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Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023

LSU Health Shreveport


AIMING HIGH in Student Experience With Opening of the $79 Million Center for Medical Education

In a time when communities seek to be unified, is grateful to have remained an organization that is broadly valued and supported by our community for over 50 years.

Time and again, community leaders, local physicians and elected officials have served as cheerleaders in support of our mission to teach, heal and discover. Today, we offer thanks to the generosity of federal, state and local government along with over 400 individual donors, resulting in the January 2024 opening of the $79 million Center for Medical Education, the first new campus building in 15 years. This magnificent structure is so much more than a building as it represents a critical investment in delivering sustainable economic growth and providing a world-class home for educating the next generation of medical professionals and scientists.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to the community physicians and business leaders who fought for over a decade to gain approval to establish a medical school in north Louisiana in 1969 – a medical school whose graduates have excelled at the highest level and who recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first graduating class.

The community once again stood tall for our health sciences center when it fought to become a completely autonomous institution distinct from the LSU Health New Orleans health sciences center, which became a reality in 2000. These hard-earned stepping stones led to LSU Health Shreveport, which is now comprised of three professional schools and a robust biomedical research enterprise. As the sixth largest employer in Shreveport/Bossier, LSU Health Shreveport directly contributes more than $600 million annually to the north Louisiana economy. That economic impact swells to $3 billion when you factor in graduates practicing in north Louisiana.

The next step in the storied history of our academic medical center occurs with the opening of the Center for Medical Education, which will enhance the student experience while providing the space needed for future class size expansion. Students are elated over the abundance of natural light and contemporary interior with leisure and study space spread throughout the building. The availability of a wellness center and on-site counseling services demonstrate the recognized importance of students’ mental and physical health.

The 155,000-square-foot Center for Medical Education is reimagining the student experience, particularly for medical students who are migrating to a highly interactive curriculum. This new, modernized curriculum will strengthen development of critical thinking, problem-solving and scientific knowledge, positioning our students to continue competing effectively in the national Match, on licensure exams and many other benchmarks. Strategically located to connect the Schools of Allied Health Professions, Graduate Studies and Medicine, the Center for Medical Education is now the campus hub for amenities that will enhance not only the recruitment of students but also residents, fellows, faculty and staff recruitment.

The Center for Medical Education is also opening the door for new grant funding due to the expanded scope of the Center for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT). The CEVT offered a variety of life-saving pandemic responses, such as testing and vaccinations in nursing homes, schools and underserved communities, which benefitted our community, region and state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CEVT went from conception to operation in just 12 days in March 2020, when far larger communities were scrambling to assemble a pandemic response. To date, the CEVT has processed 884,843 COVID-19 PCR tests, delivered over 133,000 vaccines and sequenced more than 20,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes to track the evolution of the virus that causes the disease. The success of the CEVT, bolstered by the promise of a new home on the LSU Health Shreveport campus, has increased the university’s competitiveness for large federal grants. Most recently, LSUHS received a $10.5 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, or COBRE, grant from the National Institutes of Health and established a research center focusing on applied immunology and pathological processes. The grant confirms LSU Health Shreveport’s rapid rise as a national leader in diagnosing, testing and treating new viruses and other pathogens.

As Louisiana and the nation continue to face a shortfall in health care professionals, LSU Health Shreveport remains laser-focused on training critical healthcare professionals and researchers to treat the maladies of today and discover the cures of tomorrow.

To learn more about the Center for Medical Education to include giving opportunities, visit www.lsuhs.edu/center-for-medical-education

Victoria Filloon, Graduate Council president for the School of Graduate Studies; Ryan Campbell, Student Government Association president for the School of Allied Health Professions; and Tyler Tran, Executive Council president for the School of Medicine.

Highlights of the new building include:

500-seat auditorium-in-the-round Two 250-seat instruction classrooms to promote active learning 12 mid-size classrooms 15 huddle/debriefing rooms to support active and peer-to-peer learning Seven full-service simulation rooms emulating a variety of clinical settings, such as a hospital ward, ultrasound, birthing and neonatal suites Three procedural and technical skills labs 15 patient exam rooms, allowing students to hone their diagnostic and communication skills working with pretend patients Fitness, meditation, teaching kitchen and activity center 11,780-square-foot Emerging Viral Threats lab comprised of Level 2 and 3 Biosafety Labs and training center Inviting dining space with healthy international options that more appropriately reflect the international composition of LSUHS students, faculty and staff


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