LSU Health Shreveport Expansion Outlines Bright Future for Students, Region
March 07, 2023
Revving the Engine of Medical Education in North Louisiana
With the new Center for Medical Education and Emerging Viral Threats more than 75 percent complete and on track to open this fall, students and leaders at LSU Health Shreveport are starting to see the impact the new building will have on them, their careers and health in north Louisiana.
Bailey LeGrande from Lake End, Louisiana near Natchitoches will graduate from the LSUHS School of Allied Health Professions ready to take her board exams as a respiratory therapist. In some ways, she’s a typical LSUHS student, but in other ways she’s one in 35 million. LeGrande was diagnosed with an extremely rare blood disorder that changed her life in unexpected ways and motivated her to pursue a career in healthcare. She sees herself staying and working in the Shreveport area after she graduates.
“I come from a huge family and my grandparents are still living so I want to stay close and be here for them,” LeGrande said. “That’s pretty typical of students from this area, I think. Wanting to take care of your own.”
In this way, LeGrande exemplifies LSUHS’s reasoning in seeking state investment in the new 155,000-square-foot Center for Medical Education and Emerging Viral Threats. LSUHS received $18.7 million toward completion of the center from the Louisiana Legislature last year, as well as $2.1 million to expand and modernize its Gross Anatomy Lab.
“We create our own workforce here in northwest Louisiana—we train, educate and grow our own excellence for this region and for our state,” said LSUHS Vice Chancellor of External Affairs and Chief of Staff Markey Pierre.
Two out of every three physicians in Louisiana are LSU alumni. For every new doctor who joins the workforce in Louisiana, there is an additional $2 million in economic impact on the state. While the total cost to build the new center amounts to $84 million, the expected growth of LSUHS educational programs—enabled by the new center—is estimated to make up for the entire building cost in as little as three years.
“The new Center for Medical Education is the greatest thing that could happen up in Shreveport to improve healthcare for all people in this area and drive economic development for this entire region. People live longer here because of the LSU medical school. It’s a cherry for North Louisiana.”
Greg Tarver, Louisiana Senator