Health Center

Betty wells

"Ochsner means everything to me. Being here has given me the opportunity to work, to serve and to achieve things I otherwise would not have done. I’m eternally grateful."
Betty Wells, Environmental Services, Ochsner Medical Center

Share Your Ochsner Story

We would like to hear about your experience with Ochsner. Whether you are a patient, physician, employee or member of the communities we serve, you are an integral part of Ochsner's rich history.


Ochsner's commitment to patient care, education, and research enables the service of patients and communities today and in the future. For 70 years, Ochsner has cared for residents in greater New Orleans communities and beyond. Philanthropic giving, blood donations and volunteering is integral to maintaining the standard of excellence the Ochsner name connotes and Ochsner patients expect.  Ochsner is here for the Southeast Louisiana community, and draws vital support from those who recognize the value of the work it does.