For Immediate Release: July 23, 2009
Contact: Office of College Communications
Louisiana College Embarks on Medical School
Pineville, Louisiana ….The Louisiana College Office of the President is pleased to announce plans to establish a medical school at Louisiana College. The decision to begin a medical school was unanimously approved yesterday by members of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees following review of a newly completed feasibility study and economic impact report.
According to the feasibility study, it is projected that by 2025 the economic impact of the new medical school and all associated support businesses and services is expected to have a statewide economic impact of $1.4 billion. More than 8,300 new jobs are forecast.
In central Louisiana, the economic impact is expected to be $1.1 billion by 2025. The total employment impact of the new medical school is predicted to be 6,702 jobs.
Louisiana College hired Baton Rouge based Flood International Consulting Agency (FICA) to manage the study evaluation process. FICA partnered with Tripp Umbach, a nationally known health care, education and government research and planning organization, to conduct the feasibility and economic impact study. Tripp Umbach has completed projects for more than 50 of the top 100 academic medical centers rated in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 86% of Louisiana parishes are designated health professional shortage areas. Louisiana ranks among the worst in the nation in percent of population lacking access to primary care. The state has a critical shortage of primary care doctors.
Dr. Joe Aguillard, President of Louisiana College, explains, “A medical school is the natural next step to build on the stellar programs we currently have in pre-med and nursing.” “This endeavor holds true to the mission of Louisiana College,” said Aguillard: The mission of Louisiana College is to provide a liberal arts education characterized by academic excellence, a commitment to the preeminence of the Lord Jesus, an allegiance to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and a passion for changing the world for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. During the past four years, 92% of Louisiana College applicants to medical school have been accepted with an entrance exam (MCAT) score above 30. These numbers place the pre-medical training program at LC as one of the best in the southern region of the United States.
Aguillard continues, “During the feasibility and economic impact studies, we engaged many health care leaders in our community, throughout the state and across the nation.” “We discovered that although this is going to be a tremendous undertaking, it is one that can clearly be accomplished with the partnership of area hospitals, foundations, and other health care entities. We are in talks with lawmakers, business people, investors and others who support this remarkable project and are eager for us to begin to produce doctors.”
This new medical school will help to alleviate a looming statewide and national health care crisis due to a predicted shortage of physicians and other factors. Initial funding to establish a new medical school was made possible by a substantial gift to Louisiana College by a locally based, globally connected investor who saw the presence of a medical school in central Louisiana as strategic to proactively address both the state’s health care issues and its economic progress.
Flood International Consulting Agency has been selected to continue serving as project developer of the medical school’s construction, accreditation and completion.
For more information about the Louisiana College Medical School contact the Louisiana College Office of College Communications (318) 542-8688.