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Christus Health to close main Shreveport hospital

Kate Archer Kent

Christus Health will close its Christus Schumpert St. Mary's Place medical complex in Shreveport and consolidate many services into its Highland Medical Center in Shreveport. CEO Stephen Wright announced at a news conference Monday that the cost cutting move will eliminate 200 jobs over the next two years, trimming its workforce by about 10 percent. Wright said the Sutton Children’s Medical Center, which has been running a $10 million annual deficit in recent years, will also close.

“We will close certain pediatric services on the Schumpert campus. An example of that will be, by end of the summer, we will close our  pediatric intensive care unit, and we will close certain pediatric sub-specialty services. It also means we will close our pediatric emergency room on the Schumpert campus," Wright said during a news conference at the Highland Center.

Under the plan, Christus Health will make a $55 million capital investment in the Highland Center – building a new cancer center and neonatal intensive care unit, among other developments. Wright said Christus Health hired Ohio-based consultants Dynamis Advisors, Inc., to explore options for the vacated hospital. He said the plan is to ultimately expand its primary care services.

“While we will be finding a new re-purpose for the Schumpert campus, in fact, we will be offering more services to more people in the future than we do today in northern Louisiana," Wright said.

Christus Health chief operating officer Dr. William Lunn said laid off employees will receive severance packages and preferential treatment for jobs within the Christus system, including in Alexandria and Texarkana.

“What we’ve done anticipating this is we’ve frozen those postings of positions externally, so we would have a pool of talented people who could apply for those positions. So, Christus first," Lunn said.

Lunn said the dissemination of the news included bedside visits with patients to ensure continuity of care as many of the changes take effect soon. The pediatric and adult emergency rooms at the Schumpert campus will close within weeks.