Proposed VA, LSU deal aims improve veterans' health care - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Proposed VA, LSU deal aims improve veterans' health care

LSU HSC Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali, left, and Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D, right, meet with Department of Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin on Tuesday. (Source: Rep. Ralph Abraham, MD) LSU HSC Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali, left, and Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D, right, meet with Department of Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin on Tuesday. (Source: Rep. Ralph Abraham, MD)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A proposed partnership between Overton Brooks VA Medical Center and LSU Health Sciences Center could improve veterans' access to health care.

The plan would call for LSU's medical students, residents and fellows to work with the VA and the veterans who use it to address shortages in neurology, orthopedics and internal medicine.

A statement released to the media says Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D, and  LSUHSC-Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali think such an arrangement would benefit veterans throughout North Louisiana who rely on Overton Brooks for health care and would benefit the students learning at LSU.

The statement continued:

"We know there are continuing issues at the Shreveport veterans hospital that must be solved. This is one way we can use existing resources available to us to further enhance the quality of care our nation's heroes deserve," said Dr. Abraham, a veteran and a graduate of LSU HSC Shreveport.

The idea led to a meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C., involving Ghali, Abraham and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

Shulkin was the first to reach out in March to a number of medical school chancellors throughout the country, including LSU, asking for input on how to form stronger partnerships between the VA and academic institutions.

Tuesday's meeting provided an opportunity for Abraham and Ghali to address the barriers that are keeping academic partnerships from forming and how to work through those issues.

Abraham told us some of the finer details of the partnership are being worked out right now. He said if all goes according to plan we could see it get underway within the next 3-to-4 months.

The plan would rely on Choice funds to reimburse those LSU medical personnel who come to the VA for the partnership.

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