By JULIE MINDA
CHRISTUS Health's Northern Louisiana region has donated its closed hospital campus in Shreveport, La., to a newly formed nonprofit organization that will lease the space to organizations that provide medical education and health care services. CHRISTUS also has offered a donation of up to $6.5 million over three years to the nonprofit to defray up front operating and renovation costs.
During a press conference announcing the donation of the CHRISTUS Schumpert Hospital campus in Shreveport, La., CHRISTUS Health's Stephen Wright, at right, presents prints of a hospital watercolor to members of the Margaret Place Properties Board of Directors, who are, from left, President William Comegys III, Treasurer Raymond J. Lasseigne and Secretary Matthew St. Amant. Wright is CHRISTUS Health senior vice president of group operations.
The nonprofit Margaret Place Properties was created specifically to establish a new funding stream for LSU Health Shreveport by leasing space in the donated facilities to tax-exempt as well as for-profit health care providers and health care education providers. LSU Health Shreveport is part of the Louisiana State University system. It is an academic health sciences center that includes a medical school, a school of allied health professions, a graduate school with five programs in the biosciences, physician residencies and fellowships, and a research arm.
CHRISTUS welcomes LSU Health Shreveport residents, fellows and other clinicians in training for rotations at its facilities. CHRISTUS also refers patients to LSU Health Shreveport. CHRISTUS annually contributes to LSU Health Shreveport's foundation to support education, according to information from CHRISTUS.
LSU Health Shreveport will have a presence on the renovated campus, including for medical education and pharmaceutical research and clinical trials. An LSU Health Faculty Group Practice clinic for orthopedics and sports medicine will open on the campus in the near future. According to LSU Health Shreveport, such clinical services are expected to raise its revenues.
LSU Health Shreveport says that new revenue is necessary because its financial situation has deteriorated since 2013 when then-Gov. Bobby Jindal privatized LSU Health's primary teaching hospital, formerly LSU Medical Center. Jindal turned over the public hospital's management to the nonprofit Biomedical Research Foundation Hospital Holdings, which operates the hospital under the name University Health. Its parent, Biomedical Research Foundation, is now known as BRF. According to information from BRF, that company leases the facilities from the state. LSU Health's academic physicians staff the University Health hospital.
A fact sheet issued jointly by CHRISTUS and LSU Health says repurposing the donated campus as a health care hub will reinvigorate a historic Shreveport neighborhood.
CHRISTUS had shuttered the 601-bed CHRISTUS Schumpert Hospital as part of a consolidation of that hospital with the 160-bed CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center in Shreveport. In April 2016, CHRISTUS completed the transition to a single Shreveport hospital campus, which currently has 193 beds. According to information from CHRISTUS, the system's leadership team and board had made the decision to consolidate at the Highland campus after studying community growth patterns and points of health care access and determining that the Highland campus had the better location of the two hospitals. CHRISTUS invested 55 million in the consolidated campus, and its foundation invested $5 million.
CHRISTUS had tried to sell the closed campus facilities for three years, without success. Its donation to Margaret Place Properties includes the hospital, adjacent medical office buildings, a free-standing convent, parking garage and other property. CHRISTUS already had sold a building on the campus at a price below fair market value to a nonprofit health center, donated a parking lot to a Catholic high school and donated two empty land plots and a building on the campus to the Diocese of Shreveport. CHRISTUS gave much of the equipment, supplies and furnishings from the closed campus to over 100 nonprofits, according to information from CHRISTUS.
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