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Pediatric day health care center set to open in Bossier City

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Kate Archer Kent
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A day care for medically-fragile infants and children is set to open in Bossier City. Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care will be the first one in northwest Louisiana.

A Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals spokesman said there are now 12 facilities in the state, mostly concentrated in south Louisiana. Bossier City owner Crystal Lauve said her center will be staffed with nurses who care for children under 21 with medical needs, like tracheotomies, IV therapy, and suctioning care.

“So far, everybody we’ve hired, we’re all moms. We know what it takes to learn patience with our own children, and these kids need the extra step. Hopefully, we have the medical background and mom background to serve these children," Lauve said, following a Wednesday ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

The state health department began licensing such facilities in 2009. The first two opened in Baton Rouge two years later. Nurse Latoya Jones said these day care centers are geared toward working parents and an alternative to home health care. She said the children will be grouped together based on their medical condition instead of their age.

“What we’ll do is just see what their diagnosis is, and maybe we may have a couple kids with the same disorders, and maybe we’ll regroup them based on their diagnoses," Jones said.

Business owner Crystal Lauve sees a void for this type of business in Shreveport/Bossier and aims to fill it. She can enroll up to 23 children in her center. Tuition is $1,500 a week, which is fully covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

Lauve plans to host an open house for area pediatricians and prospective families on Jan. 2. The facility will officially open for business on Jan. 6.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.