BATON ROUGE, La – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s initiative to expand health care access and quality jobs in North Baton Rouge was unanimously approved by the Metro Council Wednesday evening. Oceans Behavioral Healthcare will expand to Howell Place off Harding Boulevard thanks to a City-Parish performance-based incentive grant.
"I am thrilled that a premier provider of behavioral health services, Oceans Healthcare, is expanding their provider care for the geriatric market to North Baton Rouge and, more so, into Howell Place. For years, people in the community have clamored for providers who can address access to care and behavioral health issues, and it has been at the top of my agenda to bring unique public-private partnerships to address these challenges,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Last night, with unanimous Metro Council support, this was answered. Not only are quality health-care jobs being generated, but health-care gaps are closing. We look forward to this catalytic project in Howell Place."
Oceans will provide high-quality geriatric care services to patients with behavioral health challenges like dementia, schizophrenia, and other conditions which require long-term inpatient care. Oceans' long-term care model will highly complement the Bridge Center, which offers stabilizing care for mental health needs.
"Promoting major assets for diversification and competitiveness is at the forefront of BRAC's goal to grow the Baton Rouge Area economy," said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. "The Oceans Healthcare expansion is a great example of diversifying our local economy. Not only does the expansion bring 85 new full-time jobs to the area, it also addresses significant access to care challenges and behavioral health needs for North Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish as a whole."
“This projects in North Baton Rouge means an increased opportunity for retail, commercial development, and improved health care services. As students continue to graduate from Southern University in various medical fields, we are ensuring the opportunity to retain our young graduates in our community,” said Jerry Jones, Executive Director of the Baton Rouge North Economic District.
“Oceans Healthcare was born in Louisiana and has grown to meet the behavioral health needs of cities across the state since 2004. Oceans Behavioral Hospital Baton Rouge has proudly served the community for more than a decade, and we understand first-hand the need for mental health resources in the region. We want to thank Mayor Broome and the members of the Metro City Council for their commitment to the people of this community and for believing in our approach to providing care,” said Stuart Archer, CEO of Oceans Healthcare. “Each day we face the stark reality that we don’t have enough space to fulfill the growing need. We are committed to this community and will maintain our current Baton Rouge campus, while expanding inpatient and outpatient treatment options, creating a behavioral health network serving the region. We look forward to finalizing our plans with the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge to increases access to care and grow the job market.”
The incentive grant is $140,000 per year, over a 10-year period, with an expected return of $2.1 million in new tax revenue during that time period.