New urgent care clinic opening in north BR

As LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center closes April 15, an urgent care clinic will open just a short distance away for some patients who need immediate medical attention.

The urgent care clinic will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week at LSU Health’s North Baton Rouge clinic, which is located a couple of blocks from the Earl K. Long facility at 5439 Airline Highway. The clinic will be under the management of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

“We will open at 7 a.m. on April 15,” said Stephanie Manson, vice president of operations at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

The 12-bed clinic will operate in temporary quarters until an expansion is completed in the coming months on the property, Manson said. “It is an additional access point that will be available,” she said.

Inpatient hospital care and medical education programs move April 15 from the Earl K. Long campus to the Our Lady of the Lake facility off Essen Lane. The Lake also takes over management and operation of the Earl K. Long hospital’s four outpatient clinics, including the one on Airline Highway.

“The urgent care unit will be able to care for patients who need to see a doctor but no appointment can be lined up soon or when medical problems develop at night and on weekends when doctor’s offices and medical clinics are closed,” said Catherine Harrell, Lake corporate communications vice president. The urgent care setting can be used for such things as “small lacerations, broken bones, a stomach bug or sinus infection,” she said.

Today, those type of patients end up in the Earl K. Long facility and other hospital emergency rooms, Harrell said. People with life-threatening or emergency situations should still call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room, she said.

The Lake and LSU has been trying to get the word out, with letters to people who use the Earl K. Long facility and its clinics, signs posted at each site, public notices and promotion at community events, Harrell said.

Manson said the Lake “is feeling good about” its staffing of the clinics. “Many of the employees currently working in the clinics will continue in those roles (working for the Lake),” Manson said. “Some working in the hospital will begin working in the clinics.”

Total hires to date for all transition-related operations are about 340, including 50 extra-duty police officers, current LSU and Earl K. Long employees, and a small number of other external applicants, according to the Lake statistics. The total reflects jobs both at the clinics and at the Lake related to the public-private partnership agreement. The 50 extra-duty police officers are the same that currently serve the clinics and Earl K. Long facility.

Surgical, medicine and medicine specialty clinics located on the EKL site are moving in the next several weeks, she said.

The surgical clinic will move to the 9032 Perkins Road site where the ambulatory surgery center is located, Manson said. Renovations are under way there and should be completed in time for an April 22 move, she said.

The medicine and medicine specialty clinics are moving to Medical Plaza 4 building, at Hennessey and O’Donovan Drive near the Lake, Manson said.

Manson said recruitment activities will continue for physicians and nurse practitioners so the clinic activities can be expanded.

The other clinics the Lake is taking over are Mid-City at 1401 N. Foster Drive and one located in the Leo S. Butler Center, 950 E. Washington St.