Ortego to LSU Board: Save our charity hospital system
Dear LSU board members,
Over the past few weeks I have heard from many people afraid of the decisions you will make this Thursday.
I have heard many tearful stories of minor injuries that become life threatening because someone did not have access to basic health care. Just the other day, an optometrist friend told me about a hard-working seamstress showing up at his office with significant deterioration of her vision because cuts to LSU-UMC over the past 6 months keep her from the proper treatment of her diabetes.
Is this what we are turning into? A state that strips individuals of their dignity and leaves them only to turn to the disabled rolls?
I am disappointed that the LSU board is considering changing its mind and voting on a totally different plan just two months after making a unanimous vote approving Dr. Cerise’s plan. The Cerise plan essentially saved critical services preserved the LSU residency programs. It also allowed legislators an opportunity to reprioritize funding next year to protect life.
Is the board going to change its mind on major decisions like this every two months?
Over the past few weeks I have also had many young people telling me that they wanted to go to LSU for medical school but are now reconsidering because of the uncertainty surrounding your decisions.
Contrary to what the narrative has been from our governor’s office, over the past decade LSU has done an excellent job at modernizing and improving efficiency to the healthcare delivery process. LSU has much to be proud of and should not allow anyone - even the governor -- to misconstrue your record, discourage qualified applicants and destroy the reputation of your medical school.
Here are some of LSU’s accomplishments:
-With now over 70% visits outpatient, LSU has shifted very fast to a model of primary care for people, saving money and lives. -HEDIS indicators for the uninsured and Medicaid and Medicare patients in your system are outperforming indicators outside of the system in Louisiana. -You rank in the top 20% in cost efficiency in the University Health Consortium.
I urge you to redeem our culture - the culture of life. I urge you to save LSU medical school and its residency programs. Let the Louisiana Legislature have the chance to set priorities straight once again in Louisiana.
Life has always been our priority and our charity system has been around since 1736 to help us make life that priority.
Sincerely yours, State Representative Stephen J. Ortego
MAY 23 Here's a story in the Picayune about some statistics that must come as a blow to folks who believe that any private school can do a better job of educating kids than any public school: Danielle Dreilinger reports that only 30 percent of the voucher kids are passing. That's less than half of the state wide average, she says. It's an interesting statistic because most of the schools (if not all) taking voucher kids have never had their students' standardized test scores released to the public before.
MAY 23 Stephen Sabludowsky blogs on Bayou Buzz about auditor requests here. Recently the state GOP started crowing about a request from the Legislative Auditor, claiming they were being targeted because of their anti-tax stance. (Uh, your what?) Denial and hyperbole aside, the state Democratic party blew holes in that theory with an email announcing they'd received the same request, Sabludowsky writes here.
MAY 23 Jim Brown blogs about the senate race in this post. He says that, given Bobby Jindal's "lack of traction" on the national stage, it might make more sense for the governor to consider running against Mary Landrieu for the senate seat. Since Tim Teeple left the Cassidy team, it makes sense he might land on a Jindal for Senate team, Brown opines.
MAY 23 In this Louisiana Voice post, blogger Tom Aswell writes of rumors that his nemesis, state Superintendent of Education John White, may be soon departing Louisiana for a federal post. It's hard to believe, given his performance, Aswell says, but stranger things have happened. An anti-White BESE member says that, if true, White is quitting before he can be fired.
MAY 23 In this post on American Zombie, blogger Jason Berry writes about the Mother's Day shooting. Mayor Landrieu said that "this is not who we are," but the fact is, this is New Orleans, Berry writes. The violence infused in the city is the result of a culture created by "sins of omission or sins of commission," Berry writes. It's not a problem that can be solved by legislating, policing, praying or publicizing, he says: Someone's got to understand what's happening first.
MAY 23 This post in the Westside Journal tells us what Port Allen Mayor Deedy has been up to lately: vetoing ordinances, apparently. This story is most interesting, however, when it delves into a petition that has been circulating around the city lately. It accuses the former mayor of a lot of nasty things; the former mayor says it is full of lies and "broken syntax" which may be a larger offense in his eyes.
MAY 23 This editorial posted in The Advocate is a bit confusing. The writing is poor - definitely not up to the usual editorial writing standard there - and the point is hard to grasp. Apparently, the writer is saying that privatization of state efforts is OK, as long as there is oversight and transparency, but Jindal's not good at that, and the legislature shouldn't over-react. Okey Dokey. Can't they get one of them Pulitzer-winning people to write an editorial?
MAY 23 This post on The Lens gives you links to a new Google Earth tool that allows you to see any spot on earth transform over the past 30 years. Bob Marshall, who covers the coast for the paper, says that in the case of Louisiana's coastline, it's possibly something you don't want to see, because it's not a pretty picture. There are several clips here, showing critical areas erode away. For Marshall, it was vindication for all those times he was met with eye-rolling when he talked about erosion.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.