Binding Documents Signed to Save UMC
On December 10, 2012, Lafayette General made a public pledge alongside members of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) and Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Health Care Services Division (LSU Health) to save University Medical Center (UMC).
The commitment made that day by Lafayette General Chairman of the Board Clay M. Allen and President and CEO David L. Callecod, FACHE, has never wavered. The second phase of that commitment came to fruition last week, when all parties signed binding documents for Lafayette General Health's acquisition, via lease transaction, of UMC.
"We would like to thank our Acadiana legislative delegation for their leadership and their advocacy during this complex process of creating a public-private partnership," said Allen. "Their dedication to serving the public good has made it possible for Lafayette General, as a community hospital, to expand graduate medical education and charity care for all of Acadiana."
The arrangement calls for Lafayette General Health (the health system currently managing LGMC, Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, St. Martin Hospital and Abrom-Kaplan Memorial Hospital) to take over management of UMC and its residents and clinics. The agreement, in partnership with LSU Health, places medical residents at LGMC, in addition to UMC.
"This is an exciting next step for the public-private partnerships," said DHH Interim Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert. "This agreement will preserve community-based care for many, as well as maintain medical education. I am proud to see this agreement come to fruition."
Lafayette General worked with the State of Louisiana, Division of Administration (DOA), as well as DHH and LSU Health, in developing a professional model that ensures Acadiana residents will have access to much-needed health care and medical resources in the same facility they are accustomed to.
"I want to applaud this wonderful joint venture with UMC and Lafayette General," said District 44 State Representative Vincent J. Pierre (D-Lafayette). "One thing that resonated throughout this community is that we are going to be keeping UMC open, and I am very, very pleased. I think this is going to be a great venture for our city.”
Lafayette General management has been working with staff at UMC over the last several weeks. Meetings have been conducted on a regular basis to provide information to staff and extend job offers. Lafayette General will hold three community forums for the public to attend in order to obtain detailed information and to ask questions. Those forums will be held at the Clifton Chenier Center auditorium (220 W. Willow, Lafayette) on Wednesday, June 19 at 6 p.m., and at UMC Voorhies Auditorium on Friday, June 21 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
"It’s the Lafayette General mentality – We’re going take care of you," said District 22 State Senator Fred Mills (R-Parks). "Be proud that you work for Lafayette General. You tell your friends, UMC is open for business. You tell your friends that Lafayette is the place where you want to get residence training."
UMC will have the same policies for charity care and free care as it always has. Those policies extend to the physicians working at UMC. Inpatient services, emergency room services and outpatient physician clinic services will remain open. The plan is to expand the clinics and improve the hospital's efficiency in order to help more Acadiana residents in need of medical care.
"UMC will serve all walks of life from all across Acadiana," said Callecod. "It is easily accessible and open to everyone at all times. That is what being a community hospital is all about.
"I would like to thank DOA, DHH and LSU Health for their diligence, transparency and fair dealing during this process."
The final phase of Lafayette General's commitment begins on June 24, 2013, when official management rights are transferred to Lafayette General Health.