Demolition soon to begin for hospital expansion

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Demolition work to make room for a $40 million expansion will start in the next month at Willis-Knighton Health System’s southwest Shreveport hospital.

The Times reports ( ) the facility is enlarging its pediatric intensive care unit, adding more beds for children and building a 50,000-square-foot addition for more doctors’ offices and a new day surgery center. A 430-space parking garage also will replace some of the hospital’s parking lots.

Willis-Knighton CEO James Elrod shared highlights of the project at a business association meeting Monday. Steve Randall, the hospital’s senior vice president, said he expects construction to be finished 16 months from the December start date.

Randall said the closure of Sutton Children’s Medical Center in Shreveport has prompted some of the increase in services for infants and children at Willis-Knighton. In September, three pediatric surgeons previously with Christus Health also moved their practices to WK South. Other pediatric specialists from Sutton Children’s also have moved to Willis-Knighton.

Willis-Knighton officials have finalized construction plans but still are working out how many newborn intensive care and children’s inpatient beds they’ll add. WK South has nine pediatric intensive care units and 19 pediatric inpatient beds now, Randall said.

He emphasized that the construction project also will allow the hospital to expand services for adults.

“This is not going to be a pediatric hospital,” he said. “This is going to be a full-service, acute care hospital. The adult services aren’t going to be neglected.”

Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier administrators announced in May that they would close Sutton Children’s and phase out operations at Christus Schumpert in Shreveport. That health system has kicked off a $55 million expansion at its Highland Medical Center as it consolidates services there.


Information from: The Times,

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