Neighbors say goodbye to Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 8:00pm

People living in North Baton Rouge said goodbye to Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital Sunday.
Our Lady of the Lake takes control of all of LSU Baton Rouge clinics Monday. LSU Health Systems entered into controversial a public private partnership with OLOL to help cut down on state health care cost. People who live near the hospital are crushed. They don't know how they're going to get medical treatment now.

"Earl K. Long has been in the neighborhood for so long and you know serving the public. It's just going to be devastating for a while you know," Eva Springer, who lives near the hospital, said.

Eva Springer and her granddaughter Ciera, walked down Airline Highway to get one last look at Earl K. Long Sunday.

"This is the only place most people. No matter what the rep is on the hospital that is the first hospital you are going to go to," Ciera Springer, explained.

Earl K. Long was the place the Springers depended on for medical care. Now they'll have to go somewhere else.

"Now that it is officially closing down a lot of people won't really know what to do," Ciera Springer said.

LSU will transfer all clinic services in Baton Rouge to Our Lady of The Lake Monday. That means anyone who went to a physician at Earl K. Long will have to travel out to OLOL on Essen for care. Patients with urgent care issues can go to an Urgent Care clinic down the road from Earl K. Long on Airline. That clinic will be open 24 hours and does not require an appointment.

The Springers say many people who went to Earl K. Long don't have a way to get to OLOL on Essen, and they are concerned the urgent care clinic won't be enough.

"People that use Earl K. Long's services are going to have to adjust. It's going to be kind of hard the adjustment," Eva Springer said.

Eva Springer is skeptical about the new clinic: "It might help in some ways, but it's all going to depend on how it goes from there. Time will tell. "

Ciera Springer shares her grandmother's concerns.

"Yeah, I am kind of scared, because there is not to much people can do," Ciera Springer described. "It's taking a lot out of the people who come here regularly. I know that much."

The new urgent care center opens for patients at 7a.m. Monday.


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