A special end of year message from Chancellor Ghali:
Since I became Chancellor in 2016, I have frequently been asked, "How are things going?” I think many were almost afraid of my answer due to the ongoing challenges being played out in the media. Despite our challenges, my answer remained consistent: “We are making progress.” This progress was made possible by our leadership team, staff, students, alumni, community members, donors, state leadership, and legislators who would accept nothing less than continued progress for LSU Health Shreveport.
I’m happy to share the highlight of this progress, which is the establishment of the Ochsner LSU Health System of North Louisiana. This partnership became official on October 1 after more than a year of negotiation. I am very excited to be working with a partner who not only brings proven success as a healthcare provider, but also shares our vision for enhanced healthcare, education, and research. Short-term deliverables from the partnership will include facilities and IT upgrades and expanded access to care through new sites and telehealth initiatives. These improvements are important to patients and students alike as we work to strengthen our teaching environment. Our bold vision for research includes pursuing large-scale clinical trials that bring hope and the latest treatment options to more patients.
We were founded by entrepreneurial healers and prudent risk-takers who fought to bring the medical school to Shreveport at a time when success was far from certain. Community citizens stood tall once again in 2000 when they successfully secured our first chancellor. Today citizens are demonstrating the value they see in LSU Health Shreveport by paying it forward. I know you will enjoy reading below about three of the many gifts making a difference in our health sciences center.
After beating cancer, a local couple established the Marion Endowment for Compassionate Care. This endowment in honor of LSU oncologist and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jay Marion, will fund the instruction of palliative and empathetic patient care. This generous couple took advantage of a special type of gift vehicle called a term endowment, which allows the Foundation to make prudent investments in the short run, while maximizing the impact of the donation in the long run. Thanks to the Marion Endowment, we ensure that our medical students are learning to treat the patient, not the affliction.
When beloved and colorful cardiologist Dr. Tommy Brown passed away last year, friends Dr. Paul “Corky” Davis and Mr. Mike Echols sprang into action to honor their steadfast friend. Corky and Mike organized a charity dinner and sportsman’s auction to benefit a scholarship for medical students in Tommy’s name. The dinner sold out in days, and the auction raised over $100,000 to send small town Louisiana students to medical school and honor the memory of one of Shreveport’s finest physicians.
Richard Parks of Minden never thought he would walk again until he began physical therapy at LSU Health’s Allied Health rehabilitation clinic. Working with our outstanding physical therapy faculty, Mr. Parks regained his mobility and showed his gratitude with a $100,000 gift to establish the Charles Richard Parks Endowed Professorship in Neurological Rehabilitation. About his gift, Mr. Parks said, “Through the years, the physical therapists, especially Dr. Suzanne Tinsley, have never given up on me. My hope is that this professorship will support their important work for many years to come and ultimately help other people like me.”
Currently I have two priority goals for our campus. I am asking for your financial support to help achieve these goals:
- Construction of a new medical education building which will allow us to increase class sizes by at least 30%. Our state and citizens are counting on us to meet the documented shortage in physicians and other healthcare professionals. The proposed building will be funded by a combination of state and private dollars and naming opportunities are available.
- Expand our faculty expertise - because our citizens desire treatment of the most complex illnesses as close to home as possible. Expanded medical expertise will also broaden our student learning and research opportunities as well.
G.E. Ghali DDS, MD, FACS, FRCS(Ed)
Chancellor, LSU Health Sciences Center - Shreveport