Bridget Bailey Letter to the Editor on Health Systems Session
I have the honor of being a member of the Leadership Tangipahoa, class of 2009-2010. Our class meets once a month to discuss issues relevant to Tangipahoa Parish and its future growth and development. This month’s session was focused on Health Care issues in our parish.
Our first stop of the day was at Sunrise’s Live Oak Senior Living Center in Hammond. We were greeted by Linda Wascom. She provided us with a warm welcome, coffee, juice, and tasty treats. The center was very impressive with individual apartments, a dining hall, personal transportation services, and weekly laundry services provided to the residents. They even have their own beauty salon and spa on site. The center portrayed a senior quality of life that everyone should be so lucky to enjoy. By the end of the tour, I was ready to move in!
Next we visited the North Oaks Diagnostics Center in Hammond where we were greeted by Melanie Zaffuto and James Cathey, President and CEO of North Oaks Health Systems. Mr. Cathey provided us with an enlightened overview of North Oaks history while bridging how health care and government are connected. We then took a guided tour of the Diagnostic Center led by Melanie Zaffuto, North Oaks Spokeswomen. It was very impressive to see the center’s staff in action with all the hi-tech equipment housed at the Diagnostic Center.
North Oaks Health Systems provided us with lunch from their dining services, which was both healthy and delicious. While we enjoyed our meal, Dr. Parham Jaberi and Amalia Toledo from the Region IX, Louisiana Office of Public Health Services provided us with relevant data related to health trends for our parish and the types of services offered by the Office of Public Health.
Our final stop of the day was at Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center in Independence. We were welcomed by Connie Liuzza, the Director of Nursing. The presentation given by the staff and the tour of the hospital campus highlighted what a valuable resource it is for the residents of our parish. The medical center offers numerous clinics, medication procurement assistance, and emergency services to folks living in the surrounding region.
On behalf of the entire Leadership Tangipahoa class, I would like to extend our appreciation to those who made this session such a delightful and informative experience. We genuinely value the time you took to meet with us. We are thankful for the work you do in our community. I also want to thank my sponsor, Tangipahoa Parish President, Mr. Gordon Burgess for supporting me in this endeavor and for supporting Leadership Tangipahoa.