LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and LHC Group announced a “historic and transformational partnership” designed to further both organization’s missions of recruiting and equipping more nurses and other health care professionals. 

UL announced that LHC Group is committing a $20 million investment over the next 10 years in the University’s nursing program, which is the largest private investment an academic unit at the university has ever received.

LHC Group’s investment into this partnership will enable UL Lafayette’s College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions to:

  • Endow support for the internationally accredited simulation lab program;
  • Establish the University’s first endowed deanship to provide discretionary funds for professional development activities for students and faculty;
  • Increase scholarship funding available to students;
  • Create an endowed faculty research and development fund;
  • Support new endowed professorships in nursing and health sciences, and additional faculty positions; 
  • Provide scholarships for students who are pursuing post-acute care certification at the graduate level; and
  • Assign LHC Group representatives in adjunct roles within the college of nursing.

LHC Group’s “investment in the future of this community and in the equipping of nurses with a nationwide reach is transformational and more than a milestone for the University,” UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie said while making the announcement on Thursday. 

“We are very thankful,” Savoie continued. “This support from LHC Group reflects where we are as a University and ensures that greater possibilities remain ahead for us and the region we are proud to serve.”

“The presence of UL Lafayette – and the well-educated, highly skilled health care professionals it produces – enables companies like ours to grow within the region and expand well beyond,” LHC Group’s Chairman and CEO Keith Myers said. “This historic partnership is a win-win – since both of our organizations share a commitment to excellence in all that we do – especially continuous growth and improvement.  The benefits to LHC Group are multi-faceted.”  

UL Lafayette is planning to honor the partnership by renaming the college’s current Department of Nursing. The name change is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. 

Some $9 million will go toward assisting the college in addressing space limitations. Its current home, Wharton Hall, was built in the 1950s, when the college was much smaller. It now shares the building with other academic colleges as well. 

Last year, the Louisiana Legislature approved state capital outlay funds for the planning of a new health sciences building at UL Lafayette. The project is estimated to cost at least $65 million to complete. 

Video of today’s announcement is available at