In the fall of 2019, when the first patient comes through its new doors, the freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital will already have saved and changed the lives of children and families from all 64 Louisiana parishes and across the Gulf Coast.
Long before the first steel beam was hoisted and hung at the Baton Rouge construction site, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital was building a clinical network of pediatric specialists and satellite clinics, improving access to quality care for all of the state’s children.
Research shows Louisiana has too few pediatricians and pediatric specialists to properly serve its children. So in 2010, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital developed a plan to build a robust, statewide clinical network to provide adequate care and support the freestanding hospital.
“We wanted to elevate healthcare for kids, grow our academic medical center and to become known as a destination healthcare provider for pediatrics,” said Shaun Kemmerly, MD, chief medical officer. “Thus, we created Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health network, with our freestanding children’s hospital main campus to stand at the center of it all.”
Since then, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health has trained and added some of the best and brightest pediatric specialists to its team. These doctors are skilled in treating complex conditions including asthma and lung diseases, diabetes, cancer and blood-borne illnesses, brain and neurodevelopment conditions, bone and muscular disease, heart and vascular conditions, gastrointestinal conditions, and illnesses associated with compromised or weakened immune systems.
Patients receive care not only at the current children’s hospital location within Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, but also in satellite clinics in Monroe, Lafayette, Hammond, Gonzales and Walker, with more planned in the future.
To strengthen relationships around the state, physicians and some of their patients have been visiting communities across the state to talk about their experiences, including partnering with community pediatricians who can more easily access Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health.
“This is a hospital built from the ground up for the children of Louisiana,” Dr. Kemmerly said. “We are specifically creating a place to address the health needs of all children with families in mind.”
No one understands better how effective this strategic approach is than parents of children already receiving care. These families no longer must travel to multiple cities to see various specialists since finding a home in Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health network. In these stories, one can see the far reaching impact a children’s hospital like this can have on all children of Louisiana, no matter where they live.
A Lake Charles family accustomed to traveling far and wide for specialty care for their infant daughter, Faith, has found the care they need at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health.
A Thibodaux-area Mom found the full range of care her special-needs teenage daughter needs at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health.
A Lafayette family, in search of comfort and confidence in their child’s specialized care, found both at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health.
When a healthy Baton Rouge toddler became dangerously ill, a team of doctors and nurses identified the ailment and provided swift, effective care.
Thanks to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health and one of its satellite clinics, a child with an extremely rare neurological condition now receives specialty care closer to home.