WK Innovation Center, WK Rehabilitation Institute Renamed for James K. Elrod

Oct 15, 2021

The Board of Trustees of Willis-Knighton unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday renaming the WK Innovation Center and WK Rehabilitation Institute the James K. Elrod WK Innovation Center and the James K. Elrod WK Rehabilitation Institute.

Elrod retired Sept. 30 after 56 years as president and CEO of Willis-Knighton Health System and was the longest tenured hospital administrator in the country. He has been named President Emeritus and remains on the board. Under Elrod’s  innovative and visionary leadership, the health system grew from a single hospital – Willis-Knighton Medical Center – to the largest health system in the region with four acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation institute, an innovation center, a senior residential community and a physician network with hundreds of primary and specialty providers.

The rehabilitation institute (formerly Doctors Hospital) and innovation center (formerly Bossier Medical Center) were developed as the result of Elrod’s innovative repurposing of two abandoned hospital buildings to become integral parts of the health system’s operations.

The board cited Elrod’s focus on enhancing healthcare services for Shreveport/Bossier and surrounding areas, which has brought national recognition to the health system as well as enhanced the image of our community and our economy as a healthcare referral center.

The James K. Elrod WK Innovation Center, 2105 Airline Drive, Bossier City, showcases the innovation of Willis-Knighton Health System. It features a virtual hospital that recreates real-life situations for training medical, nursing and allied health professionals, allowing them to hone their skills in a virtual environment. The Talbot Medical Museum, open by appointment, focuses on the history of medicine in the region, spanning more than 150 years.

The James K. Elrod WK Rehabilitation Institute, 1111 Line Ave., offers inpatient care for both physical and behavioral rehabilitation, outpatient physical therapy services, and is also home to the health system’s outpatient dialysis service. 


William J. Cole (from left), member of Willis-Knighton Board of Trustees, Jaf Fielder, Willis-Knighton president and CEO, and Frank B. Hughes (right), MD, chairman of the board, present James K. Elrod with a resolution renaming the WK Rehabilitation Institute and the WK Innovation Center in his honor. Elrod retired Sept. 30 after 56 years as Willis-Knighton’s president and CEO.