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No holes in Bossier City's health care - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

No holes in Bossier City's health care

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BOSSIER CITY, La. -

For more than 30 years, Dr. Thomas Planchard has checked out the eyes of Bossier City residents. For the last 17, he's done so on Willis Knighton's Bossier Health Care campus.

"A group of us signed a petition to help start this hospital and help lure Jim Elrod to come over and build this hospital," he said.

During it's time in Bossier, Willis Knighton said it has provided a wide range of services.

In a statement to KTBS it said quote:

"After the former Bossier Medical Center closed, Willis-Knighton Bossier became the only hospital serving Bossier City and Parish and WK rose to the occasion by expanding its emergency room, providing additional surgical and outpatient services as well as adding additional physicians and physician office space. We continue to be committed to the healthcare of all citizens of Bossier just as we are to all residents in Northwest Louisiana. "

"This place has robotics now. And a lot of subspecialty," said Planchard.  "A huge emergency room. A lot of subspecialty care that wasn't present before."

As part of CHRISTUS Health Center's restructuring plan, the hospital system wants to enter the bossier market with an expansion of its outpatient services and its ambulatory care. A specific location in Bossier has yet to be determined.

So with the presence of two health care systems in a city for a little more than 62,000 people, do they have all the services they need without crossing the red river?

To Planchard, there is only one thing.

"Somethings like a cancer center, you're going to have in one regional place, just for cost savings," he said. "If you're going to have automatherapy machine or a cyclotron for proton beam in a cancer center, you need to keep that in one place. Willis Knighton main has that."

LSU Medical and CHRISTUS Health both have a cancer center, but none in Bossier City.

Rocky Rockett, executive director and president of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, sees one hole in the area's care.

He said since both Bossier and Shreveport are without a level one trauma unit, it's harder to attract some industries to the area.

LSU hospital lost its Tier 1 ranking last fall, but works hard to get it back.

"That is a big factor when companies are looking at a market," said Rockett. "They want to be sure to have that type of certified access for their employees, if something should happen. We have good service at LSU. The trauma unit is fantastic; second to none. But that's a factor when you're making a decision when you're not here."

Rockett said besides the lack of a trauma unit, the care in both cities are excellent, and he does not think the location of any health care matters.

"As long as it's available in the immediate area, then that helps business in both Bossier and Shreveport. Or northwest Louisiana. Or east Texas. Or southwest Arkansas," he said. "As long as the care's there, they'll travel to get to it."

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