Lake Charles Memorial Health System began providing quality health care to the Lake Charles area in 1952, when rapid growth following the end of World War II resulted in the need for additional hospital facilities in Calcasieu Parish.
At the same time, the Lake Charles Air Force Base, located east of the city (now known as Chennault International Air Park), was deactivated, leaving the base hospital empty. Members of the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society petitioned the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury for help obtaining the use of the base hospital, a 75-bed facility that had served military personnel during the war. The request was granted, and the Medical Society selected some of its members to administer the facility.
However, while the parish had use of the facility, it did not get ownership. So while the base hospital remained in operation under this plan, area doctors and private citizens began work on a plan to establish a new, permanent hospital in Lake Charles.
The new non-profit, 100-bed Lake Charles Memorial Hospital was constructed in what was then, the new Oak Park subdivision. While the new hospital officially opened its doors on October 23, 1952, it was "unofficially" opened on October 17 for a special delivery. Mrs. Joe T. Miller, whose husband was supervisor of construction for the facility, gave birth to a daughter, the first baby born at the new hospital. Memorial grew rapidly in the decades that followed. By 1972, just 20 years after its opening, the hospital had expanded to include accommodations for 211 patients, a pediatric unit, air transport capabilities and a volunteer auxiliary.
A 10-story patient tower was added in 1980, again increasing available patient beds and greatly expanding the range of services. To date the hospital continues to add specialized services, advances in medical technology, and outreach programs in response to community need and in an effort to offer patients the latest innovations in medical treatment.
In January 2003, as second campus in southwest Lake Charles, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women, opened as a facility dedicated to women's health, featuring the Family Birth Center, Special Care Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Women's Specialty Unit. The state-of -the-art facility combines comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, including obstetrics, gynecology, general surgery, incontinence treatment, breast health, menopause, vein and vascular treatment, and the most advanced integrated diagnostics, including digital mammography, laboratory testing, radiology, and ultrasound.
Around this same time, Memorial Specialty Hospital (formerly Extended Care) was established to provide transitional care for patients ready to leave the hospital, but not strong enough to go home.
Most recently, the Moss Memorial Clinic (formerly W.O. Moss Hospital), as part of a collaboration with LSU Health System, joined the Memorial Health System providing outpatient clinics and urgent care services. The first of it's kind collaboration, it expanded the scope of services for the underserved in our community. On June 24, 21013 Moss Memorial Health Clinic opened it's doors ushering a new era of healthcare for southwest Louisiana's most vulnerable population.
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At Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, we strive to provide the best health care and services to our community and are always honored to be acknowledged for our hard work. Some of our most recent recognitions include:
Silver Level Louisiana Hospital Quality Award
ADDY Awards 2009
Pelican Awards 2009
Cancer Center Accreditation with Commendation Award
Wound Care Award
HHS Organ Donation Medal of Honor
ADDY Awards 2010
Aster Awards 2010
Same Day Surgery Wins Silver Excellence in Design Award
Philanthropy SVP Named Citizen of the Arts for 2010
Memorial Hospital Laboratory Earns AABB Accreditation
LCMH Wound Care Center Receives National Award
Today, Memorial continues the area's healthcare leader now serving Southwest Louisiana, consisting of a 368-bed healthcare system, which consists of 301 licensed beds at the main campus on Oak Park Boulevard, 38 licensed beds at Memorial Hospital for Women in south Lake Charles, and 29 licensed beds at our long-term care facility at Memorial Specialty Hospital. With over 2,200 employees and 250 physicians and specialists, the hospital continues to be a pillar of the Lake Charles, as the largest healthcare system and one of the largest employers in Lake Charles.