Nurse-Led Clinic Opens in Cenla PINEVILLE – Central Louisiana residents now have another option for medical care. Louisiana College’s Loving Care: Nurse-Led Clinic opened in May and serves LC faculty and area residents.

The goal of the clinic, located next to the library on campus, is to take some pressure off of area hospitals.

“We have a state hospital and are blessed to have Cabrini Hospital and Rapides [Regional Medical Center] in the area and other hubs of those facilities,” Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields told the Alexandria Town Talk. “This new clinic gives residents another option in case they can’t be seen at another hospital.”

Dr. Kimberly Sharp, LC dean of nursing and allied health, said that clinic was developed because students already have a clinic they can go to, and nursing faculty wanted to create something similar for LC faculty and staff.

“The administration loved the idea; then we decided to expand it to help residents
in the area,” she said. “This clinic was made possible through a grant. This clinical setting will give nursing students hands-on experience and allow them to further apply their knowledge of patient assessment, patient care, communication skills, electronic records and more.”

The 7,100-square-foot clinic will treat patients with ear or sinus infections, sore throats and other minor conditions. Walk-ins are welcome, but the clinic also makes appointments. The clinic accepts Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and there’s a sliding-scale option for individuals who have
trouble paying, Sharp said.

Trading Places in Shreveport SHREVEPORT – To celebrate National Doctor’s Day on March 30, the Child Life Department at the Children’s Hospital of the LSU Health Sciences Center hosted a doctor-patient switch. Pediatric doctors, fellows, residents and interns put on hospital gowns and, for a change, let their young patients – dressed in white coats and armed with stethoscopes – perform exams, monitor vital signs, dress “wounds” and give pretend IVs and injections.

Switching roles gives the children more familiarity with their caretakers and the medical equipment used to treat them, as well as giving them a psychological boost by letting them be in charge for a little while. The doctors, too, benefit from the chance to gain insight into the way their patients view them and the way the world looks to a hospitalized child.

University Medical Center Study Analyzed NEW ORLEANS – According to a June report, the $1.2 billion, 424-bed University Medical Center, which is slated to open in 2015, will require about $100 million in annual state
fund support by 2020. Steve Nelson, dean of the medical school, said after the report, prepared by Illinois-based Kaufman, Hall & Associates, that a large-scale hospital such as the UMC is required to distinguish an academic medical center from a community hospital and to attract better doctors and more patients, including those with Medicare and private insurance.

Board member Byron Harrell argued that the $100 million is just a small portion of the $8 billion state general fund and $25 billion total budget and would be well worth it for the research and higher level of care that such a center would generate, as well as medical education programs that will turn out doctors who will stay in Louisiana to practice.

LSU’s Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Fred Cerise said that state support will be needed even if the new hospital isn’t built. Currently, the Disproportionate Share Hospital allocations program allows for federal subsidies for treating uninsured and underinsured patients. However, that program will be curtailed due to federal health care reform and expansion of Medicaid. Cerise said that the state will have to subsidize the resulting pool of uninsured and government-insured patients who do not pay the full cost of care. The money can either go to the UMC or to subsidize other private hospitals, but it will be spent in any case, he said.

UMC Chairman Bobby Yarborough promised to present lawmakers with a business plan by September 2011.