History of the Health Sciences Center
The Shreveport Health Sciences Center complex includes University Hospital, Schools of Medicine, Graduate Studies and Allied Health Professions, the Biomedical Research Institute, EA Conway in Monroe and Huey P Long in Pineville. Their distinctive histories overlap in many respects and together form the Health Sciences Center. Click here to view the chronological history website.
History of University Hospital
The LSU Hospital dates back to 1876. It was originally established as the Charity Hospital at Pierre Avenue and Ford Street. Thirteen years later, it moved to a new expanded facility on the corner of Texas Avenue and Murphy Street in downtown Shreveport. Charity Hospital remained there until 1953 when it was moved to its present location at Kings Highway and Linwood Avenue and renamed the Confederate Memorial Medical Center.
In 1976, the State Legislature authorized the transfer of Confederate Memorial Medical Center from the State Charity Hospital System to the LSU System. The LSU School of Medicine at Shreveport became the first such state school to operate its own teaching hospital in Louisiana. The transfer of administration has been a terrific success and made it possible to utilize the hospital more effectively as a teaching institution dedicated to patient care, education, research and public service. In 1978, the name of the hospital was changed to the LSU Hospital to reflect its new status, and the entire institution, both hospital and academic campus, became known as the Louisiana State University Medical Center at Shreveport. In 1999, the institutional name was changed again to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport.
University Hospital has undergone continuous renovation and currently is licensed for and operates 459 beds. Although it is not a member of the State Charity Hospital System, the hospital remains dedicated to caring for the needs of the indigent and underprivileged from throughout the area.
History of the School of Medicine
The LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport was authorized by an act of the Louisiana Legislature in 1965. In 1966 the Legislature authorized $10 million in bonds to initiate establishment and construction of the School. The first class of 32 students was enrolled in 1969 and classes were held at the nearby Veterans Administration Medical Center. The first Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees were awarded in 1973. Beginning in 1975, first year enrollment was increased to approximately 100 students. The School's permanent buildings were also completed in 1975 and are immediately adjacent and connected to University Hospital.
Medical school facilities include a Comprehensive Care teaching facility, designed to provide an environment where students may learn by active participation in the care of ambulatory patients and basic and clinical science buildings, which also house a Health Sciences Library.
Clinical rotations for medical students occur at the neighboring University Hospital - which serves as the School's principal teaching facility. Additional teaching and research are also conducted at the affiliated 450 bed Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center in Shreveport and other regional affiliated hospitals.
In 1995, LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport researchers moved into state-of-the-art laboratories in the new Biomedical Research Institute, constructed on the Health Sciences Center campus by the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana.
History of the School of Allied Health Professions
The School of Allied Health Professions in Shreveport was established in 1977. It was created as a branch of the New Orleans campus and originally started with three academic programs being offered, Cardiopulmonary Science, Speech Language Pathology and Medical Technology. A group of 11 allied health students constituted the first graduating class in Shreveport in 1980.
The Children's Center, a service unit of the School of Allied Health Professions, opened in April of 1981. It was founded with the mission of assisting special needs children to achieve their fullest developmental, educational, and health potential. The multidisciplinary team of medical, psychological, educational, and rehabilitation specialists provide unique services that are not available within a 200 mile radius of Shreveport.
The Program in Physical Therapy was the fourth addition to the School of Allied Health Professions in 1982. Starting as a bachelor's degree program with 8 students, the program has evolved to offering a master's degree and then a clinical doctorate. The first class of 30 doctoral students graduated in May of 2009.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy was the fifth program to be added in Allied Health. Begun in 1985, the program has grown from a class of five students to a current class of 20 students per year and currently offers a master's degree as the clinical entry level.
The most recent addition to the School of Allied Health Professions is the Physician Assistant program. This program was added in 1994 to meet the growing healthcare provider shortage in the state of Louisiana. It had the initial distinction of being the only academic department in the School of Allied Health Professions to be based solely in Shreveport, as there was no counterpart on the New Orleans campus.
In April of 2004, the Shreveport campus of LSUHSC gained administrative separation from New Orleans as an independent health sciences center. At that time, Dr. Joseph McCulloch was named as the first Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions in Shreveport. The School has now grown to an annual enrollment of over 300 students. In 2007, the School moved into a state of the art new facility on the south side of the campus. In addition to the degree programs and the Children's Center, the School of Allied Health Professions facility houses a comprehensive clinic offering outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy and two post-graduate residency programs in Physical Therapy. The Orthopaedic Physical Therapy residency was credentialed in 2008 and the first wound management residency in Physical Therapy in the country begins in July of 2009.
History of the School of Graduate Studies
In 1965, the same year that the School of Medicine in Shreveport was authorized by an act of the Louisiana Legislature, a School of Graduate Studies was established as part of the LSU Medical Center. PhD and MS degrees were offered in the five Basic Science Departments, Anatomy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Physiology and Biophysics. The first class of graduate students on the Shreveport campus was accepted in 1974. In 1978, the first PhD degree was awarded from the Shreveport campus of the School of Graduate Studies. The first graduate of the combined MD/PhD program was accomplished in 1983. In the spring of 1994, a Cooperative Master of Science degree program with LSU-Shreveport was established and the first MS degree in this program was awarded in 1995.
In 1990, the Department of Anatomy was renamed the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy. In 1997, the Department of Physiology and Biophysics was renamed the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. In 2007, the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics was renamed the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience.
The LSU Medical Center was renamed the LSU Health Sciences Center in 1999, and the first Chancellor for the Shreveport campus was appointed on November 3, 2000. In 2004, the School of Graduate Studies on the Shreveport campus was administratively separated from the School of Graduate Studies in New Orleans and placed under the leadership of the Shreveport Chancellor. The first Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in Shreveport was named on April 1, 2004. On July 1, 2005, the LSUHSC at Shreveport was legislatively authorized as a separate entity and in June 2009, received separate accreditation from the Southern Accreditation for Colleges and Schools.