Caddo Commission approves $1M funding to LSUHS for emerging viral threats expansion

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CADDO PARISH La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Caddo Parish Commission says they voted on Thursday to allocate up to $1 million to support critical medical research and development through the expansion of LSU Health Shreveport’s Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats.

Ordinance 6044 of 2021 allows for the appropriation of funds of up to $334,000 a year over the next three years, according to Caddo Parish officials.

“LSU Health Shreveport has played a critical role since the onset of COVID-19, and the Commission realized very early on the importance of partnership to fully fight this pandemic,” said Caddo Commission president Lyndon B. Johnson.  

“We are excited about the continued partnership with LSUHS and what this will mean for Caddo Parish and our region. The expansion of the Center for Emerging Viral Threats undoubtedly creates the opportunity for growth and the addition of new programs and further positive impact to the economy of North Louisiana,” said Johnson.

As the fifth largest employer in Shreveport/Bossier, LSU Health Shreveport plays a key role in the local economy through its’ three professional schools and extensive research enterprise.  

Expansion of the Center for Emerging Viral Threats will serve as a definitive way for LSUHS to further drive the economy. The Center has played a lead role in the pandemic response through robust testing, vaccinations, and sequencing and will broaden its’ impact as research on the pandemic broadens in the days ahead. 

“LSU Health Shreveport offers our deepest appreciation to the Caddo Parish Commission for their generous financial support of the Center for Emerging Viral Threats,”  shared G.E. Ghali, DDS, MD, FACS, FRCS (Ed), Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

These funds are an investment in the current and future economy of our community and the growth of LSU Health Shreveport (LSUHS). We value the ongoing support of Caddo Commission with the most recent support being of early community COVID testing in underserved areas which alleviated any major virus clusters in the parish.”

Once the new building housing both the CEVT and expanded medical education space are completed, the number of medical students will increase from 150 to 200 students bringing additional revenue into the community, while allowing more young adults to achieve their dream of becoming a physician and addressing the significant physician shortfall being experienced in Louisiana and across the nation.  

This new facility will also make it possible to add new professional schools and programs, a limitation in the current facility.  This will be the first new building on the LSU Health Shreveport campus since 2008 when the School of Allied Health Professions was constructed.

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