BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals says it has given tentative approval to Baton Rouge General's moving of its regional burn unit to the Bluebonnet Boulevard campus.
"DHH approved it over the phone in concept last week," said Olivia Hwang with DHH. "[Baton Rouge General] called Friday afternoon and said they weren't ready at the time. In any instance there are certain things that are particular of a specialized unit that must be satisfied."
This potential move comes less than a year after Baton Rouge General closed its Mid City emergency room.
The burn center, currently located on Florida Boulevard, has taken care of more than 10,000 patients in the last decade. Roughly 90 percent of all burn accidents in the region are brought to the Baton Rouge General Burn Center. It is also one of only 125 specialized burn centers in the country.
"Our clinical teams are thoughtfully developing plans that will further enhance our patients' experience and outcomes in the Regional Burn Center, as well as the experience of their families and loved ones," said Dr. Tracee Short, Medical Director, Baton Rouge General's Regional Burn Center in a prepared statement.
There is no timeline for a move to the Bluebonnet Blvd. campus.
"With valuable guidance from our physician-led Regional Burn Center team on streamlining burn care services from emergency to recovery and survivorship, Baton Rouge General is firmly committed to providing the very best, state-of-the-art care to burn patients," comments Mark Slyter, President and CEO Baton Rouge General/General Health System. "Working with DHH is an early step in realizing our vision to relocate the Regional Burn Center to our Bluebonnet campus."
If the burn unit is moved, the Mid City campus would offer services such as radiation oncology, hyperbarics, and imaging and rehab.
The Bluebonnet Blvd. location for Baton Rouge General is a 265-bed facility. It is not known if officials plan to build a new facility or renovate existing space.
"Burn care is a very complex and technical multidisciplinary service, and changes take time to be fully vetted and implemented." said Edgardo Tenreiro, Chief Operating Officer. "We are collaborating with DHH and our clinical leadership on the special considerations required to care for burn patients."