Together Baton Rouge activist: Mid City ER closure spells trouble, means more residents will die _lowres


A community group Thursday sought help from Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in efforts to preserve emergency medical services in Mid-City.

Members of Together Baton Rouge gathered at the Lake where they delivered a letter addressed to its CEO Scott Wester.

The activity occurred as Baton Rouge General Mid City prepares to close its emergency room March 31, citing mounting red ink.

The General blamed the closure on mounting costs associated with uninsured patients.

"Why are we engaging the Lake on these matters and not Baton Rouge General or our Governor? We are doing all three," said the Rev. Rick Andrus. "But we do believe that the Lakeisin the best position to take the lead on developing solutions..."

“We’ve left no stone unturned as we’ve sought solutions that would allow us to keep the Mid City ER open,” said Baton Rouge General President and CEO Mark Slyter. “Though closing Mid City ER doors, the care and commitment to our Mid City community remains strong.”

The news release said the hospital, the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center would “collaborate on a new model of health care for Mid City Baton Rouge.”

Plans include expansion of the LSU Health Baton Rouge urgent care clinic which opened recently on North Foster Drive and “a clinical redesign of services.”