St. Francis Medical Center Announces "St. Francis Forward" Campaign


Includes major investments to downtown campus featuring interior and exterior facility enhancements and new medical technology

Monroe, Louisiana - St. Francis Medical Center today announced “St. Francis Forward,” an $80 million, four-year capital campaign intended to revitalize the Monroe medical center and community.

Phase one of the project, which began earlier this year, includes facility enhancements, technology upgrades and new construction to better serve the residents of Northeast Louisiana. Following the initial four-year investment, phase two will include $30-$50 million over the next 10-15 years resulting in a beautiful, new campus for St. Francis Medical Center facing the I-20 corridor.

“As we move into our next 100 years, this investment shows that we are as committed as ever to serving the people of Northeast Louisiana,” said Kristin Wolkart, president of St. Francis Medical Center. “With the latest medical technology, a revitalized campus and facility enhancements, our desire is to make patient care and experience even better than it is today.”

Work on the St. Francis Forward campaign began earlier this year and includes: 

  • Renovating the hospital’s kitchen, cafeteria and dining area
  • Updating the hospital’s television system from analog to digital service
  • Replacing approximately 250 patient beds, with an average cost of $33,000 per ICU bed, $14,000 per labor and delivery bed, and $7,000 per medical/surgical bed
  • Relocating and adding state of the art technology to its 6-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), the only one available in Northeast Louisiana for children needing life-saving, critical care
  • Adding a new 10-bed adult ICU for patients needing a higher level of care
  • Updating two pharmacy cleanrooms which are sterile areas needed for both patient and team member safety
  • Adding technology to be the first hospital in Northeast Louisiana to provide these state of the art procedures:
    • EBUS (endobronchial ultrasound - minimally invasive method to diagnose and stage lung cancer)
    • Watchman Program (for patients with atrial fibrillation)
  • Adding a new heart catheterization lab which will open later this month. This lab will give St. Francis a total of six heart catheterization procedure rooms at the downtown campus.
  • Adding a hybrid surgical suite with state of the art equipment for various surgical applications which will open later this year
  • Beginning a three-year renovation project to update all patient rooms, including bathroom upgrades, replacing room furnishings with more comfortable options for family members and guests, and adding new patient communication boards.

Exterior construction at the hospital will begin on August 14 as demolition begins on the skybridge structure and the old parking building. The garage structure, which is located across the street from the downtown hospital, will be removed using a safe, methodical process over the next 6-9 months. Valet parking services will be available during this construction phase for patient and visitor convenience beginning on August 13: Monday - Friday, 5:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Expanded shuttle service is also being offered daily for those who would prefer to self-park in the 7-story parking garage. Shuttle service is provided daily from 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. with pick-up and drop-off on each floor of the parking garage.  Both valet and shuttle service are provided free of charge for patients and visitors.

Construction of a helipad on top of the current St. Francis Emergency Department ambulance bay will also begin before the end of 2019. The helipad will help ensure critical patient transports are completed expediently when seconds can make the difference between life and death.

Our founding Sisters started the legacy of providing quality healthcare in Monroe over a century ago,” said Kristin Wolkart, President of St. Francis Medical Center. “It is our responsibility to perpetuate what the Sisters started and continue to move St. Francis forward during our second century. It is certainly an exciting time to be a part of the St. Francis Medical Center team as our physician partners and team members are engaged and excited about our future. We look forward to continuing our healing mission of faithfully serving those most in need throughout our community.”

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit healthcare ministry based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,500 employees committed to serving the Capital Region and building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With an 800-bed Regional Medical Center, a dedicated Children’s Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Gonzales, Louisiana, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 500+ provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. Our Lady of the Lake is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, as well as St. Francis Pediatrics in Monroe and Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's in Lafayette. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. The health system’s unified physician organization is comprised of 900 adult and pediatric primary care physicians and specialists. The system’s nine hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Heart Hospital, and Women's & Children's in Lafayette, Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa, and St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. For more information, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit 316-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 19 outpatient clinics, and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, minimally invasive gynecology, and breast health.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.