SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Packed tightly into a hot tent outside LSU Health Shreveport — state leaders, physicians, medical students and community members gathered to break ground on a new era of health care in North Louisiana.
“We’re taking care of more people, we’re employing more people, we’re training more medical students,” said Warner Thomas, CEO of Ochsner Health System. “This really has been a huge success.”
The five-story, 187,000-square-foot complex will feature larger classrooms to hold up to 250 students, training labs and operating room simulation suites as well as a clinical skills center.
“We are en route to train more physicians, and physicians trained in Louisiana tend to stay in Louisiana,” said Dr. Debbie Chandler, associate dean of diversity and student affairs. “It means we are growing and expanding; we can provide more teaching.”
State and school officials hope the new facility incentivizes aspiring physicians to train and stay in Louisiana to address a growing shortage of doctors. Louisiana has the oldest physician workforce in the United States.
“We are deploying new technology, we are on-boarding new physicians with state-of-the-art skill sets to bring a higher level of care to North Louisiana, both here in Shreveport and Monroe,” said Chuck Daigle, CEO of Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.
Construction of the building is set to begin next fall with completion anticipated within 18 to 24 months.