Moss Regional Hospital becomes Moss Memorial Health Clinic

Moss Regional Hospital becomes Moss Memorial Health Clinic

A new name, a new plan and a few new faces: the hospital you have known as "Moss Regional" since 1958 changes names and management.

From the first turn into the parking lot off Walters Street in Lake Charles, you can see the changes to what was once Moss Regional Hospital, now "Moss Memorial Health Clinic."

On her first day as administrator, Bernita Brown knows she has a full plate.

"I think some of the challenges that I see are just making the patients feel comfortable that nothing has been taken away, but much will be given to them," she said.

The same challenge remains for employees.  Of Moss Regional's 331 employees, 62 retired and the remaining 269 were laid off by the LSU Health System. 225 of those 269 were back at work Monday, the official takeover day, according to Lake Charles Memorial Health System President and CEO Larry Graham.

"They're working today," he said, "at 7:00 this morning, the Urgent Care Clinic opened and all of the clinics began to see patients just like they did on Friday."

When Moss Regional risked closing entirely, Lake Charles Memorial administrators and its community board, including Chairman Gene Thibodeaux, said it would have cut important services to the needy.

"Once we determined that the state was going to close Moss Regional," said Thibodeaux, "some organization had to assume the leadership in providing services to the poor and underserved. That is what we do and we do it well."

Graham says that Lake Charles Memorial Hospital treats about 60 percent of the Medicaid/Medicare recipients in the five-parish area.

"We are a true community hospital," he said, "and we see it as part of our mission to take care of the folks of Southwest Louisiana."

Here is a rundown of the Moss Regional services that have been transferred to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital: surgery and in-patient services.

"They only used about 10 rooms at a time with a census of five to six patients, so rarely did they get to ten patients," said Brown, "that just wasn't cost-effective."

The emergency room is now "Moss Memorial Urgent Care Clinic," open 365 days a year with hours of 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

"Patients still with urgent care needs can come to this campus and receive services," said Brown.

Outpatient clinics and services that were previously offered at Moss will continue.

"All of the clinics that are currently in play, we have to continue," said Graham, "we will be adding clinics for specialty services like cardiac and possibly orthopedics. There may be even more."

Those clinics currently operating include: asthma, chemotherapy, dermatology, gynecology, hypertension, infectious disease, minor procedure, ophthalmology, rheumatology, pharmacy services and primary care.

Lake Charles Memorial's services include: cardiology, ear nose and throat, emergency medicine, digital radiology diagnostics, gastroenterology, family medicine, internal medicine, hematology, laboratory services, neurosurgery, oncology, orthopedics, obstetrics/genecology, pain medicine, pediatric intensive care, physical and occupational rehabilitation, pulmonology, radiation oncology, surgery and urology.

Part of the plan to improve patient services involves transforming a grassy piece of land across from the health clinic. A new $4 million medical office building will be built.

"It's all in the early stages now, but we expect more to come and it all to be a benefit to the patients and the employees in this building," said Brown.

Surgical patients that live on the west side of Lake Charles will have the option of using West Calcasieu-Cameron Hospital as the site for their procedures.

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has an additional 40 in-patient beds for patients that would have used Moss Regional Hospital for that type of care.

Click here to visit the new Moss Memorial website.

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