As the Chairman of the Board of West Jefferson Medical Center, I am providing this statement to articulate for our employees and community why we believe Louisiana Children’s Medical Center (LCMC) is the best partner for our parish hospitals in Jefferson.
West Jefferson Medical Center is charged with taking care of the Westbank community and we do that proudly. We do it graciously and we do it because we care about this community. Our CEO was born at WJMC and she, like the entire WJ Board, takes great pride in making sure every patient is treated as if they are the most important. Our hospital mission and culture are at the heart of our West Jefferson Board’s partner recommendation. Our hospital has built its foundation on this type of care, mission and culture. It’s a tradition we believe we must preserve moving forward for the next 50 years. It’s one of the many reasons why the West Jefferson Hospital Board of Directors strongly favors Louisiana Children’s being awarded the lease of both West and East Jefferson.
Like WJMC, Louisiana Children’s roots are firmly planted in Southeast Louisiana. Its mission of caring for the community is just as long, just as passionate. West Jefferson Medical Center has built and cemented a wonderful relationship with LCMC throughout the years. The collaboration goes back decades with both Louisiana Children’s and Touro Infirmary (a proud partner of Children’s Hospital). The relationships built between the doctors and staff are invaluable. Their view on community and mission are equally important, equally congruent.
For West Jefferson, the lease issue is NOT just about money. If that were the case, we would have recommended to just sell the hospitals. But that’s not what we want. That’s not what our community wants. As you know, West and East Jefferson are NOT for sale. We want to keep our hospitals truly a part of our community. Our recommendation is about our very existence as community hospitals with a community hospital culture, a community hospital mission and an unwavering belief to do what’s best for our community.
Splitting our community hospitals was not our intent, consideration, or our purpose, as we set out on this journey to protect the stability and mission of our hospitals for generations to come. West and East Jefferson began this lease journey together. The intent was NOT for us to become competitors. Our goal has always been to make our Hospitals and our Parish stronger in the way we care for our community.
The West Jefferson Medical Center Board of Directors unequivocally believes Louisiana Children's Medical Center is the best choice to run our Jefferson Parish Hospitals. Louisiana Children's Medical Center offers a comprehensive package including financial stability. More importantly, the LCMC provides our hospitals the best chance to remain the community jewels our citizens have held in high regard for more than five decades.
Harry “Chip” Cahill, Chairman of the Board West Jefferson Medical Center