New Orleans, La. – Xavier University of Louisiana (Xavier) and Ochsner Health (Ochsner) today announced an agreement to establish a joint College of Medicine. The two institutions will create a strong physician pipeline that addresses longstanding inequities within the nation’s health care system and builds the health care workforce of the future. By anchoring their partnership with a College of Medicine, Xavier and Ochsner affirm their legacy of advancing health care excellence and education for the next generation, bringing new opportunities to marginalized populations in Louisiana and the United States.
To launch the College of Medicine, Ochsner and Xavier will form a nonprofit corporation, create a new curriculum and use facilities, personnel, and administrative processes of both institutions. The new College of Medicine will be governed by a board of directors nominated by Ochsner and Xavier, with each institution appointing an equal number of directors.
This initiative builds on a long-standing partnership between Ochsner and Xavier that dates to the early 1980s, when Ochsner and Xavier’s College of Pharmacy came together to offer more clinical training sites for pharmacy students. Xavier’s College of Pharmacy is the oldest in Louisiana and has for years been among the top in the nation in producing African American graduates with Doctor of Pharmacy degrees.
“Our work with Ochsner and other partners who hold close to their hearts a vision of healing a broken world is a testament to Xavier’s mission to promote a more just and humane society,” said Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana. “Xavier was bestowed that mission by our founders St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament almost a century ago. Our dedication to preparing more Black health care professionals in our fight against health inequity is our answer to the call of our nation’s critical need and makes their legacy proud.”
XULA and Ochsner: A Legacy of Collaboration
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world and disproportionately affected people of color, highlighting health disparities faced by historically marginalized communities. Ochsner Health and Xavier again forged partnerships to improve health equity through new graduate programs in health sciences and the establishment of the Ochsner Health and Xavier University Institute for Health Equity and Research (OXIHER). A few years before, Xavier and Ochsner also worked to improve diversity within the health sciences through a memorandum of understanding to establish a new Physician Assistant (PA) Program. In May 2022, Ochsner and Xavier celebrated the first graduating class of 37 students in the full-time graduate PA Program, which leads to a master’s degree in health sciences and trains the next generation of providers to make a meaningful impact on health care.