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Jul 10, 2012
Governor Jindal Breaks Ground on LSU Medical Education and Innovation Center at OLOL

BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal broke ground today on the new LSU Medical Education and Innovation Center at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (OLOL) in Baton Rouge. The Medical Education and Innovation Center is part of the state’s historic public-private partnership between LSU and OLOL to improve and expand access to health care services for the poor and enhance graduate medical education for Louisiana’s doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.

Governor Jindal said, “This new facility will help transform the way we train medical students and deliver high quality healthcare for the people of Louisiana. The center is part of an historic public-private partnership that will bring Baton Rouge into the forefront of medical training and healthcare delivery. This partnership is a new model for how we can train more health professionals, treat our vulnerable residents with high quality care and do it all at a lower cost.  Indeed, the model shows that we no longer need a government-owned and operated system for the poor and another system for everyone else. We are combining the best of both worlds to deliver better healthcare for our people.”

The Governor highlighted the importance of training more doctors in Louisiana, noting that over 80 percent of parishes in Louisiana are primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas, and over 25 percent of Louisiana’s practicing physicians are age 60 or older.

By 2013, the Medical Education and Innovation Center and Our Lady of the Lake will support the annual education and training of over 250 medical residents in LSU Health Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs. The new four-story, 35,000 square foot building will offer innovative lecture and conference rooms that house the latest technology in projection and recording capabilities. The center will include a state-of-the-art Simulation and Innovation Center so that residents and medical students can continue to learn new skills and refine advanced medical techniques. The Simulation Center will focus on patient safety through its enhanced learning environment. 

In addition to the new Medical Education and Innovation Center, Governor Jindal highlighted four other key parts of the partnership between OLOL and LSU.

First, there will be a new Level 1 Trauma Center at OLOL. A groundbreaking for the new facility took place in May 2011. The new Level 1 trauma center will make Baton Rouge one of only three Level 1 trauma centers in the state, which will help save more lives in and around the Baton Rouge Metro Area. The Center for Disease Control says the risk for death of a severely injured person is 25 percent lower if the patient receives care at a Level I trauma center. Trauma centers are also an important piece of the community’s disaster preparedness efforts. The Health Resources and Services Administration conducted a survey that showed that more developed trauma systems enabled communities to be more prepared for day-to-day treatments and mass casualty events.

Second, the partnership provided for LSU to open a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week urgent care clinic in North Baton Rouge. The new clinic adjoins the new LSU Health System North Baton Rouge Clinic. The Governor said this new clinic is a critical piece of the partnership because Louisiana has one of the highest rates of non-emergency use of emergency departments in the nation.

Third, the partnership improves and expands access and services for the poor. OLOL is the largest single-campus private hospital serving Medicaid patients that isn’t either a women or children-only provider.  This agreement calls for OLOL to provide numerous outpatient services, like, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiac Catheterization, Electrophysiology, Peripheral Vascular Angiography, echocardiography and other highly technical diagnostic and therapeutic services not readily available at Earl K. Long. 

Fourth and finally, the partnership saved the state more than $400 million that would have been required to build a new hospital.

LSU System Interim President William Jenkins said, “Today marks a significant milestone in the public private partnership between LSU and Our Lady of the Lake.  As the delivery of health care changes so does the manner in which we train the doctors and medical professionals of tomorrow.  This collaboration allows LSU and Our Lady of the Lake to provide medical education in a 21st century learning environment for the more than 250 medical residents and 350 medical students who will pass through this Medical Education and Innovation Center each year.  The significance of this day cannot be underestimated.  We are proud to stand with our partners as we break ground on the construction of this outstanding facility. Our faculty, residents and students are looking forward to the opportunity to teach and learn in a state-of-the-art education and innovation building and to receive critical practical training in LSU’s and Our Lady of the Lake’s clinical facilities.”

OLOL Chief Executive Officer Scott Wester said, "The groundbreaking of the Medical Education and Innovation Center is a significant day for the Baton Rouge region's healthcare. This state-of-the-art teaching environment not only expands the footprint of academic medicine for Baton Rouge but also paves the way for our community to be a destination for physician training, medical care and research. Training new physicians is central to the collaboration between the state of Louisiana, Our Lady of the Lake and LSU Health.”

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said, "This relationship represents the future of health care for the state. Bringing together our public mission with private providers delivers high quality at a better value for taxpayers."

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