Memorial Specialty Hospital Opens Inside CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital

Lake Charles Memorial Health System’s long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) is now located on the third floor of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. The Memorial Specialty Hospital was previously located at a facility on Ernest Street, but Memorial leadership decided to move the facility in order to provide a higher level of care, expanded clinical services and an enhanced patient experience.

“Relocating the Memorial Specialty Hospital improves our patients’ experience by offering all private rooms, 24-hour physician coverage and ready access to diagnostic and therapeutic services,” says Larry Graham, President and CEO of Lake Charles Memorial Health System. “Our “hospital-within-hospital” inside CHRISTUS St. Patrick offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with CHRISTUS in providing a higher level of care for chronically critically ill patients. This is a relationship that makes sense for everyone involved, while benefiting the most important people, the patients.”

Since most Memorial Specialty Hospital patients have traditionally been referred by both CHRISTUS St. Patrick and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, a decision was made to relocate Memorial Specialty Hospital into available space at CHRISTUS St. Patrick. Memorial Specialty Hospital is leasing approximately 30,000 square feet on the third floor of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and will purchase ancillary clinical, therapeutic and support services from the host hospital.

Memorial Specialty Hospital is a freestanding 29-bed LTACH that is part of the Memorial Health System. The majority of patients are admitted after a stay in a short-term hospital, often from an intensive care unit (ICU) or a critical care unit (CCU) and have LTACH stays of 25 days or longer.

CHRISTUS St. Patrick and Memorial spent months renovating the space at CHRISTUS St. Patrick into a state-of-the-art facility that is 40 percent larger than the previous location. Patients who are admitted to the Memorial Specialty Hospital will have their own private room and access to an ICU level care, a pharmacy and any necessary diagnostic, laboratory or treatment procedures. Patients in the facility will be served clinically by physicians and other clinicians from both Memorial Specialty Hospital and CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital.

“We are excited for the two major health systems in Southwest Louisiana to work collaboratively for the interest of the community. This project development is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate how collaboration in healthcare is the way of the future,” said Donald Lloyd II, CHRISTUS Health Southwest Louisiana President and Chief Executive Officer. “CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital welcomes the Memorial long-term acute care facility to our campus and we are looking forward to providing clinical support to the care continuum to meet the needs of the patients there.”

LTACHs were initially created in the 1990s by the federal government in an effort to decrease Medicare costs by facilitating prompt discharge from hospital ICUs for patients with difficult to treat conditions who require longer stays in a hospital setting.

These patients are typically discharged from the intensive care units (ICU) or critical care units (CCUs) and require more care than they can receive in a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility or at home.

Typical medical conditions treated at Memorial Specialty Hospital include:

  • Prolonged mechanical ventilator use and weaning from the ventilator
  • Chronic renal failure requiring ongoing dialysis
  • Intensive respiratory or pulmonary care
  • Multiple intravenous medications or transfusions
  • Complex, severe wound care
  • Patients with multiple co-morbidities (chronic illnesses)
  • Patients at risk for colonization with multi-drug resistant organisms and requiring multiple intravenous antibiotics for four to six weeks

Although Memorial Specialty Hospital patients tend to be critically ill with multiple complex conditions, approximately 75 percent are able to recover and return home, home with home health support or to their nursing home. These results are better than the national average.

Larry Graham, President and CEO of Lake Charles Memorial Health System (left) and Donald Lloyd II, CHRISTUS Health Southwest Louisiana President and Chief Executive Officer officially open the Memorial Specialty Hospital on the 3rd Floor of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital.