Citizen to deliver letter to OLOL president to find emergency room solutions

A delegation of clergy, community leaders and concerned citizens will gather tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, at noon, outside of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, in the 7700 block of Hennessy Blvd, as they seek to continue a dialogue with the leadership of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and urge them to take the lead on developing solutions to address the impending closure of the Mid City ER and several specific problems that have led to that closure.

They will meet at noon in the grassy area near the entrance to the in the 7700 block of Hennessy Blvd.

Organizers with Together Baton Rouge said, “This is not a protest or a picket. We will, in a word, be delivering a letter — a letter from a broad group of clergy in our community addressed to Scott Wester, President and CEO of OLOL.”

The letter asks Mr. Wester to work with the community through Together Baton Rouge to develop solutions on three fronts:

1) That the Lake embrace and propose changes to its Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the State, so that the costs and funding for uninsured care is distributed proportionally to those institutions to the extent that they are providing that care;

2) That the Lake take the lead on helping to develop a proposal for the continuation or restoration of emergency medical services in Mid City; and

3) That the Lake do everything within its capacity to expand its provision of care to the uninsured and to prisoners under the CEA, pending more permanent reforms to that contract.

“Why are we engaging the Lake on these matters, and not Baton Rouge General or our Governor? We are doing all three! ” wrote Fr. Rick Andrus of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in an email.

But we do believe that the Lake is in the best position to take the lead on developing solutions, because of its mission to serve the least of these and the resources available to it under the CEA. We have a meeting scheduled with Mr. Wester later in the month, to engage him around the three goals outlined above,” wrote Andrus.

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