The LSU Health Sciences Foundation of Shreveport hosted a Topping Out Ceremony celebrating the final structural beam being placed at the Center for Medical Education at LSU Health Shreveport on Wednesday, March 30.
The invitation only event included top donors to the Center for Medical Education, state and local leaders, LSU Health Shreveport senior leadership, and LSUHS student representatives, who signed the final beam before it was lifted and secured onto the building.
Construction on the Center for Medical Education, a $74 million public-private partnership with the state of Louisiana, began in July 2021 and is set to conclude in the Fall of 2023. The Center for Medical Education is LSU Health Shreveport’s top fundraising priority and is part of LSU’s system-wide Fierce for the Future Campaign announced in 2019. The Center for Medical Education will allow LSU Health Shreveport to increase its medical school class size by 33% to address the healthcare shortage in Northwest Louisiana and the state.
“The Center for Medical Education is a transformational project as it will not only expand our medical education and research opportunities but will create our first common gathering space for all faculty, staff, and students. We are confident this project will strengthen our recruitment of students, faculty, and staff all of which positively impact the economy of our beloved community. On behalf of our faculty staff, and students, I offer my deepest thanks to every donor, the state of Louisiana, and the federal government for their investment in this exciting project,” stated David Lewis MD, Interim Chancellor and Dean of the School of Medicine at LSU Health Shreveport.
Ochsner LSU Health System of North Louisiana, a partnership formed in 2018 between Ochsner Health and LSU Health Shreveport, announced an additional $8 million gift to the Center for Medical Education at the ceremony.
“In the spirit of the partnership, and to show our commitment to growing healthcare and healthcare providers in North Louisiana, I’m about proud to announce this additional $8 million gift,” stated David Callecod, Interim CEO of Ochsner LSU Health System – North Louisiana. “The Center for Medical Education a catalyst to improving the health and well-being of our region and the overall quality of life in North Louisiana. As we educate our future physicians, along with our partner LSU Health Shreveport, it helps ensure our entire region will continue to have the care they need when they need it.”
Ochsner LSU Health previously committed $2.5 million in 2019. With additional funding from Ochsner Health in New Orleans, the partners are the largest private donors to the project with a commitment of $15.5 million. The Ochsner Health Wellness Center located within the Center for Medical Education will provide LSUHS students, staff, and faculty a state-of-the-art facility with a gym, group fitness rooms, meditation areas, counseling services, and more.
LEMOINE, who was awarded the competitive construction contract by the State of Louisiana, is just over 260 days into the construction of the Center for Medical Education.
“It’s an honor to partner on this project,” stated William Lemoine, President of Vertical Construction for LEMOINE. “Over the years our company has been fortunate to partner in building some of the most significant educational and healthcare facilities in the state of Louisiana. The Center for Medical Education will certainly be no exception as it is sure to foster excellence in education and health and wellness for our community. We look forward to delivering this extraordinary vision into a reality.”
The Center for Medical Education will also be the new home to the Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT), allowing significant expansion of its research capabilities and impact in the region and state. As the 6th-largest employer in the Shreveport-Bossier MSA with a direct economic impact of nearly $600 million, the Center for Medical Education will further impact LSU Health Shreveport’s economic growth for the region.
“We are excited to celebrate this significant milestone for our campus and community with those who have made it all possible. Before a shovel had even hit the ground, our donors saw the vision. Even through the uncertainty of the pandemic, they remained committed because they knew what the Center for Medical Education would mean for our community. I want to thank them for rising to the challenge,” stated Kevin Flood, President of the LSU Health Sciences Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to Ochsner Health and Ochsner LSU Health who have been on this journey with us from day one. They have been our primary supporter and that support has never wavered.”