Jun 11, 2013 8:33 PM by Alex Labat
The long-awaited transition--is less than two weeks away.
Lafayette General Medical Center is taking over management of residents and clinics at the former University Medical Center.
The LSU hospital, which will now be known as University Hospital and Clinics, was one of several facing cuts from the state.
Now the endangered academic medical facility is planning for a turnaround.
UMC has suffered massive layoffs and cuts, which left the hospital in critical condition.
"If you don't have hospitals where would they go...because this is one of the best hospital's I've ever been too", says James Citizen, former patient at UMC.
Leah Potter, who was Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at the time the cuts were announced, said, "We're also very very sad for the patients who are going to lose services in the area."
With the future of the region's medical coverage (especially for the working poor) on the line, LGMC President and CEO David Callecod says saving UMC was the right thing to do.
"We felt certainly a moral obligation that we needed to step in as an organization to continue to provide the safety net to patients in Lafayette and in Acadiana", says Callecod.
His hospital will be taking over for UMC on June 24th, but Callecod says his goal is to keep UMC the same...except better.
"What we've been able to do is we've hired enough employees to keep the same services going, and in the process over these next few weeks we'll be hiring additional employees to get up to our ultimate goal which is 66 beds of staffed beds for the hospital", says Callecod.
He says with over 390 people hired already, he hopes to expand to over 100 beds in the hospital.
And with that expansion, comes the opportunity for LGMC to provide not just charity and academic services, but ones that could potentially turn a profit for LGMC.
Callecod says, "It will also be a campus that has a number of programs that focus on how we can grow that additIonal private business at the hospital."
University Hospital and Clinics won't be the only educational campus anymore.
As of July 1st, LGMC will also become a major teaching campus.
LGMC will hold public forums before the take over to give the public as much information as it can.
June 19th at 6pm, the forum will be at the Clifton Chenier Building.
June 21st it will be at the UMC Voorhies Auditorium.
There will be two meetings on the 21st, one at 4pm and the other at 6pm.