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Donor Hero

The Department of Philanthropy is grateful to recognize Bill Kearney as an Ochsner Donor Hero. Bill Kearney’s relationship with Ochsner began at birth. “My mother decided that’s where she wanted me to be born,” Bill said. “I make the choice for Ochsner to be my healthcare provider for all the things I do. Some people look at it as a client-healthcare relationship. I view it as something much deeper.”

This lifelong link to Ochsner is what led Bill to become the first lifetime member of the Alton Ochsner Society. In fact, he had no idea he was making history: he just wanted to pay back the organization that had been such a huge part of his life, providing him care since the very beginning of his life. “As a result of my connection and what Ochsner means to our community, when the opportunity came up, I said: that’s who I am. I didn’t know I was the first person,” Bill said. “I just instinctively said, that’s what I want to be, that’s something I want to be a part of, in recognition of what Ochsner means to me, to the city and to the state”

Thank you Bill for your lifetime commitment to innovation and patient care at Ochsner! If you would like more information about the Alton Ochsner Society, please contact Louisa Wittmann Post. If you would like to read more about Bill and his legacy of generosity, please click here.

Code Blue Psychiatry Patient Assistance Fund

Room for Mental Health

People react to stress in different ways – and for those already challenged, uncertainty, loss and anxiety can be especially hard. At Ochsner, we offer the latest in psychiatric care for adults challenged by depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar and other mental health disorders. Sometimes that involves medication. Sometimes group therapy. Sometimes family therapy, too. But as comprehensive as our services are, we can’t provide them alone. Especially not now. Ochsner offers direct help through the Code Blue Patient Assistance program. It might help provide transportation to a patient in need, or the funds for medication. One less hurdle might just help move that patient closer to healing.

Excellence Fund

Mothers Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist

The Excellence Fund is our unrestricted source of donor support at Ochsner. This fund provides grants for innovative projects that create transformational changes to patient care such as the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Ochsner Baptist. To learn more about the Excellence Fund, please click here.

Employee Assistance Funds

Ochsner Neuroscience

Gifts to support the Employee Assistance Fund provide crucial support and timely resources. The Employee Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for Ochsner employees directly impacted by major life events such as illness, storms or other tragedies and exists to provide financial grants to help alleviate stress from the employees who protect and care for our communities. The fund is used to support employees across our system during times of intense need. In 2022, donors made a significant impact on the lives of more than 100 employees across Ochsner Health. Thank you for your extraordinary support. To learn more about the Employee Assistance Fund, please click here.

Heart Transplant Patient Assistance Funds

Heart Failure Program

If you were to meet Rose Pietri today, you might have a hard time believing that she was diagnosed with heart failure just over a year ago. At the time of her diagnosis, Rose couldn’t walk from her sofa to the front door without experiencing extreme shortness of breath. Now, she is regaining control over her health and life after completing Ochsner Health’s Heart Failure Transitional Clinic Program. Patients in the program receive a personalized care plan, including a health chart and series of appointments with Ochsner cardiologists, dieticians and social workers. Through the Heart Transplant Patient Assistance fund, patients like Rose can also get tools to track their health, like a blood pressure cuff and scale. “I’m still filling out my chart,” Rose said. “It’s been great knowing that I can take control of my health.” Thanks to the generosity of donors like you and the support of her care team, Rose has resumed her previous activities and enjoys greater peace of mind. “I don’t have to worry about my health like I did before,” she said. “Nothing stops me from following my normal routine.”

Spiritual Care

Donor funds make it possible for a diverse group of chaplains to provide spiritual care to patients in the most difficult moments of their lives. Tiffanie cited a statistic that only 62% of hospitals nationwide have paid staff chaplains, relying instead on local priests and pastors, who may not be able to speak to patients with diverse spiritual backgrounds. “The more able we are to get trained, qualified staff chaplains, the better service we’re providing for the diversity of the patients that we have,” said Rev. Tiffanie Lyon, Chaplain, OMC – Northshore. “We can’t do this without donor support.” Ultimately, the spiritual care program at Ochsner strives to put the patient first, and give them the individual support they need. In Megan’s words: “Spiritual care is about loving people on their terms.”

Music Therapy

William “Billy” Legier, Jr. had a successful career in real estate, first in Southern California and later in New Orleans, but one of his true passions was music. He loved signing at events with friends and family where he would often get everyone on their feet. Billy received a life-changing diagnosis and fought a courageous battle with glioblastoma, passing away at the age of 47. His family funds the music therapy program in honor of Billy’s life, legacy and love of music.

Links in Pink

Shawanda Foster decided to take some time to care for herself and became a survivor. Learn about Ms. Foster and the Links in Pink biannual screening event at Ochsner Baptist.

Pandemic Response

In the three years since COVID-19 changed life as we knew it and forced us to pause, Ochsner has been on the forefront of research related to the virus. Thanks to donor support, Ochsner was able to quickly initiate a project to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in New Orleans early in the pandemic. Principal Investigator Amy Feehan, PhD, worked to identify the spread of Omicron and its emerging sister variants. To see Amy in her own words, watch this video.

Child Life

Ochsner Hospital for Children would not be the nurturing place it is without Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS), professionals who are trained to help the littlest patients cope with their medical treatments. CCLSs play an instrumental role in aiding the healing process and elevating the quality of care for children. Recently, donor support funded an additional CCLS at Ochsner Medical Complex – The Grove in Baton Rouge, along with resources like specialized medical teaching dolls, distraction and normalization items and patient support initiatives.

Sports Injury Prevention

Through a partnership with Son of a Saint, Ochsner’s Performance Training program provides support for young athletes. Ochsner sponsors training for several boys each month.

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