FMOL opens new hospital in Lafayette, starts expansion in Baton Rouge, marks centennial

September 15, 2011

One hospital within the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System has completed construction of a replacement hospital, and another FMOL campus has launched an expansion.

Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center moved in June from its location in central Lafayette, La., to a new $211 million site about 7 miles away, in a fast-growing section of the city.

The facility uses a design called a procedural platform that places emergent response departments — including emergency, trauma, operating, surgical and imaging units — in close proximity to each other. Patient rooms at the new campus are 30 percent larger than those at the old facility, and nursing pods are nearer to patient rooms. The new facility offers flat-screen TVs, internet access and family kitchens to make the hospital more like home for patients and families.

Our Lady of Lourdes' design allows it to grow from a six-story, 200-bed facility to eight stories with 332 beds.

William "Bud" Barrow, president and chief executive of Our Lady of Lourdes, noted that the chapel is the centerpiece of the new hospital and that this placement was intentional, to show Our Lady of Lourdes' recognition of the value of faith-based care.

The old campus is for sale, and some buyers have expressed interest.

Fifty-plus miles to the west, FMOL's Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, La., has broken ground on a $200 million addition set for completion in fall 2013.

The project will add a nine-story tower for heart and vascular services with operating rooms, catheterization and electrophysiology labs, intensive care units and other facilities. The project also will add a Level I trauma center and expand Our Lady of the Lake's emergency department. Our Lady of the Lake's bed count will rise to 800, from about 700.

Scott Wester, Our Lady of the Lake's president and chief executive, said it has been about three decades since the facility has undertaken a renovation of this magnitude, and the changes are needed in order for Our Lady of the Lake to build upon its track record in heart and vascular care. He noted that the hospital does more heart procedures than any other facility in Louisiana.

The milestones come as FMOL marks the centennial of its sponsors' ministry. Six Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady traveled to the U.S. from their native France in 1911 to respond to escalating health care needs in Louisiana. In 1913, the women helped to establish St. Francis Sanitarium in Monroe; in 1923, Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium in Baton Rouge; and in 1949, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette.

In 1984, the sisters' hospitals were incorporated as the FMOL Health System. Today, that system is comprised of five hospitals and a network of other facilities throughout Louisiana. It is the largest locally owned, not-for-profit health care system in the state.


Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.