SHREVEPORT — A regional trauma center operated by LSU Medical School and University Health in Shreveport has been accredited after being on probation for nearly two years.

The Times reports the American College of Surgeons notified medical school administrators about the re-accreditation on Sept. 30.

The center’s probation status was related to administrative issues, including a process for measuring the quality of patient care. LSU Health Shreveport remained a state-designated trauma center during the re-accreditation process.

Inspectors for the accrediting group recommended the health sciences center add staff, prompting LSU Health to recruit Dr. John Owings to head up the center.

Owings said a team effort helped the trauma center get a full, three-year accreditation.

“It turns out we’re the only level I trauma center that does everything from birth to geriatrics,” Owings said.

LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor Dr. Robert Barish said he’s grateful to Owings for leading the effort. Some of Owings’ work coincided with the health center’s shift from a completely public institution to a public-private partnership run by the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana.

News of the re-accreditation comes as the LSU System considers revised contracts with BRF and other private operators of the former LSU hospitals.

“Our faith in Dr. Owings was certainly rewarded,” Barish said. “When we recruited him we had confidence that he would lead us through this rigorous process that began over two years ago.”

Owings would like to create a lower-level trauma center at E.A. Conway in Monroe to serve eastern Louisiana. That center would offer immediate life-saving services, and patients could be transferred to LSU Health Shreveport for secondary care such as sophisticated hip surgery.

He believes the value of a trauma center lies in the ability to recognize and treat life-threatening injuries that aren’t obvious.

“It’s not the shootings and the stabbings. Sure, we’re here for that. The essence of having a trauma center is for the unexpected,” Owings said. “I don’t want anybody coming in here with a pulse and leaving without one.”

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