Louisiana State University Health
1541 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130
The first steps toward establishment of a state-maintained hospital in Shreveport were taken in 1876 when the Louisiana Legislature appropriated $10,000 to maintain a hospital that would care for the indigent in North Louisiana. Shreveport Charity Hospital was established in a group of log and frame buildings located in what is now downtown Shreveport. A five man board was appointed to oversee operations of this new hospital.
A Chief Surgeon, an Intern and a Physician staffed that early hospital. Six years later the Louisiana Legislature appropriated $20,000 to purchase a site for the hospital, and four acres on Texas Avenue was acquired. (This is the present location of Shreveport's City Hall.)
The first Shreveport Charity Hospital built on the Texas Avenue site was erected in 1889 and was of frame construction. Dimensions of the two-story building were 215 feet by 38 feet. By 1904, there was need for a new hospital building and another was constructed at the same location for about $80,000. At this same time, the Charity Hospital School of Nursing, which is now defunct, was established.
Between 1916 and 1919, an outpatient clinic was begun so that medical needs of the indigent could be treated without having to admit the patients into the hospital. By the mid 1920's the bed capacity at the Shreveport Charity Hospital was 250. The bed capacity was nearly doubled by 1930; however, when extensive renovation was done to repair damage the hospital suffered when a fire destroyed an entire wing in the late 1920's. Two hundred and eighteen patients had to be moved to safety from the fire, none were injured.
The renovation program lasted for two years and when completed, the hospital's bed capacity was 400. Even those number of beds; however, was considered to be insufficient to meet the patient load.
In 1930 the first cancer clinic in the State of Louisiana was organized at Shreveport Charity Hospital. About the same time, the hospital established a public outreach program through daily radio broadcasts of health programs narrated by local physicians. Airtime was provided free to the hospital, which had its own radio studio, by a member of the hospital's board, who also owned a radio station.
The hospital continued to grow, keeping stride with the advances in the health field. By the late 1940's plans were being completed for construction of another hospital building to be constructed on a site further south of downtown that would allow for future expansion.
In 1953 the new building was completed at the corner of Linwood Avenue and Kings Highway. Cost of construction of that building was 10 million dollars. Bed capacity was 800. This building, although modernized and renovated, still houses the hospital today. A three-story Outpatient Clinic building was opened in 1973 adjacent to the hospital as the hospital continued to expand its role as provider of outpatient medical care to the indigent in North Louisiana.
Since 1953, there have been two name changes from Shreveport Charity Hospital to Confederate Memorial Medical Center. Shortly after the hospital marked its 102nd anniversary in 1978, the name again was changed. The name of the hospital today is Louisiana State University Hospital in Shreveport, a part of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
The change in name reflected the change of status that occurred in the hospital in 1976, when the Louisiana Legislature transferred ownership and control of the hospital from the Louisiana Health and Human Resources Department to the LSU Health Sciences Center.
Since the 1940's, the hospital has been engaged in postgraduate physician training and with the opening of the LSU Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine in Shreveport in 1969, the hospital has become even more closely involved in the medical education not only of physicians but of other health professions as well.
The hospital was the primary teaching hospital for the School of Medicine and with the opening of the School of Medicine buildings adjacent to the hospital in 1976, the affiliation became even closer. The heightened educational emphasis was matched by a rapid growth in institutional commitment to basic and applied research. Programs also grew in various allied health professions.
Since the mid 1970's, the hospital has embarked upon a program of renovation and construction designed to assure that LSU Hospital in Shreveport continues to keep pace with the most current medical advances in patient care and to affirm its obligation to the citizens of Louisiana through excellence of medical care as well as medical education and public service. In addition, LSU Hospital in Shreveport is recognized as a Burn Center, Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Level I Trauma Center, full-service surgery center, and also offers Centers of Excellence for Cancer and Rheumatology.
Today the LSU Hospital in Shreveport is a 436-bed licensed hospital providing tertiary care through its many specialty programs while maintaining it's special mission for Louisiana's indigent. The hospital's outstanding programs increasingly attract a full-spectrum of patients from the region and beyond.