SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In the midst of the LSU Health Sciences Center facing budget cuts from Baton Rouge, one local senator traveled to the medical school Monday to commend it on its economic impact to the area.
Senator Ryan Gatti, (R) Bossier City, presented Proclamation 53 to LSUHSC Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali Monday afternoon. The proclamation states:
According to the proclamation, LSUHSC enrolls more than 1,244 students in the School of Medicine, 706 in the School of Allied Health Professions, 1,385 residents and fellows, 167 students in the School of Graduate Studies, 392 in the School of Dentistry, 1,049 in the School of Nursing and 115 in the School of Public Health.
The proclamation also reports LSUHSC pumps a $521 million economic impact to Shreveport. Gatti also spoke of the school's ability to retain students to the local area, citing 91.1 percent of their students chose to attend an in-state school.
Gatti emphasized the importance of continuing to support LSUHSC, citing in the proclamation that a Louisiana Health Works Commission study found that 2,892 primary care physicians are needed by 2020 to replace retiring physicians and meet the increasing healthcare demands.
"We get an exponential return on that investment so we want to make sure that we continue to support them and to let them know we're behind them 100% but I'll continue to fight for them," said Sen. Gatti.
Despite the Louisiana Legislature cutting LSUHSC's additional funding this fiscal year by more than $20 million, school leaders report there are mechanisms in place to compensate for that funding. Dr. Ghali told KSLA News 12 Monday afternoon they are still speaking with Caddo Parish Commissioners and will release more details in the coming week.