Legislature allocates $13 million to OLOL

Posted June 22, 2018 at 12:00 am

By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator  

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital received a nearly $13 million boost from the Louisiana Legislature in the recently completed regular session.  

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Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital a freestanding hospital that will serve children across the Gulf South. Construction is underway, and doors are expected to open in 2019. 

 

House Bill 2, also known as the Capital Outlay bill, included $5 million of priority one funding and $7,763,900 priority two funding. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill into law June 7.  

“On behalf of our entire ministry and Louisiana’s children, we want to thank those Baton Rouge area legislators who worked so diligently to secure critical funding for the freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital,” said K. Scott Wester, president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake. “Without their extraordinary efforts this funding would not have been possible.  

“We’d also like to thank Gov. Edwards for his continued support. The health of countless children from throughout Louisiana will be improved because of their efforts.”  

Wester said the hospital is a collaborative effort among the OLOL health system, the state of Louisiana, individual philanthropic donations and communities at large. He emphasized the funding is an investment that will play a significant role in the purchase of life-saving equipment.  

He noted that children are not just small adults and that they require 40 percent more care that is specialized in practice, precision and materials.  

“Building a children’s hospital means building a strong future for Louisiana,” Wester said. “This anchor for pediatric care means healthier children and healthier care.  

“If we’re going to positively impact health improvement overall then we must invest in healthier children.”  

He added that the state’s funding will help advance that vision.  

The six-story 350,000-square feet hospital will be located on a 66-acre campus adjacent to Interstate 10. One full floor will be dedicated to the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic and inpatient hermatology/oncology services.  

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By mid-spring, construction on the new children’s hospital was 60 percent complete.  Photo provided by Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center 

 

The St. Jude clinic is one of a few in the country affiliated with St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis.  

The hospital will also include an expanded state-of-the-art emergency room, children’s playrooms on every floor, increased surgical space and intensive care beds and a family resource center.  

Additionally, a 95,00-squre foot medical building is being constructed next to the hospital.  

“This project is a substantial investment in our region and will be an economic driver of growth,” Wester said. “An increased depth and breadth of pediatric specialists, coupled with our exceptional pediatric residency program, will establish our hospital as a regional center of health care excellence.  

“Our freestanding children’s hospital will attract more families from parishes statewide and the region who will travel to receive the most advanced care for their children. This increase in demand will yield substantial contributions to Louisiana and ensure a strong future for our state.”  

The freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is scheduled to open in 2019.  

 

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