In 1736, a sailor, native to New Orleans, died and instructed that all of his belongings are sold and the money is used to fund a hospital for the sick in New Orleans. The hospital was run by local government and the Catholic Church until 1834 giving the Louisiana State Charity System its beginning.
In 1834 The Daughters of Charity assumed control until 1911 when the state took over the system. W. O. Moss Regional, known then as Lake Charles Charity Hospital, was constructed in 1958 and opened in July of 1960, under the Department of Health and Human Resources, as a 25 bed hospital. It was closed to in-patient services in 1969, leaving only the outpatient clinics open.
The hospital reopened in 1972, with 108 beds and a Family Practice Residence program, training 28 residents from LSU School of Medicine.
In 1978 the facility was renamed Dr. Walter Olin (W.O) Moss Regional Hospital by enactment of the Louisiana Legislature. In 1989 the hospital was downsized once again to outpatient clinics and 15 in-patient beds. In July 1991, an act of the Legislature established the Louisiana Health Care Authority (LHCA), a governing board for the state hospital system, removing the hospital system from the Department of Health and Hospitals.
With Dr. William Cherry as CEO of the LHCA, W. O. Moss was returned to full service in July of 1993. This was done by an act of the legislature and included an approval of 80 additional beds. All nine public hospitals in the Louisiana system were transferred to its control, and designated as Medical Centers. This in turn, allowed LHCA to become the third largest public hospital system in the nation.
Control of the Louisiana State Charity system was turned over to the LSU Medical Center in July of 1997 by another act of the legislature.
On June 24, 2013 W.O. Moss Regional Hospital came joined the Lake Charles Memorial Health System. The inpatient, surgery and emergency services were moved to Memorial’s Oak Park campus. The emergency room became an urgent care clinic. All other outpatient clinics remain on the Moss campus. Specialty services continue to be expanded in order to provide quality healthcare for the under served in our community.