With the departure of another high-level executive from Louisiana State University’s hospital and medical division, that indicates the necessary change in culture is occurring to improve system performance and to have it operate more efficiently.
While the old hands being replaced, first Fred Cerise by the Board of Supervisors and then with his replacement Frank Opelka informing Cerise’s immediate subordinate Roxanne Townsend that he was replacing her choices to head up some system hospitals triggering her resignation, unfortunately experience goes with them that might be useful as the system begins its long-overdue transformation from state-supported provider to quasi-public status and hopefully beyond. Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco indicated as such when she opined about Cerise’s departure that “I think they made a terrible mistake firing Fred Cerise, a man with so much integrity and so much knowledge on how to serve people”
No doubt – if you are invested in a government-run health care model for the indigent, as was Blanco and her allies and former appointees Cerise and Townsend. But that is a deviant model among the states, with no other state sharing the charity model foisted upon the state over 75 years ago, and for good reason, as it has produced low outcomes at high cost. And for that same reason it’s not the model that the Gov. Bobby Jindal Administration wishes to follow.