- Associated Press - Saturday, October 25, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - The State Bond Commission has approved the sale of $10 million in hospital revenue bonds to pay for expansion and remodeling at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

State Treasurer John Kennedy told The American Press (http://bit.ly/1rqvJVg) the money will pay for work on the hospital’s emergency room and an intensive care unit.

The Southwest Louisiana Hospital Association is the entity borrowing the money. The bonds will be paid off using revenue from the hospital.

Hospital CEO Larry Graham said the expansion is necessary to prepare for an expected influx of workers and their families tied to the more than $70 billion in industrial projects planned or under construction in southwest Louisiana.

“We are already seeing some of the early arrivals from the growth,” he said.

The public-private partnership between Memorial and W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center that was created last year is another reason the expansion is needed. Since July 2013, Graham said emergency room visits have increased by 70 percent.

“We were already the busiest emergency room in town, and it’s gotten bigger,” he said.

Graham said the project should be finished by the end of the year.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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