LHC Group announces transformational partnership with UL-Lafayette nursing and allied health program
Expanding LHC Group's differentiated national recruitment and retention strategy
LAFAYETTE, La., March 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG), in cooperation with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, today announced it is investing $20 million in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions to be paid over 10 years.
LHC Group's leadership and board of directors agree that this partnership will help secure and enrich the future of healthcare, while also improving the company's national name recognition and furthering its advertising and awareness campaigns – allowing the healthcare provider to reach more nursing students and potential team members in an increasingly competitive recruiting market.
"This is a strategic investment in our future, particularly that of our LHC Group family of healthcare providers – our greatest asset and most important resource," said Keith Myers, LHC Group chairman and CEO. "Advancing employee education is one of the strongest and most strategic differentiators for employee recruitment and retention. Our partnership with UL Lafayette will provide for both in-person and virtual degree programs – including various nursing programs and eventually more than 55 degree offerings across all schools and programs of the university – at a greatly reduced cost to all current and future full-time and part-time LHC Group employees throughout the country over the next several decades. Additional benefits will include post-acute care certifications at the graduate level and adjunct professorships for LHC Group team members.
"Those who take part will receive the extensive education and training needed to thrive in the changing healthcare environment of today and as we move forward," Myers said. "This is a unique opportunity for LHC Group to provide accredited educational and professional development opportunities to our employees throughout the country as we continue to grow."
Myers also pointed to the critical need to meet the growing demand for nursing care. "The nursing profession is a critical part of our nation's healthcare infrastructure. Unfortunately, we're dealing with a national shortage of nurses across all sectors of the healthcare industry. Nursing schools are struggling to find the resources needed to expand enrollment and meet both the demands of today and of tomorrow. We believe this is an innovative and forward-thinking way for our company to step up and help address this need. Through this partnership, we are finding solutions and creating new ways to recruit, attract, and retain the critical nursing and clinical talent that is urgently needed today – and which will certainly be even more critical in the future."
Myers continued, "The partnership with UL Lafayette – and the well-educated, highly skilled health care professionals it produces – enables companies like ours to grow and expand. Great healthcare organizations like HCA Healthcare and Ochsner Health have recently made significant investments in college nursing programs as well. And here at LHC Group, we've already partnered with South Louisiana Community College to develop new home health labs and formalize a home health curriculum within the registered nurse (RN) and licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs at the college. Investments like these are an important part of the overall strategy to prepare for our nation's healthcare needs over the coming years and decades."
"This partnership benefits the college, the university, and LHC Group," said Dr. Benjamin Doga, LHC Group's chief medical officer. "But ultimately, it's the patients who depend on our healthcare providers who are the beneficiaries. Our nation needs more qualified healthcare professionals. The challenges COVID-19 created over the past year have made that obvious, and that need only deepens as our population ages. This is an investment in the well-being of our families and our neighbors – and in our employees, who will benefit from newly created tuition discount programs. It's an investment in all of us – and that's a win-win."
The $20 million investment includes funds for capital improvements, to establish an endowed deanship, hire more faculty, offer additional student scholarship opportunities, and support the college's internationally accredited simulation lab program. The college's current Department of Nursing will be renamed in recognition of this transformational partnership and investment, pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Regents.
About LHC Group, Inc.
LHC Group, Inc. is a national provider of in-home healthcare services and innovations for communities around the nation, offering quality, value-based healthcare to patients primarily within the comfort and privacy of their home or place of residence. The company's 30,000 employees deliver home health, hospice, home and community based services, and facility-based care in 35 states and the District of Columbia – reaching 60 percent of the U.S. population aged 65 and older. As the preferred joint venture partner for approximately 400 leading U.S. hospitals and health systems, LHC Group works in cooperation with providers to customize each partnership and reach more patients and families with an effective and efficient model of care.
SOURCE LHC Group, Inc.
Released March 25, 2021