Willis-Knighton Medical Center


Over the years, the Willis-Knighton Health System's “North Campus” has grown from a small 80 bed hospital to a massive complex of buildings and specialized clinics.  Virtually all of this growth is the vision of one man, James K. Elrod, the system’s long-time CEO and President.  In 1965, Elrod was hired as administrator to oversee what was then Willis-Knighton Memorial Hospital’s first major expansion in more than four decades.  Since then cranes lifting steel and trucks pouring concrete have been an almost constant sight at the Greenwood Road and Hearne Avenue facility.

In 1975, Willis-Knighton opened the Diagnostic and Surgical Building, the first doctor-owned condominium in Louisiana.  A few years later, construction on the medical center’s “Radial Tower”  with its innovative design began and in 1979 the five story building it opened its doors.    That same year the area was renamed “Willis-Knighton Medical Center”.

In 1982, the medical center added five new surgical suites specifically dedicated to outpatient  or “Day Surgery”.  Physician’s Commons, a series of offices, across Greenwood Road was opened in 1985 for additional physicians’s offices.  

In 1988, the Steen-Hall Eye Institute opened, spearheaded by Drs. William Steen and Donald Hall.  “Steen-Hall” became renowned through the region for its cutting edge techniques in eye surgery.  Today following Dr. Steen’s untimely death and Dr. Hall's retirement, the facility has become the Willis-Knighton Eye Institute. 

1992 saw the construction of the system's first wellness and fitness centers on the north campus.  This and the others at each of the system’s major facilities would strengthen the system’s mission to “continuously improve the health and well-being of the people we serve.

The turn of the 21st century saw the opening of the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center.  This was the first center dedicated to the diagnoses and treatment of cancer with all the services all available under one roof.  Within a few years, the Cancer Center would become the first in Louisiana to offer Tomo Therapy Radiation Treatment.  And in 2014, the Proton Beam Therapy Center was opened enabling cancer patients to receive radiation with pinpoint accuracy.

Construction began in 2006 on the Willis-Knighton Extended Care Center.  Here skilled rehabilitation services are offer to patients in pleasant and comfortable surroundings.  The close proximity to the Medical Center means extended care patients can be transported quickly and safely to there for additional tests or if they become acutely ill.

In 2018, the WK Heart and Vascular opened continuing the system’s commitment to cutting edge cardiac care.

Location in Museum

Talbot Museum Digital Archive




Many of the photos and articles are courtesy of the Times of Shreveport.
  • Willis-Knighton Memorial Hospital Circa 1967
  • WK Memorial Hospital expansion announced  1964
  • Open House at WK Memorial Hospital December 12-1965
  • Willis-Knighton Memorial Hospital Circa 1958
  • WK Memorial Hospital Expansion mid-1960s
  • Radial Tower under Construction  1976
  • Radial Tower and Diagnostic and Surgical Building Circa 1979
  • Willis-Knighton Medical Center Circa 1979
  • WK Memorial Hospital Laboratory and Director David Peery 1966
  • Willis-Knighton Medical Center at Night circa 1975
  • Willis-Knighton Medical Center Campus 2017
  • Rendering of Radical Tower 1975
  • Construction Radial Tower 1977
  • First Intensive Care Unit 1966
  • Radial Tower Construction 1978
  • howell chapel
  • Willis-Knighton Clinic circa  1950s
  • The_Times_Sun__Dec_12__1965_ (2) ICU
  • Maternity Waiting Room 1965
  • Intensive Care Unit ca 1965
  • The_Times_Sun__Apr_2__1967_visiting hours