LSUA to Build New Allied Health Building Downtown

LSUA is planning to build a new allied health building downtown to help combat the shortage of nurses and health workers in the area.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey has more.

LSUA Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil said, “We have made a decision to move all of our health education programs including the school of nursing into a comprehensive facility in Alexandria nearer to the hospitals on the site where the allied health building is.”

Coreil spoke about the new allied health building being planned for downtown Alexandria on Jackson Street.

“Our goal is to try to double the number of nurses that we graduate and increase the number of allied health professions graduates as well.  So, this is an aggressive plan but it’s one that is critically needed.  We don’t want to be rationing health care in Central Louisiana.  It shouldn’t be something that we accept.”

“This is the site for the new 35-million-dollar allied health building that LSUA is proposing.  It will be a three-story building with a connection to the current building which will be remodeled.”

“We already have about a million and half dollars dedicated to the project in our foundation.  We’re getting very good responses from the hospitals about supporting us privately as well.  We’re going to ask the city to partner with us like they did with CLTCC.  So, we think we’re going to raise several million dollars privately and we’re going to bring those private funds to the legislature and say look health care is the top priority for the people of Louisiana.  We’re willing to address it.  We have private funds available, skin in the game if you will.”

Coreil talks about why the new building won’t be built on the LSUA campus.

“We could do it on this campus but being that a lot of the training has to take place in the hospitals, we just feal like we can get more students to have an attraction to these professions if they don’t have as much travel from campus to the City of Alexandria.”

Right now, there are 550 RN positions available in the area that have not been filled along with 170 allied health positions like radiation or surgical techs.  The chancellor says training the healthcare workforce is critical.

“I live here in Alexandria.  This is my home.  I want good health care here.  If I go to the hospital, I want a nurse.  I don’t want someone to tell me there’s no nurses to help you.  So, we’re trying to address that gap and it’s a serious gap.”