A HISTORY OF THE CHARITY HOSPITALS OF LOUISIANA: A Study of Poverty, Politics, Public Health and the Public Interest

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This book is the first definitive, descriptive history of the Charity Hospital System of Louisiana, a story of how poverty, politics, public health, public interest, race, gender, and class, shaped the long history of one of the most storied public healthcare systems in the state and nation, to be published in a single volume. Over a period of more than 270 years, a total of ten charity hospitals were established in different venues of the state and evolved into one of the most celebrated public healthcare systems in the country.


“The authors of this book have done a great service to Louisiana by recounting the history of the charity hospitals of Louisiana, including its efforts to provide medical care to the poor and training of medical professionals. Prior to this book, a comprehensive history of all of the charity hospitals of Louisiana had not been written. In general, this book fills an important void in the history of Louisiana’s unique public hospital system by recounting the development of charity hospitals during different historical stages that span a period of more than 260 years. In this book, the various forces that influenced and shaped the charity hospital’s direction, structure, administration, and operation are identified and explained. The authors provide a well-documented an illuminating account of how poverty, politics, healthcare policies, and public interests influenced the development of these hospitals and the quality of public healthcare in Louisiana over an extended period.” – Dr. Michael Butler, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Charity Hospital System Timeline
Map Depicting Charity Hospitals Location
Foreword by Dr. Michael Butler
Part I: Early Development of Public Hospitals in the United States and Louisiana, 1735-1876
1. History of Public Hospitals in the United States: An Overview
2. Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans
3. Louisiana State University Hospital at Shreveport
Part II: Charity Hospitals in Louisiana, 1938-1951
4. Huey P. Long Medical Center at Pineville
5. University Medical Center at Lafayette
6. Lallie Kemp Medical Center at Independence
7. E.A. Conway Medical Center at Monroe
8. Bogalusa Medical Center at Bogalusa
Part III: Charity Hospitals in Louisiana, 1958-1978
9. W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center at Lake Charles
10. Earl K. Long Medical Center at Baton Rouge
11. Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center at Houma
Part IV: The Impact of Race, Gender, and Class on the Development of Charity Hospitals in Louisiana
12. African Americans in the Charity Hospitals
13. Women in the Charity Hospitals
14. The Poor in the Charity Hospitals
Part V: The Future of Charity Hospitals in the Twenty-First Century
15. The Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Charity Hospital System
16. Conclusion: Enduring Legacy, New Challenges

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