HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It's a new day and a new name for what used to be called Hancock Medical Center.
It's now named Ochsner Medical Center- Hancock.
The leadership is excited about the change. After being in a strategic partnership with Ochsner since 2013, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors recently awarded a long-term lease to the Louisiana-based healthcare provider.
That lease officially began on April 1st. "This is day two with Ochsner. We're going to be here for 25 years delivering healthcare and improving the lives of the community," said Alan Hodges, CEO of the medical center.
As the CEO, Hodges is actively involved in making sure the transition is a smooth one for both the staff and the community. He understands that there may have been a sense of uncertainty about the hospital's future in recent years.
Hodges is confident about what the future holds. "I think going forward, we now have the strength of an almost $4 billion organization behind us here. We're excited. I can tell you the leaders at Ochsner have been supportive of this throughout the process," said Hodges.
The transition includes hiring more providers and installation of EPIC, a brand new computerized medical records system.
These are just a few of several benefits that emergency department director, Michael Fay, is excited about.
"It's very established. They're going to be able to come in here and allow us to do what we want to do, as far as providing the care that our community members and family members need and deserve. At the same time, they're going to be able to provide us with education and really help us be the best that we possibly can," said Fay.
Ochsner is leasing the medical center from Hancock County with an option to purchase after 25 years. As part of the agreement, a seven member advisory board will be created to help management and operations.
The lease is valued at an average of $850,000 in annual lease payments.