In A Flash

Our Lady of the Lake takeover of LSU Student Health Center pushed back

By: - January 18, 2023 6:36 pm

Our Lady of the Lake, a Christian Healthcare Ministry, will assume management of the LSU Student Health Center in February 2023 (Piper Hutchinson / Louisiana Illuminator)

It will take a month longer than planned for the new operator of LSU’s student clinic to take over its services. A campus spokesman attributed the delay to the final approval needed from the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Cody Worsham with LSU confirmed Wednesday that Our Lady of the Lake will take over management of the Student Health Center most likely in February, rather than the previously announced January timeline. He did not provide an explanation on why the board hasn’t approved the deal yet.

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Details on what will change when the Catholic health ministry takes over the clinic will be released after the LSU Board of Supervisors votes to approve the agreement, Worsham said Wednesday.

In a message to students on Thursday, administrators said Our Lady of the Lake will provide services for the medical clinic and mental health services, and LSU will continue providing gynecological and reproductive health services, wellness and health promotion services, and the Lighthouse Program, which aids sexual assault and other violence survivors.

LSU and Our Lady of the Lake Health Are Partnering to Operate the Student Health Center LSU and Our Lady of the Lake Health are partnering to operate LSU’s Student Health Center, with Our Lady of the Lake providing the services for the Medical Clinic and Mental Health Service, and LSU continuing to provide the services for the Gynecology (GYN) Clinic, Wellness and Health Promotion, and the Lighthouse Program. The changes are slated to go into effect this spring, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors. Patients at the Student Health Center can anticipate continued access to the high-quality, inclusive health care they have come to rely on, and all providers and staff will continue to serve in their current roles. Over time, services at the Student Health Center will be enhanced to meet students’ evolving healthcare needs. Some enhanced services students can expect this spring include the following:      increased financial assistance for uninsured and underinsured students; pharmacy services and prescription deliveries to residence halls and off-campus housing; expanded access to telehealth with after-hours and weekend availability; access to a free 24/7 nurse advice line in Lakeline Direct; and an integrated and personal electronic health record that will follow a student beyond their time at LSU. Immediate changes that will be visible to patients will include new logos and branding that may appear on signs, medical statements, bills, and websites, and a new secure online health portal called MyChart, through which patients can track their appointments and test results and direct message their providers. MyChart will replace the Student Health Center’s online portal for most services; however, the center’s existing portal will still be used for some services, such as immunization records for incoming students. Patients at the Student Health Center can expect to see branding for Our Lady of the Lake Health, or Our Lady of the Lake, as well as its parent company, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, and the Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group. Patients may be redirected to a new portal or a different website featuring one or more of the aforementioned partner names. “The health and wellbeing of LSU students remains our highest priority,” said Julie Hupperich, executive director of the Student Health Center. “Our goal is to enhance and expand related services, programs, and events available within the campus community, in partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Health.” Last February, Our Lady of the Lake Health announced an historic $170 million investment in LSU, including a $40 million commitment to develop an end-to-end healthcare experience within the LSU Student Health Center and provide increased financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured LSU students. This is the next step in that effort and will build upon years of Our Lady of the Lake Health and LSU working together on this campus and with our LSU Health New Orleans campus to advance medical education and healthcare in Louisiana. Our Lady of the Lake Health is a not-for-profit healthcare organization based in Baton Rouge that is committed to serving the Capital Region and building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. Our Lady of the Lake is Louisiana’s largest acute-care provider with more than 1,000 licensed beds in its Regional Medical Center, dedicated Children’s Hospital, hospital in Gonzales, La., and two freestanding emergency rooms. Our Lady of the Lake also has a 600+ provider Physician Group with numerous ambulatory facilities and expansive community outreach. Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions and is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, advanced surgical procedures and more. The LSU Student Health Center offers quality, inclusive care and outreach in the campus community. The Medical Clinics, Mental Health Service, the Office of Wellness & Health Promotion, and The Lighthouse Program work in concert to support student health and wellbeing and ultimately their retention, success, and graduation. The Student Health Center has been accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) since 1987, most recently re-accredited in January 2020, placing it among the top university health centers in the country.
A message sent to LSU students on Jan. 19

The message said that in the short term, students can anticipate Our Lady of the Lake branding on campus as well as a transition to online medical records.

In the long term, students can expect additional financial assistance for uninsured and underinsured students, pharmacy services and prescription deliveries to on and off-campus housing, expanded telehealth access, a free 24/7 nurse advice line and and integral electronic record that students can use post-graduation.

The board is scheduled to meet Feb. 10 in Baton Rouge. Until the board votes, the LSU Student Health Center will remain under university management and no services will change, Worsham said.

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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

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