LSU opens medical education center in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU medical students training in Baton Rouge have a new, high-tech education site that university officials say will help expand graduate medical education in the city.

The new LSU Health Medical Education and Innovation Center is housed on the campus of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which took over as the main site for LSU’s medical training programs in Baton Rouge when the university’s hospital was closed in April.

A ribbon cutting for the new facility was held Monday, with both Gov. Bobby Jindal and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne touting the center as the future of LSU’s physician training.

“The new facility will enrich the experience of students by giving them access to world-class health technology and live operating room experiences that are not offered anywhere else in our state,” Jindal said.

The four-story building includes simulation rooms that allow students to practice surgery and other medical procedures on high-tech mannequins. Operating rooms can be streamed live into classrooms. Students and faculty in Baton Rouge will be able to hold video conferences with classrooms in New Orleans.

Our Lady of the Lake paid for the new center as part of its deal with the state to take over health care services and medical training programs that had been performed at LSU’s Earl K. Long Medical Center.

Jindal has worked out contracts to privatize most of the LSU-run hospitals and clinics that care for the poor and uninsured and provide much of the state’s graduate medical education. Five privatization deals have taken effect, including the arrangement that shuttered EKL.

The privatization deal has boosted the number of medical residents and students training in Baton Rouge.

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