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Leadership Tangipahoa

Press Releases

Date Press Release

Kristin Williams' Letter to the Editor on Healthcare Session

For Immediate Release:                                                       1/30/14
Contact:                                                                                 Nic LeBlanc

Kristin Williams' Letter to the Editor on Healthcare Session

Leadership Tangipahoa takes a journey through the Healthcare Facilities in Tangipahoa Parish

Healthcare.  It is a subject that most would like to avoid these days; however, it is one that is unavoidable.  After receiving the privilege to tour our parish’s finest healthcare facilities, it feels good to know we have such educated and knowledgeable leaders at the facilities we visited.  During our recent excursion on January 21, 2014, we visited North Oaks Medical Center, Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital, Live Oak Village of Hammond, and Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center. 

As we started our journey on healthcare, our first stop was North Oaks Medical Center, or as some of us may remember it, Seventh Ward General Hospital. In 2013, North Oaks won the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award. Since North Oaks opened in 1960, the campus has expanded its facility to over 800,000 square feet which employs 2,424 employees with 77% from Tangipahoa Parish and was recognized as a best place to work each year from 2008 through 2013. We were greeted and directed to our meeting area by Ms. Melanie Zaffuto, then began a very interesting presentation by the CEO/President, Mr. James Cathey.  Mr. Cathey presented an ice breaker of medical terminology that gave out plenty of laughs, such as the meaning of bacteria is a cafeteria around the back.  Thankfully, this is not the typical medical terminology that would cause your head to spin.  Mr. Cathey referred to "Change" as the focus in Healthcare.  It is not about if there is change, it is about the pace of the change. 

There are plenty of changes that will take place in the future.  North Oaks is constantly working on improving the campus. North Oaks recently completed the Patient Tower Expansion.  This expansion now allows for 330 beds, all private rooms.  There has also been an Emergency Room expansion.  In 1960; there were 4 beds, in 2014, there are 45 beds.  The Emergency Room is the second busiest in the State of Louisiana.  One of the newest projects that North Oaks is establishing is a Trauma Care Unit.  Dr. Juan C. Duchesne, MD is the Trauma Surgeon that is in the process of establishing this area.  There will be challenges with the Healthcare Reform and the upcoming bill for the Affordable Healthcare Act.  North Oaks is prepared to face these challenges and plans to continue the focus on growth and success.  As always, the extreme focus is patient experience, quality measures, and cost efficiency.  To know more of the upcoming classes or events, please visit http://www.northoaks.org/. 

Our next stop led us to Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital, which is ranked as the 17th hospital in the nation for patient care by Beckler's Hospital Review.  This is a general acute care hospital that does not have an emergency room.   We were greeted by Ms. Tonia Gay, Marketing Director, who led us on the tour.  After our tour, Mr. Don Trexler, CEO, explained the history of how this 25 physician owned hospital began.  On such a thin timeline, the hospital opened and received the required approvals to begin the impressive facility it is today.  Eighty-five percent of the surgeries completed at this facility are same day surgeries.  Cypress Pointe is built on quality; it has also received the 2013 Press Gainey Guardian of Excellence Award. For more information on this quality enriched facility, please visit http://www.cpsh.org/.

On to another venture, elderly care.  We were able to tour Live Oak Village of Hammond. We were greeted by the Executive Director, Andy Yorgason and Ms. Lisa Wascom, Sales Director.  The focus of the facility is making their patients feel at home.  A few services, such as a salon and post office, are available right in the facility.  The dining area is the center point of the facility, just as Louisiana centers everything around food; the dining room is center point, with a beautiful view.  The 38,000 square feet facility employs 44 and has a total of 44 apartments along a separate Memory Care Area.  Each apartment has its own front porch.  This facility expresses a warmth and caring atmosphere for their patients.  For more information, please visit www.liveoakhammond.com/. 

Our last stop of the day led us to Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center in Independence.  Regretfully, this is one of the last two public hospitals in Louisiana.  The other is located in Bogalusa and is expected to be phased out in March 2014.  The presentation and tour were given by Mr. Chad Thompson, CFO; Dr. Kathleen Willis, Medical Director; and Ms. Sherre Pack-Hookfin, Hospital Administrator.  The Critical Access Hospital is over 70 years old.  With 25 beds, the hospital employs 335 as of October 2013.  Lallie Kemp offers a secured ward and holding area for prisoner care, which accounts for 5% of the overall patients.  Lallie Kemp Medical Center is one of only 10 hospitals in Louisiana to receive the Platinum Level Award.  This facility may hopefully remain open because of the great services offered to a large quantity of patients, which include: prisoner care, Ecology care (Cancer) and the outpatient Gynecology Clinic.  To find more information on Lallie Kemp, please visit http://www.lsuhospitals.org/Hospitals/LK/LK.aspx.

On behalf of Leadership Tangipahoa, I would like to extend accolades to North Oaks Medical Center, Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital, Live Oak Village of Hammond, and Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center for the remarkable hospitality provided during our recent visit in January.

Thank you to Leadership Tangipahoa for organizing great tours for our group!  A special thank you goes to my sponsor, First Guaranty Bank, for allowing me the opportunity to experience Leadership Tangipahoa.  I have learned new and interesting information about local businesses, seen their impeccable facilities, and am eager to learn more about our parish and what we have to offer! 

If you are interested in Leadership Tangipahoa, please visit http://www.leadershiptangi.org/. 

Kristin Williams
Leadership Tangipahoa Class of 2014