The UMC medical residency program slated to re-emerge under the management of Lafayette General Medical Center will expand the number of Hub City doctors in training by 20, bringing the total number of resident docs in Lafayette to more than 80.

Lafayette General Health (the health system that manages LGMC, Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, St. Martin Hospital and Abrom-Kaplan Memorial Hospital) is slated to take over the city’s state-run charity hospital at midnight June 23. Its new name will be University Hospital & Clinics, says LGMC CEO David Callecod.

In December LGMC's David Callecod announced that LGMC had struck an agreement
with LSU to take over University Medical Center. The partnership is offiicial at midnight on June 23.

In an interview Tuesday morning, Callecod says LGMC will also oversee the charity hospital’s medical residency program starting July 1 with roughly 62 residents at UHC and an additional 20 at LGMC. UMC traditionally maintained about 65 residencies as a state-run medical training program.

“The overall impact of that is additional services at both facilities, additional employment at both facilities, and growth of the programs,” Callecod says.

The increase in graduate medical students is expected to improve health care outcomes on several fronts, Callecod says, and also serve as a recruitment tool for bringing medical professionals to the Hub City.

“With Lafayette General being a large hospital, our ability to do a lot of research studies and bring new services to the community will be unbelievably enhanced by us becoming a teaching hospital,” Callecod says. “What has been saved here is the threat that UMC would have been a 15-bed hospital. We would have probably only had 15-20 residents in our community if the hospital had been allowed to decrease in size. Or worst case scenario if it had actually been closed.”

According to figures provided by LGMC, approximately 85 percent of doctors who trained at UMC’s family practice program have remained in Lafayette. Callecod says there are about 140 family practitioners who graduated from the local program.

LGMC initiated UMC takeover talks in October 2012 when the state announced it was seeking public-private partnerships to cope with a drastic cut in federal Medicaid funding.

“We thought it was reprehensible for us to allow that campus to close,” Callecod says. “We felt we had to step up and be that partner for the state.”

LGMC is hosting three public forums to discuss the takeover and allow the public to ask questions. The community meetings will be held at the Clifton Chenier Center auditorium (220 W. Willow, Lafayette) on June 19 at 6 p.m. and at UMC Voorhies Auditorium June 21 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Read more on the LGMC-UMC deal in IND Media's upcoming "What's New in Health Care," a freestanding glossy magazine that publishes July 24 .

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