Industry: Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Partnership: Delgado Community College & various community partners Business Need: Goodwill & Community, Labor Costs, Retention & Productivity

Ochsner Health Systems, Louisiana’s largest not-for-profit health system, developed flexible workforce training programs and valuable community partnerships to increase economic opportunities and close the health disparity gap in communities across the state.

case study pdf
"As a national and global destination healthcare system and the state's largest private, we are aware of the impact we can have in increasing meaningful employment opportunities for the people of our city and the region. We have a remarkable team who has initiated and developed successful training programs for medical assistants, medical students and allied health professionals, enabling us to better serve our communities. "
Warner Thomas, President & CEO
Ochsner Health Systems


In 2012, Ochsner’s market research revealed that while the company was experiencing high demands for medical assistants, they were also experiencing levels of high turnover. Additionally, further investigation suggested that employees filling these roles may have experienced feelings of unclear mobility. Ochsner was now faced with the challenge of addressing both their need for certified medical assistants and a way to build out additional career pathways within the organization.


In partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Delgato Community College, Ochsner launched their MA NOW program in 2013. The program is an intensive 16-week training initiative aimed at providing aspiring medical assistants with on the job training. With a starting class of 50 individuals (20 unemployed community members and 30 internal Ochsner employees), The company was able to collaborate with it’s community college partners in providing an accelerated classroom experience that would provide the participants with the technical knowledge needed to perform the role.


To date, over 600 Ochsner employees have received medical assistant training. The organization has taken great strides in clearly defining career pathways and growth opportunities for it’s employees and has been able to strengthen it’s community partnerships. Additional outcomes include the following:

  • Ochsner has 94% retention rate of program graduates
  • Nearly 1/5 of medical assistants in the company have come out of the MA Now program
  • Development of a qualified talent pool of “ready now talent”
  • Talent pool trained in specific competencies and soft skills
  • Overall retention rate of MA’s increased 20% since 2013
  • Increased workforce diversity
  • High customer satisfaction ratings

As a result of the MA NOW’s success ,Ochsner was able to further its efforts to introduce two new programs, MA Academy and MA Pathways, that serve as additional supports in aiding employees along their designated career paths.

Source: CareerSTAT 2017 Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion: Ochsner Health System

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