The following is a statement issued by Andy Wisdom, board chairman, Ochsner Health System and Warner Thomas, president and CEO, Ochsner Health System regarding the passing of Dr. John L. Ochsner, Sr.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. John L. Ochsner, Sr. For more than 57 years, Dr. Ochsner has been a consistent, larger-than-life presence across our hospitals and with our staff and patients. His sphere of influence spanned across New Orleans, generations of Ochsner physicians and colleagues and the international medical community.
Dr. Ochsner dedicated nearly six decades of his life to the advancement of medical quality in New Orleans and served prominently in numerous community and civic organizations with which he was associated.
He was a world-renowned cardiac surgeon who helped set the tone for the modern-day Group Practice launched by his father, Dr. Alton Ochsner. Dr. Ochsner was a true trailblazer in heart surgery, performing the first heart transplant in the Gulf South region in 1970, and just four years later, implanted a heart pacemaker in the youngest patient ever.
He pioneered valve and coronary surgery—demonstrating innovation and forward thinking, performing more than 12,000 surgeries and authoring more than 300 medical publications.
While this is a significant and heartbreaking loss, it is also cause for celebrating a life well-lived. We are proud to continue his legacy, feel privileged to call him a friend, and we will miss him dearly.
Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with his wife of more than 64 years, Mary Lou Ochsner, his children, Dr. John Ochsner Jr. (an accomplished orthopedic surgeon at Ochsner) and his wife Lori, Joby Ochsner, Dr. Katherine Isabel Ochsner, and Frank Ochsner; and his sister Isabel Mann (Sis) and grandchildren, Brooke and Kaelin Ochsner during this time.”