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Baton Rouge, LA, Oct. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital will open its doors tomorrow at 6 a.m., beginning a new chapter in the healthcare ministry’s history spanning more than 105 years in Louisiana.
“A vision by our Sisters more than 40 years ago has now become a reality, a beacon of hope and healing,” said K. Scott Wester, president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake. “This hospital is for all of Louisiana’s children. Built from the ground up with children and families in mind, the impact of the care we provide here will span generations and help shape the history for children in the state of Louisiana.”
Today, more than 1,000 team members, families and community leaders gathered to celebrate the opening and participate in a blessing of the hospital.
“Our Lady of the Lake’s new children’s hospital is a dream come true, state-of-the-art facility that will serve children and their families during some of their toughest times and have a far-reaching impact not only in the Baton Rouge community, but across our great state,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. "I congratulate the Lake, its partners and generous supporters on opening this grand facility that will help Louisianans now and for generations to come live healthier lives.”
Our Lady of the Lake, a ministry of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, has led the region’s healthcare efforts in pediatric services for many years. With more than 360,000 square feet and home to more than 25 pediatric specialties, the regions’ only Pediatric Level II Trauma Program, 24/7 pediatric emergency room and one of only two 24/7 pediatric intensive care units in Louisiana, the new children’s hospital is an anchor for advanced pediatric care and specialized programming for patients and families from across Louisiana and the surrounding region. The hospital will be home to the nationally recognized Our Lady of the Lake Pediatric Residency program, training future physicians.
Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, located at 8300 Constantin Boulevard in Baton Rouge, currently treats more than 100,000 patients annually from all 64 parishes, as well as children from Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas.
The new hospital will include an emergency room that is expected to see more than 35,000 patients annually, a surgical suite of five operating rooms where over 5,000 pediatric surgeries will be performed annually, a 30-bed intensive care unit, 40 medical/surgical in-patient beds and a hematology/oncology floor with 30 in-patient specialized beds and one of only eight outpatient St. Jude Affiliate clinics in the nation. The children’s hospital is also home to a pediatric transport team that has transported more than 1,250 patients over the last six years from the surrounding region.
“In addition to the state-of-the-art equipment and amazing design, the nurses, physicians and team members here who provide care to our children every day are exceptional,” said Trey Dunbar, MD, president of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health. “Our mission calls us to serve those most in need and that begins with the smallest, most innocent among us: our children. We are committed to leading the state in pediatric research, educating the next generation of pediatric healthcare providers and improving the overall quality of care.”
The $230 million project was made possible in part by a $55 million private capital campaign and $20 million in state capital outlay funds.
“With tremendous support from individuals, team members, corporations, and foundations, we have exceeded our initial $50 million fundraising goal and have raised more than $55 million toward the new children’s hospital,” said Kelly Hurtado, executive director of the Our Lady of the Lake Foundation. “We could not have done this without the help of so many and the support of a community that believes in our mission as much as we do. Now, our efforts will shift to focus on new initiatives and programs for the Children’s Hospital such as supporting and expanding our services for chronic illnesses, child life program, surgical services, and our trauma program.”
Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital anchors a collaborative and coordinated statewide pediatric health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. Outside of Baton Rouge, the network includes hospital-based services at St. Francis Pediatrics in Monroe and Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's in Lafayette. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home. For more information about the hospital and the statewide pediatric network of care, visit ololchildrens.org.
About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. The system’s eight hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and Women's & Children's in Lafayette, Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa and St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. For more information, visit www.fmolhs.org.
Ryan Cross Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System 225-278-9215 Ryan.Cross@fmolhs.org