CHRISTUS Health Northern Louisiana announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon it has donated the CHRISTUS Schumpert Hospital campus to help support the LSU medical school in Shreveport.
The campus was given to the local non-profit group Margaret Place Properties, Inc., a 501(c)(3) formed to support LSU Health Shreveport.
The goal is to provide LSU Health Shreveport with an efficient, cost-effective and integrated health care campus for the residents of northwest Louisiana.
The donation includes the hospital facility, several adjacent medical office buildings and parking garage.
In addition, CHRISTUS has offered a one-time monetary gift of up to $6.5 million over three years to defray the initial operating and renovation costs.
“We believe in medical education. We believe in economics and the difference it makes in northern Louisiana. Quite frankly we’re honored to be partnered with these gentlemen, we’re honored to be partnered with the school, and we’re honored to be partnered to help advance health education in northern Louisiana into the future,” said Stephen Wright, CHRISTUS Senior Vice President, Group Operations.
Margaret Place Properties board members include Bill Comegys, Ray Lasseigne, and Matthew St. Amant.
“The board of Margaret Place Properties Inc. is grateful to CHRISTUS for their generous donation that will tremendously benefit LSU Health Shreveport. As a lifelong resident of Shreveport, it is an honor to play a role in seeing that this property continues to play a vital part in our community,” said Bill Comegys, President of Margaret Place Properties, Inc.
LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali said, “There were some initial obstacles that were set in front of us but I think the good lord helped us through. I think the opportunity that has been afforded to us in north Louisiana is something we should take complete advantage of…This is more than just a donation to a foundation whose intent is to help the health science center. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, black or white — this is something that’s really going to be great for the community.”
According to Wright, CHRISTUS is particularly thrilled to contribute to the growth and expansion of medical education in this market.
“The donation of this campus will strengthen the School of Medicine, bringing more needed space to their programs and clinics and enhancing its ability to offer more to graduates to stay in our community post-graduation,” he said. “Many of our local physicians were trained at LSU School of Medicine, so we know it’s a benefit to the community to have access to LSU Health Shreveport.”
The donation was completed on June 30 and includes the 18-acre hospital campus, buildings at 1801 Fairfield Avenue, 950 Olive Street, the parking garage and several other free standing buildings surrounding the campus. CHRISTUS had previously sold the building at 865 Olive to the Martin Luther King Health Center at under fair market value and donated a parking lot on Margaret Place to Loyola College Prep. CHRISTUS donated two empty lots of land and the former CHRISTUS Breast Center building on Olive Street to the Diocese of Shreveport.
A large percentage of the CHRISTUS Schumpert equipment, supplies and furnishings has been gifted to over 100 local non-profits including MLK Health Center, Robinson’s Rescue, The Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy, Shreveport Regional Arts Council, Easter Seals, Renzi Art Center, YWCA, Rutherford House, American Rose Center and The Strand Theater to name a few. The granite altar and altar cloths from the Schumpert chapel were sent to St. Jude Catholic Church in Bossier City for their new chapel.
Isaac Palmer, CEO of CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, said the donation is an excellent one for all parties and a continuation of the ministry begun by Dr. T.E. Schumpert, who passed it to the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word over 120 years ago.
“This is a win-win,” Palmer said. “We wanted the campus to be used in a way that would be constructive for the community at large as well as the Highland neighborhood. That it also contributes to the stabilization and growth of LSU Health Shreveport is even better.”