Welcome to the Tiger Health Caucus


Join Now



What is the Tiger Health Caucus?

The Tiger Health Caucus was created by the LSU Health Foundation New Orleans, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, as a service to help keep our alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters in communities across Louisiana and throughout the United States informed on legislative activities that affect LSU Health New Orleans.

Why should I join?

Membership provides access to timely information on state and federal legislation that affect our core mission of education, research, and public service. The website includes tools to search for bills, identify your House and Senate members, and access other pertinent policy documents. In addition, the Tiger Health Caucus gives you the opportunity to support LSU Health New Orleans through your contacts in the state Legislature and in Congress to strengthen LSU Health’s local identity.

What can I really do to have an impact?

Make sure your voice is heard through email campaigns and legislative support. Elected leaders have a tremendous impact on the future of LSU Health as they fund and regulate higher education, healthcare, and workforce issues. By joining the Tiger Health Caucus, you can become educated on current legislation, stay updated as bills progress through the Legislature, and contact state leaders to ensure your voice is heard. 

How do I join the Tiger Health Caucus?

Click here to join the Tiger Health Caucus. 

Please note: State employees (LSU Health faculty, staff, and students) must use personal email accounts when joining the Tiger Health Caucus. Do not use a lsuhsc.edu email.

Guest column: Cuts would jeopardize physician training

Dr. Steve Nelson
March 20, 2018 - 6:00 PM

We all understand that these are difficult economic times and that fiscal challenges are not unique to Louisiana. Medical schools and institutions of higher learning throughout the country are facing similar challenges. Effective solutions will require different approaches than the usual funding cuts justified by saying there was no alternative. Access to a strong public education system creates opportunity and growth for all of our citizens. This is particularly important when it comes to medical education in Louisiana, where the vast majority of health care professionals are trained within LSU universities. Furthermore, a healthy workforce is a key to economic well-being and growth.

The proposed cuts to our hospital partners would seriously jeopardize the education and training of physicians, as well as other health professionals, in Louisiana. These partnerships not only provide a critical safety net for a large number of our fellow citizens, they are the foundation for medical training. An academic medical center consists of two basic elements: a medical school and its primary hospital affiliations. The medical school is where the basic core teaching and research take place. Further research and clinical training and the delivery of patient care occur in the hospital. The reputation of an academic medical center is determined by the quality of its medical school and its hospital. As important as the relationship is between a medical school and its primary hospital, the best academic medical centers must expose their students and trainees to a diverse patient population and a wide range and large number of procedures to produce skilled physicians.

As dean of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, it is my mission to provide competent and compassionate physicians for Louisiana. This year, 46 percent of graduates of our medical school decided to continue their training in Louisiana. This is a significant decrease from 2012, when 64 percent of our students chose to stay in Louisiana for their residencies. A key factor for these students is whether or not we can provide them with an outstanding clinical experience. If this is not available due to the threat of a reduction of hospital beds and clinical services, they will decide to go elsewhere for training. Once they leave, less than one-third will return to Louisiana to practice. The single greatest determinant of where doctors will practice is where they train. In fact, 70 percent of physicians practice within 100 miles of where they trained. It is widely acknowledged that there is an existing physician shortage in Louisiana, and in the country as a whole, which is forecast to only worsen in the coming years. The impact of this shortage will be felt throughout Louisiana.

We understand that the state budget must address the many needs of our citizens and be fiscally sound. However, it must not ignore their most basic need — health. Budget discussions need to occur in a deliberate and carefully defined fashion that will continue to provide care for those in need while protecting the educational mission of our school and other institutions of higher learning. We are training almost 800 medical students and more than 800 residents in over 70 training programs at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. We are training “your doctor” right now at LSU. It is neither reasonable nor possible to dissolve these partnerships and precipitously move these trainees to other hospitals throughout the United States. To do so would trigger site visits from the accreditation agencies, which would likely result in the closure of our programs and our school along with the loss of health care for Louisiana’s citizens. LSU Health educates and trains this state’s health care workforce.

We look forward to having an open dialogue that includes our partners, both public and private, to work together to move our school and our state forward. The future of Louisiana’s health is at stake.




© LSU Health Foundation - New Orleans
2000 Tulane Avenue, 4th Floor - New Orleans, LA 70112
504-568-3712 (phone) - 504-568-3460 (fax)