Recognizing the importance of LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport to healthcare of all citizens, Willis-Knighton Health System has been a major contributor, donating more than $84 million over the past years through its “tithe the bottom line” philosophy of philanthropy.
In the past, LSU Health’s hospital in Shreveport has provided approximately a third of the medical school’s overall operating budget of $100 million. With the prospect of lost funding from the privatization of the LSU Health hospital, Willis-Knighton was approached to provide additional support for the medical school and has agreed to do so.
This year alone, Willis-Knighton had expected to provide some $9 million to the medical school. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has requested an additional $25 million from Willis-Knighton for the medical school, for a total of $34 million.
“LSU School of Medicine has helped to transform healthcare in this community, making us a healthcare destination. We want to assure that the school continues to serve this community and this region,” said James K. Elrod, president and CEO of Willis-Knighton Health System.
Currently Willis-Knighton provides stipends for residents in medical training as well as support for a rural family medicine residency program and funding for subspecialists. One recent example was a $370,000 contribution to allow the medical school to hire a trauma chief to allow it to meet accreditation standards. In addition, dozens of LSU School of Medicine specialists and subspecialists have affiliations with Willis-Knighton, providing specialty support on all four WK hospital campuses.