LSU and OLOL reach agreement, EKL to close

By David Spunt - email

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A proposal to make Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center the new home for LSU's medical education and hospital services in Baton Rouge is complete.

Our Lady of the Lake would become LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital, after the university shelved plans to build a replacement for the outdated Earl K. Long Medical Center.

The deal would close Earl K. Long by 2014 and move the services to OLOL. So far, the state will make a $14 million investment, in addition to $24 million from LSU.

The agreement will create the only Level One trauma center in Baton Rouge at OLOL. Level One trauma centers provide the highest technology available to deal with emergency situations.

Also, LSU will open a new 24/7 urgent care clinic in North Baton Rouge. LSU System Vice President Fred Cerise says the partnership agreement will go to the LSU Board of Supervisors for approval Friday.

"It goes well beyond fixing a facility problem. I like to think of it as matching some the strongest graduate medical education programs in the state with the one of the strongest hospitals in the region," Cerise said.

The OLOL Board also must signoff on the agreement. And the Legislature's joint budget committee also must endorse it.

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