February 1, 2023, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – Ochsner Ventures – an innovation partnership and investment group within Ochsner Health – is celebrating one year of investing in Louisiana-based and national early-stage innovative health and health-adjacent companies. Operating out of Benson Tower in downtown New Orleans alongside Ochsner’s innovation and digital health teams, Ochsner Ventures was created in 2022 to foster new collaborations, support Ochsner’s emerging healthcare and innovation ecosystem and develop diversified businesses to support Ochsner’s mission and positively impact the communities it serves.
Ochsner Health has a legacy of supporting economic development in the state and region. Ochsner is the largest private employer in the state with over 35,000 jobs and has made capital investments of more than $300 million in Louisiana over the past five years. In 2020, Ochsner declared the goal of moving Louisiana into the top 40 of Healthy States by 2030, by enhancing healthcare access and improving health equity and health outcomes with an initial investment of $100 million.
Ochsner Ventures is yet another way Ochsner is building on this history by focusing on supporting promising companies and innovations that build talent and prosperity in the region while bringing forward new solutions that improve health outcomes, access and equity. Ochsner Ventures’ portfolio includes 58 companies across the country and represents some of the fastest growing digital health ventures.
“Ochsner has an 80+ year legacy of healthcare innovation and community building throughout our region,” said Pete November, CEO of Ochsner Health. “We are committed to supporting companies and founders whose breakthroughs can improve health in our region while also furthering economic development.”
In Louisiana, Ochsner Ventures’ portfolio includes 11 early-stage companies with products and services ranging from healthcare delivery and health tech to life sciences, value-based care, and PPE manufacturing. These companies are located throughout the state, represent 36% women and BIPOC founders, and support over 1,000+ jobs. One of these diversified businesses is SafeSource Direct, a joint venture with Trax Development launched in 2021, which operates two manufacturing facilities for personal protective equipment (PPE) in Broussard, La., and is projected to create 2,200 total new direct and indirect jobs for Louisiana in the coming years. Because of Ochsner’s size and focus on healthcare, its portfolio companies benefit from expertise and mentorship from top-tier physicians, clinicians and healthcare management professionals, along with access to national networks of capital partners and healthcare experts. In addition, Ochsner is a limited partner in the recently announced Benson Capital Partners real estate fund, which invests in and brings new capital to New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, and the Gulf South by focusing on value-add real estate opportunities.
Recently, Ochsner was awarded up to $15 million from Louisiana Economic Development (LED) as part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a program of the Treasury Department. This new fund, which is expected to launch later this year, will allow Ochsner Ventures to support even more Louisiana-based companies and diverse founders over the next several years.
Ochsner Ventures is led by Aimee Quirk, who brings over 20 years of experience in economic development, innovation and law to the role. From 2015-2021, she served as the CEO of innovationOchsner (iO), an innovation lab and healthcare technology company founded by Ochsner in 2015 to reimagine and revolutionize the delivery and experience of care. Previously, Quirk served as the Senior Advisor for Economic Development for the City of New Orleans during the Landrieu Administration and played a key role in attracting 9,100+ new permanent direct jobs, more than $1.2 billion in new capital investment and in growing the City’s sales tax base by 30% over four years.
“There is so much opportunity to make Louisiana a healthier state and hub of healthcare innovation, while growing the economies of Louisiana and New Orleans,” said Aimee Quirk, CEO of Ochsner Ventures. “I am thrilled to be part of a team that identifies, evaluates, and invests in new ventures across the healthcare space, both digital and other, and collaborates with local, regional, and national thought leaders to develop innovative solutions for our greatest health care challenges.”
Visit Ochsner Ventures’ website to learn more: https://www.ochsner.org/ventures.
About Ochsner Health
Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 36,000 employees and over 4,600 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 47 hospitals and more than 370 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit www.ochsner.org.