Leigh Doody & Craig Scelfo's Letter to the Editor on the Health Systems and Elder Care Session
This month in Leadership Tangipahoa, we took a journey around the parish to get an inside look at some of the Healthcare facilities that Tangipahoa Parish has to offer. In this day and age healthcare is constantly evolving and continuously reinventing itself to produce the very best care and results for the citizens of our wonderful communities. During our recent excursion on January 19, 2016 we toured North Oaks Medical Center, Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital, Live Oak Village of Hammond, and Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center where we learned so much about the intricacies of one of the most important facets of our parish.
The first stop on our journey was to North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond where we were graciously greeted by Ms. Melanie Zaffuto and brought to our meeting area. Upon arriving at our meeting area, we were welcomed By President and CEO James Cathey. Mr. Cathey has been in the healthcare field for 40 years, and as he discussed North Oaks with us you can see that he is extremely passionate about the healthcare industry, and of course every patient and employee at North Oaks. Through his PowerPoint presentation, we learned how tremendous of a hospital North Oaks has become since being started in 1960, and the plans for future growth to continue to serve our vast and ever-growing community.
The new innovative things that are currently taking place and have been recently completed at North Oaks are something to marvel. Currently on staff, the hospital employs 2,400 people with around 250 physicians whom operate in 38 different specialty fields throughout the system. The hospital has been financed by 100% patient revenue since 1985 and 100% of the proceeds have been reinvested into the hospital facilities and equipment. One of the newest facilities at North Oaks is the Level 2 designated Trauma Center. This has been a crucial part of the growth and continuing excellence of North Oaks Health System, as the hospital sees 75,000 ER visits a year which ranks number 2 in the state.
After our tour at North Oaks was complete, we drove east to Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital in Hammond where we were greeted and welcomed by the Director of Marketing, Tonia Gay. We took a tour of the impressive facility which includes 8 surgery suites and 31 beds. Cypress Pointe was opened in December of 2010 as a fully private room physician owned hospital. This hospital has been utilized by over 150 independent physicians, and is currently one of the only fully owned physician hospitals in the area. After our tour, we were graciously provided a delicious lunch which was followed by a very detailed presentation from Cypress Pointe CEO Robert Caston. Mr. Caston went into detail about how the hospital has large ranges of surgeries that they do perform, which includes the majority of the specialty type procedures. He also discussed that the hospital is more of an acute hospital than an actual surgery center and that the only other hospitals in the area doing what they do is St. Tammany Hospital in Covington and to a lesser extent Lakeview Hospital in Covington. In addition to discussing the operational details of Cypress Pointe, he discussed the growth that the hospital is currently undertaking with the addition of a new administrative building which will encompass all of the executive level officers and provide additional meeting space. In 2015 the hospital had around 7600 procedures that were completed and Mr. Caston expects that number to increase into the 2016 year after seeing such strong growth in 2015.
Continuing on with our day we left Cypress Pointe and headed back west where we arrived at Live Oak Village of Hammond where the Sales Director, Ms. Lisa Wascom, met us to start our tour of the facility. Live Oak Village is an assisted living and retirement community that focuses on providing a wonderful experience for all of their residents and residents' family members. Watching and listening to the enthusiasm of Ms. Lisa speak on her time with Live Oak showed how much not only her but the rest of the staff care for the residents there and treat them as family and not patients. The 44 bedroom facility had a very homey feel, and we were welcomed into a few of the residents' rooms with open arms so they could show off the Mardi Gras decorations of each of their apartments. At Live Oak, there are many amenities that are provided to the residents including 3 daily meals, daily housekeeping, a shuttle to and from Doctors Appointments and outings, an in house postal service, a salon and laundry service. This all private pay facility strives to make their residents comfortable while providing a delightful retirement experience.
Our ensuing and final location of the day was the Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center in Independence. A representative from all departments greeted us; with an explanation of their role within the hospital. Lallie Kemp is the only LSU hospital remaining and has been in operation for over 75 years. It is a 25-bed hospital with 351 employees. Lallie Kemp has a walk-in clinic and a 24-hour emergency room. Over the last two years the emergency room served over 37,000 patients. The CFO; Chad Thompson shared a few interesting statistics with our group which included the following; last year of their patients 63% were residents of Tangipahoa Parish. Also, the hospital completed over 1381 surgical services. Lastly, the emergency room saw 21,064 patients. The hospital is using Telemedicine; which is when a patient comes into the hospital; sees a nurse and the nurse virtually calls into a doctor for diagnosis. Lallie Kemp is a hospital with several different departments and clinics such as, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Urology Clinic, Cardiology and Oncology just to name a few.
On behalf of the 2015-2016 Leadership Tangipahoa class, we 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. It is obvious to see why these facilities have experienced so much success throughout their years of operation after witnessing the dedication of the employees and management teams that consistently provide quality healthcare resources to the citizens of not only this wonderful parish but to our neighboring parishes as well.
We would also like to extend a special thank you to Leadership Tangipahoa for allowing us the opportunity to enjoy such a great experience, and to our employers, Neil Corporation and First Guaranty Bank for providing the working environment to attend such a prestigious program to learn and continue to learn all of the amazing things Tangipahoa Parish has to offer.
If you are interested in Leadership Tangipahoa, please visit http://www.leadershiptangi.org/.
Leigh Doody and Craig Scelfo