OLOL Vice President of Mission Coletta Barrett said immediately post-Katrina there were 325 residents, fellows, medical students that showed up at Our Lady of the Lake looking for a place to practice. She and Vice President of Operations Stephanie Mason tell WRKF’s Ashley Westerman that from that point forward, OLOL decided to assume an active role in solidifying the pipeline of physicians for Louisiana.
Taking over EKL, they said, is a step in that direction.
Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge closed its doors for good last month. The cooperative endeavor agreement between the hospital, the state and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for the take-over and eventual shutdown of EKL was reached more than two years ago.
Erica Barham, Kimberly Burkett and Lauren Richard are all former Registered Nurse Supervisors in the EKL Emergency Room. Mental Health Emergency Room Extension Supervisor Amy Germain also used to work there.
They tell WRKF’s Ashley Westerman the transition was bungled and even on closing day, critical questions about how patients would get care and follow-up remained unanswered.
When the federal government reduced its funding of Medicaid in Louisiana, the LSU charity hospital system took the brunt of the $152 million in cuts. LSU’s medical students, for whom the charity hospitals are a training ground, have been caught in the tumult.