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Children's Hospital New Orleans, Willis-Knighton Health System and Tulane University School of Medicine Collaborate to Advance Pediatric Healthcare in Northwest Louisiana.

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Children's Hospital New Orleans, Willis-Knighton Health System and Tulane University School of Medicine Collaborate to Advance Pediatric Healthcare in Northwest Louisiana.

Statewide collaboration brings new pediatric medical education programs to Shreveport, while also providing easy access to pediatric specialists, creating one high standard of care for children’s health across the state of Louisiana. 

NEW ORLEANS – Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Willis-Knighton Health System and Tulane University School of Medicine are proud to announce a new partnership that will enhance pediatric academic medicine and improve access to care for patients and families in the Greater Shreveport-Bossier area.

Willis-Knighton is the largest healthcare provider in northwest Louisiana.

“Creating regional affiliations enhances our ability to deliver high quality care to children across Louisiana,” says John R. Nickens IV, President and Chief Executive Officer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “Pediatric specialists in Shreveport and New Orleans will collaborate on clinical pathways and care protocols to help ensure one high standard of care is delivered across the state. This is what Extraordinary Together for the children of Louisiana is all about.”

“This new partnership with Children’s Hospital New Orleans and Tulane enhances our ability to deliver high quality pediatric healthcare services to children as the leading healthcare provider in northwest Louisiana,” says James K. Elrod, President and Chief Executive Officer at Willis-Knighton Health System. “We’re offering new medical education opportunities and Shreveport-Bossier families will now have better access to Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ pediatric-trained sub-specialists through virtual care platforms.”

This partnership furthers Willis-Knighton’s longstanding commitment to offer innovative healthcare solutions to the Shreveport-Bossier area, as part of broader investments being made in pediatric services at Willis-Knighton South, its campus that is dedicated to specialized care for women and children.

“Willis-Knighton-affiliated pediatric providers will now be able to participate in the robust academic activities available through Tulane and Children’s Hospital New Orleans,” says Samir El-Dahr, MD, chair of pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine. “The pediatric training and teaching programs led by Joseph A. Bocchini, Jr., MD in Shreveport will further support our shared goal to deliver comprehensive, cutting-edge care while training the next generation of pediatric physicians.”

Through this collaborative agreement, Willis-Knighton pediatric providers will have the opportunity to join the faculty of Tulane University School of Medicine, one of the nation’s leading academic medical institutions. Tulane will also expand its pediatric medical education program, placing medical students in Shreveport at Willis-Knighton and exploring opportunities for other learners.

Dr. Bocchini is a pediatric trained infectious disease specialist in Shreveport who brings 42 years of academic and clinical experience to his new role as Vice Chair of the Tulane Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of Children’s Health Services at Willis-Knighton in Shreveport. Bocchini is nationally known for his work in infectious disease and for his contributions to The Red Book, a report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Children’s Hospital New Orleans has experienced significant growth in the last year, including the incorporation of Tulane University School of Medicine to an already vibrant academic community Children’s enjoys in partnership with LSU Health New Orleans. Children’s Hospital and Tulane University School of Medicine now collaborate on clinical, academic and research activities to advance health outcomes for children.


About Children’s Hospital New Orleans

Children’s Hospital New Orleans is a 229-bed, non-profit academic pediatric medical center that offers comprehensive healthcare services, including over 40 pediatric specialties, delivered just for children. With more than 400 physicians trained in more than 40 pediatric subspecialties, Children’s offers a comprehensive array of pediatric healthcare services in Louisiana and the Gulf South. In addition to its main campus located in New Orleans, the hospital operates a network of specialty clinics across Louisiana and in Southern Mississippi, including in Covington, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. Children’s Hospital offers primary care services at 15 convenient locations throughout Southeast Louisiana and remotely via its Virtual Care app. Children’s Hospital is a proud member of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit hospital system which also includes New Orleans East Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center New Orleans and West Jefferson Medical Center. For more information visit

About Tulane University School of Medicine

One of the nation's most recognized centers for medical education, Tulane University School of Medicine is a vibrant center for education, research and public service. Celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2009, Tulane School of Medicine is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States. Tulane School of Medicine has established itself as a vital component in the renewal of one of America's greatest cities. We train the most qualified students to be capable, compassionate physicians who will provide high quality primary or specialty care locally, nationally and globally. For more information, visit

About Willis-Knighton Health System

Willis-Knighton Health System is a not-for-profit community healthcare organization with three general/acute care hospitals in Shreveport, La., one general/acute care hospital in Bossier City, La., and an active adult lifestyle community targeting older citizens in Shreveport. It is the largest nongovernmental employer in Louisiana north of Interstate 10. The Health System includes Willis-Knighton Medical Center (flagship location), Willis-Knighton South & the Center for Women’s and Children’s Health (first satellite hospital in Louisiana), WK Bossier Health Center, WK Pierremont Health Center, and WK Rehabilitation Institute. For more information visit

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