Ramsey Discusses Tuition Costs, Hospital Merger At Forum

by Gabe Bullard on August 11, 2010

The University of Louisville is still in discussions to merge its hospital with another health care provider.

Reports of a possible merger with Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Health Care surfaced earlier this summer. At the Louisville Forum Wednesday, university president James Ramsey said the hospital needs to grow in order to provide a broader array of treatments.

“We have gone to Jewish, we’ve gone to Norton, we’ve gone to other health care providers to say, ‘Let’s talk about partnering.’ And yes, as has been reported, we continue our discussions with Jewish Hospital about a strategic alliance. It could be a merger, it could be something short of a merger,” he said.

Ramsey says University Hospital excels in trauma care, cancer treatment, women’s health and stroke care, but growth beyond those areas will be difficult without new partnerships.

Ramsey also addressed an audience member’s concern that U of L was no longer affordable. The president said years of state budget cuts have required the school to raise tuition, but it’s still worth the cost.

“I do think that students need to recognize that education and higher education is not a consumption good, it’s an investment good, and it’s still the best investment a person can make in terms of lifetime return, quantifiable and non-quantifiable,” said Ramsey.

Ramsey adds that potential students may overlook the possibility they will receive scholarships or other financial aid while attending U of L. He also praised the Jefferson Community and Technical College system for providing an entry-point for students who may not otherwise attend U of L.

“Because they’re in this community and because they do what they do, we can do what we do. And we provide them funding so they can hire advisors that advise students so they know the courses to take so they can matriculate to the University of Louisville,” he said

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