Since 1924, Willis-Knighton has served the needs of this community with an eye toward the future. The hospital was founded as Tri-State Sanitarium by Dr. T.E. Williams and Dr. L.H. Pirkle to address needs in the fast-growing neighborhoods of west Shreveport. It was sold four years later to Dr. James C. Willis and Dr. Joseph E. Knighton. In 1950, a year after it transitioned to a not-for-profit healthcare organization, it was named in honor of Doctors Willis and Knighton. The vision of early founders grew as Shreveport grew, helping to establish Willis-Knighton as a leader in the field of healthcare locally, regionally and nationally.
The years have brought changes in technology and treatment along with tremendous growth. From one small hospital, Willis-Knighton has grown to encompass multiple facilities, spanning the entire continuum of care for residents in northwest Louisiana and the Ark-La-Tex. Today the health system includes four hospitals as well as a retirement community and a full range of support services.
Willis-Knighton has offered many firsts: the Center for Women's Health, an eye institute and the Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute. Willis-Knighton South was the the first satellite hospital established in the Louisiana. Willis-Knighton was the first private hospital in the state to team with a public, academic medical center, Louisiana Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. The WK/LSUHSC Regional Transplant Center and the Center for Fertility are two examples of their collaborative ventures. Great strides in cancer care have been made at the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center, one of the first sites in the world to introduce TomoTherapy image-guided radiation therapy. The Talbot Medical Museum was established in honor of the health system’s 80th anniversary.
Willis-Knighton’s past is closely tied to those of its friends and neighbors - and so is the health system’s future. As a locally-owned, locally-operated healthcare organization, WK cares about this community and continues to invest in its future. Willis-Knighton supports continuing efforts to enhance Shreveport’s position as a hub of healthcare excellence in the south central United States.