LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans on Front Lines of COVID-19 Care

LSU Health Nurse Tech in Hospital

LSU Health New Orleans faculty and residents continue to save lives of patients with severe COVID-19 at its partner teaching hospitals in New Orleans, Metairie, Slidell, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Bogalusa, Lake Charles, Houma and Independence, Louisiana.

“They are using the protocols LSU Health New Orleans Infectious Diseases faculty developed with their area colleagues to treat a disease never seen before December of 2019,” notes Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor of LSU Health New Orleans. “Our faculty are also collaborating on protocols for clinical trials.”

“I have never seen anything like this,” says Dr. Julio Figueroa, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, who is on the front lines of delivering care at LSU Health New Orleans teaching hospitals. “Working hand in hand with our LSU Health hospitalist group and critical care faculty, we are seeing so many incredibly sick patients in metro area hospitals.”

“LSU Health New Orleans faculty are providing ICU care for the most critical patients at Touro, University Medical Center, Ochsner Medical Center main campus and Kenner, New Orleans East Hospital, as well as at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center and Baton Rouge General in Baton Rouge and University Hospitals & Clinics, Lafayette General Health in Lafayette,” adds Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.

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LSU Health New Orleans Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary/Critical Care faculty in Baton Rouge partnered with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine to stand up a COVID-19 test lab at the School. It is now running tests on samples from patients at LSU Health New Orleans Baton Rouge teaching hospitals to decompress those hospitals and more quickly move patients in and out.

LSU Health New Orleans is providing a large complement of health care providers across the state to combat this disease.

COVID-19 Test Sample

“In 22 hospitals in Louisiana, 908 LSU Health New Orleans residents and fellows provide nearly 8% of the total practicing physician workforce in Louisiana and the major source of practitioners for Louisiana communities,” says Dr. Nelson.

In addition to helping health systems with preparations and interventions, LSU Health New Orleans physicians are providing advice and leadership to City and State health departments.

“They include full time faculty Dr. Marcus Bachhuber and Dr. Catherine O’Neal, as well as New Orleans City Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno and Assistant State Health Officer and Administrator and Medical Director of Louisiana Department of Health Region One Dr. Joseph Kanter, who both have LSU Health New Orleans Emergency Medicine appointments,” Nelson says.

LSU Health New Orleans nursing students are also contributing to the delivery of care.

“A number of our students are working as nurse techs at area hospitals, and our nurse anesthesia students are poised to begin working as well,” reports Dr. Demetrius Porche, Dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing.
COVID-19 telehealth
Outside of the hospitals, LSU Health New Orleans faculty who treat patients at the LSU Healthcare Network clinics continue to evaluate patients to prevent further overburdening of area emergency rooms and hospitals and unnecessary travel for the most vulnerable patients. LSU Healthcare Network physicians and nurses, along with School of Nursing faculty, are screening patients and delivering some care using telehealth.
“We have improved our telemedicine technology and significantly increased capacity so that all of our faculty providers can see patients via virtual visits,” says Dr. J. Christian Winters, LSU Health New Orleans Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs and LSU Healthcare Network CEO. “Our technology interfaces with that of our partner LCMC hospitals. In addition, our students are engaging in these activities to provide supportive services in assisting our efforts to serve our community.”

LSU Health New Orleans School of Allied Health Professions faculty are also using telehealth to communicate with patients usually seen in their clinics, such as Child and Family Counseling and Occupational Therapy.

Throughout the crisis, LSU Health New Orleans faculty in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health have been providing another tremendous public service. Through weeks of daily media interviews, they have been the go-to sources of credible information and advice about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-2.

“As Louisiana’s flagship health sciences university, LSU Health New Orleans has always been committed to the health of Louisiana,” says Dr. Hollier. “But in crises like this, our faculty, staff and students never shine brighter. The value of their contributions is incalculable as they lead response efforts and plan for recovery.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health New Orleans) educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or