Baton Rouge Business Report's 2020 What's New in Health Care

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WHAT’S NEW IN HEALTH CARE The science and technology that drives new medical procedures and equipment is just one aspect of health care. Other elements, which are just as important, include compassionate health care delivery, skilled providers, more treatment options, better access to coverage, and a focus on giving patients a say in their medical care. This special advertising section highlights some of the organizations and physicians that are making a difference to improve the quality of health care in Baton Rouge. | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020






Making sure patients receive the end-of-life care they desire

WHEN A PATIENT with a serious health condition arrives in a hospital emergency room, doctors are prepared to take lifesaving measures, but it helps to know the patient’s wishes regarding CPR, ventilators, etc. If family members are present, emotions can run high, adding to the uncertainty and complexity of the situation. In an effort to avoid such scenarios— and to make sure patients get the type of medical attention they want—the Louisiana Legislature passed a law in 2010 creating a document called the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment. Known by the acronym LaPOST, the document is prepared by physicians caring for patients who have advanced illnesses and are not 40

expected to recover. It outlines patients’ preferences for end-of-life care. Doctors typically record that information on paper versions of the document, then file them away. That means they aren’t always easy to find, share and keep up to date. Through a partnership with the advance care planning company Vynca, the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum has begun rolling out a statewide digital registry where health care providers can store and search for LaPOST documents. The organization—a nonprofit that promotes initiatives to improve Louisianans’ health and the health care system—is working to educate hospice providers, doctors, hospital staff and others in the medical professional about the registry and its benefits.

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Being able to quickly and easily locate LaPOST documents from anywhere is valuable for patients, their loved ones and the various health care providers they may interact with. “You have to have it readily available,” says Cindy Munn, CEO of LHCQF. “If you change health care settings, like home health to long-term care, then go back to the hospital, the provider needs to know what it is that you want and don’t want.” The registry allows users to update the document as needed and track the different versions, eliminating confusion. It also has a function enabling electronic signatures. That can be useful if a patient has given health care power of attorney to an out-oftown relative.

The registry fits with an overarching goal of LHCQF: to put patients back at the center of today’s health care system, Munn says. “At the time when someone is in the hospital and they are at the end of their life and people are trying to make decisions, it gets very emotional,” she says. Having quick access to the LaPOST document eliminates the guesswork and ensures medical caregivers can honor the patient’s wishes. “It’s something that can be so critical for patients and their families during very difficult times.” Munn notes that Louisiana—which often finds itself at the bottom of national rankings for health—is ahead of the curve when it comes to helping terminally ill

patients plan for end-of-life care. The LaPOST initiative was one of the first of its kind in the country. Now, Louisiana is among the first states to introduce an electronic database of advance care directives. “I’m getting calls from different states asking us about our program,” Munn says. While she’s proud of what her team has accomplished so far, Munn says plans are in the works to make the registry even better, for instance, how to make it accessible to paramedics and others who may benefit from the information. She also hopes to expand the platform so it can house additional documents, such as living wills, which would allow more people to take advantage of the registry.





Enables electronic completion & submission of LaPOST forms

Enables electronic completion & submission of LaPOST forms

Provides real-time access to advance care planning documents

Provides real-time access to advance care planning documents

Ensures accurate LaPOST completion

Ensures accurate LaPOST completion

Provides realtime access to advance care planning documents

completion & submission of LaPOST forms

Integrates into EHR clinical workflow Provides embedded patient education

Ensures accurate LaPOST completion

Integrates into EHR clinical workflow

Single Source of Truth for LaPOST documents ACP Dashboard Provides embedded patient education

Integrates into EHR clinical workflow

ACP Dashboard

Provides embedded patient education





Pediatric Alliance promotes vaccines for all

VACCINES ARE ONE of the most important ways to keep kids healthy, but there is a growing supply of misinformation about their safety and effectiveness—a source of concern for parents, doctors, health advocates and many others. To help counter false claims about vaccines, the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed the Louisiana Vaccine Alliance. The goal is to raise awareness of the value of vaccines—and the severity of the illnesses they prevent—through partnerships involving physicians, families, legislators, and health and children’s organizations. The group isn’t looking to change the 42

minds of the small, vocal minority that is categorically opposed to vaccines. “What we really want to do is educate those who have a little uncertainty or a question here or there so they can make the best decision for their children,” says Dr. John Vanchiere, a pediatric infectious disease specialist in Shreveport and immediate past president of the Louisiana AAP Chapter. “Our goal is the same as theirs— the health of their child.” The new alliance is mapping out its mission according to data from a recent survey of Louisiana residents’ attitudes toward vaccines. Most respondents across all demographics indicated strong support

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of vaccines, but there is still a need for education, Vanchiere says. A small percentage of survey participants answered with the “don’t know” option, indicating areas that the Alliance can target in future educational campaigns. For some people, the uncertainty stems from anecdotal claims that vaccines cause serious health problems. Misconceptions abound on social media and elsewhere on the internet. Another issue is that some people simply don’t understand how vaccines work. Vanchiere says it’s important to explain information to them in easily digestible terms. “I go down to basics,” he says. “I





Dr. Roberta C. Vicari with a young patient

Dr. Joseph Bocchini Jr., left, and Dr. John Vanchiere


help people understand that safety laws, HPV, obesity, ADHD HAVE BEEN SAVED BY vaccines are really just a fire drill and helping children deal with for your immune system.” VACCINES THAN ALL OTHER traumatic experiences. Members Dr. Joseph Bocchini Jr., a work with legislators and policyMEDICAL ADVANCES IN pediatric infectious disease makers to advocate for children’s specialist and chair of LAVA, also well-being. The new vaccine THE PAST CENTURY. wants the public to recognize initiative is a natural next step for what a big difference vaccines the organization. - Roberta C. Vicari, MD, president of the Louisiana have made in people’s lives over “When it comes to children’s Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. the years, largely ridding society health and wellbeing, vaccines of devastating diseases such as are one of the most important polio, smallpox and measles. ventable illnesses, “kids who could have successes of modern medicine,” “Kids are healthier than they’ve ever benefitted from better decisions, and we says Dr. Roberta C. Vicari, president of been in human history,” he says. “That’s in want to help parents make those decisions,” the Louisiana AAP Chapter and mother of large part due to vaccines. Our children are Vanchiere says. four. “More children’s lives have been saved hospitalized less frequently than ever, which Vaccine education is just one of many by vaccines than all other medical advances is phenomenal. At the same time, vaccine initiatives of the Louisiana Chapter of in the past century. There is no doubt that hesitancy has been recognized by the World the AAP, a nonprofit organization that vaccines help healthy children grow up to Health Organization as one of the top 10 represents more than 800 pediatricians and be healthy adults. Healthy children learn global threats to public health.” pediatric subspecialists in the state. better in school and succeed. We can’t Bocchini and Vanchiere sometimes The Chapter has organized awareness afford to lose the momentum of success that see children who suffer from vaccine-precampaigns and events about child seat vaccines ensure for our future.” | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020





Moving Louisiana’s health forward From left: Latraiel Courtney, Tracie Ingram, and Melissa Martin, Well-Ahead Louisiana Director

THE WELL-AHEAD LOUISIANA PROVIDER EDUCATION NETWORK, or WALPEN, is part of a public health initiative helping to connect Louisiana communities to a healthier future. WALPEN was formally launched by Well-Ahead Louisiana —an initiative of the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health—in June 2019 with 300 participating health care providers. The purpose is to connect health care facilities and hospitals to an ever-growing bank of tools, training and technical assistance to help providers effectively serve their patients. Resources include practice management, provider education, programs targeting chronic disease management and prevention, workforce development, as well as telehealth and telementoring opportunities. “Health really touches every aspect of our communities,” says Melissa Martin, Well-Ahead Louisiana’s director, noting that health can influence education, childcare, income, housing and neighborhood conditions. “We’ve got to move Louisiana’s 44

health forward if we want improvements in all of those areas.” WALPEN’s focus is on rural health care providers and those who work with underserved populations. “We know our providers are extremely busy in their everyday practices, and it takes a lot of time to stay on top of new research and evidence,” she says. “Our mission is to connect and share the resources that are available. We want to reach as far and wide as we can in the state.” From monthly education webinars to workforce development assistance to improving the quality of chronic care management, WALPEN serves as a resource to help providers offer the best possible care to patients and make every angle of their practice more effective, Martin says. While many of these services were available previously through different bureaus within the Louisiana Department of Health, a reorganization of the department put all of these services into one bureau, making it more impactful and easier for providers to navigate, she says.

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One of the ways WALPEN assists health care providers is through practice management. With the support of federal funding, Well-Ahead staff are able to go into clinics in Healthcare Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and other rural communities and help with particular workflow situations, such as chronic disease screening, in order to help better manage patients’ health. The staff is also able to recruit additional health care professionals in those communities, provide on-site technical assistance, and guide clinics though quality assessment processes, Martin says. “We also help connect clinic staff with local resources to refer patients who need additional assistance making healthy lifestyle changes,” she added. “Our rural communities are not resource dense, so one of the ways we are able to help is by developing resources and enhancing referrals.” WALPEN provides a growing collection of provider education opportunities, with some offering continuing education credits, as well as early access to an annual


workshop held each June where clinic and hospital providers can receive hands-on training. Providers who join WALPEN are added to two email listservs, one that spotlights available resources and opportunities for funding, collaboration, and education, and one with details on trending health care issues and alerts. Well-Ahead can also help clinics establish telemedicine, by identifying urban providers who offer specialized care or specific disease self-management and connecting them with providers, clinics and patients in rural areas. Additionally, Well-Ahead’s Project ECHO, a telementoring program, is providing primary care physicians in rural settings with the support and technical assistance of specialty physicians, Martin says. Well-Ahead recently launched a Project ECHO for diabetes, where an endocrinologist holds sessions with rural providers on how to manage patients with the disease. “It allows those primary care physicians to practice at the top of their license,” Martin says. “Rural providers are really excited to keep their patients within

their clinics and not send them outside of their practices. They’re thrilled.” Before this program, Martin says, patients likely would have had to travel to clinics in urban areas to receive specialized treatment, which is not always possible because of long travel times and missed work. By the endocrinologist providing training to primary care providers in rural settings, “it can increase the likelihood that the patient will make a follow-up appointment or receive the recommended

treatment,” Martin says. “Health care professionals are uniquely positioned to provide patients with information and resources that can truly move Louisiana forward so our residents can live healthier and happier lives,” Martin says. “By joining WALPEN, healthcare professionals can lead the way in moving Louisiana’s health forward.” Health care professionals can join WALPEN by visiting

From left: Marcy Hubbs and Rebecca Guidroz


in Moving Louisiana’s Health Forward Join our Provider Education Network

Become a WellSpot

We all have a role to play in improving the health of our communities. But, healthcare professionals are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on their patients and practices. Deliver healthcare in way that helps our residents live healthier and happier. Become a WellSpot to make the healthy choice the easy choice for your staff. Join now at | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020






With emerging technology, FranU trains doctors of physical therapy


The computerized cadavers are a big timesaver. “In the past, you spent half your time dissecting the cadaver rather than examining it,” says Phil Page, research director for the program. “If you nick something or tear something, it’s gone.” Instructors emphasize to students that technology also affords them new ways to form connections and better serve their patients … for instance tele-rehab … guiding patients through exercises (remotely) using video chat.

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“Health care is becoming more technology-savvy as our society evolves,” Page says. “It’s is a bigger part of everything we do.” “Educational programs have to step up and offer those experiences with technology,” adds Kirk Nelson, who was hired in 2016 to develop and direct the doctor of physical therapy program. He points out, however, that interactions with real people—such as in simulated hospital exercises—are still a big part of the curriculum. In fact, because Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is a smaller, private institution, “we have the ability to provide our students with more hands-on experiences,” he says. That’s important at the university, which champions Franciscan values like service to others, Page says. “The culture is conducive to family and is a supportive environment,” he adds. And that benefits students and future patients alike. For more information, visit or call 225.526.1631. DON KADAIR

IN THE MEDICAL world, physical therapists are in high demand, and in Louisiana, keeping up with this demand has been tough. For decades, only two schools in the state offered programs where students could train to become doctors of physical therapy. Seeing an opportunity to educate more physical therapists in Louisiana—and keep them here—officials at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University launched a doctor of physical therapy program that accepted its first class in 2018. Those 31 students are on track to graduate in May 2021, and a second group has begun classes. The curriculum places a strong focus on using emerging technology in the classroom as a way to provide better care to patients. In anatomy classes, for example, students use large touch screens that function as virtual, three-dimensional cadavers, “allowing them to truly appreciate the relationships between different muscles, bones and other structures,” says Michael Ludwig, assistant professor of anatomy.




MitraClip procedure gives patients new option for treating structural heart disease


Dr. Jorge Castellanos performs a MitraClip™ procedure.

The small clip creates a double orifice valve and helps to restore normal blood flow without opening the chest and temporarily stopping the heart as in traditional open heart surgery. Clinical data from patients who underwent the MitraClip procedure shows an immediate reduction of mitral regurgitation and a short hospital stay of approximately three days. Patients should also experience relief from their symptoms soon after the procedure. “It stays in place forever, and the patient’s quality of life improves because

Primary MR is when the valve leaks due to a primary problem of the mitral leaflets (prolapse, flail for example). In Secondary MR, the valve leaflet anatomy is normal but the valve still leaks due to a low pump function (heart failure).

you reduce their shortness of breath and other symptoms,” says Dr. Castellanos, who is the only structural heart specialist in Baton Rouge with formal fellowship training. He says structural heart disease is a relatively new field developed in response to the popularity of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Our Lady of the Lake leads the way in TAVR procedures as well. “The field has really advanced and includes technologies like the MitraClip and WATCHMAN device,” Dr. Castellanos adds. “My objective is to develop a state-of-the-art structural heart program here in Baton Rouge. We are growing very fast, and we’ve done a lot. It’s a very exciting time.”


HAVING JUST COMPLETED his 13th MitraClip procedure, structural heart specialist Dr. Jorge Castellanos and the team at Our Lady of the Lake Louisiana Cardiology Associates are leading the way in treating structural heart disease. Our Lady of the Lake is the first—and currently only—facility in Baton Rouge offering this less-invasive procedure for patients with severe mitral regurgitation (MR). The first clinical trial for the MitraClip transcatheter mitral valve was in 2003, and it was FDA-approved for primary MR in 2013. It was FDA-approved for secondary MR in 2019*. “For these patients, open heart surgery doesn’t work as well,” says Dr. Castellanos. “So the MitraClip is the only therapy shown to improve mortality for patients with secondary MR. That has opened more options to treat more patients.” This much less invasive procedure is done with a catheter and simulates an old surgical technique from 1990 called the Alfieri Stitch.

MitraClip™ offers hope for advanced heart failure patients with significant secondary mitral regurgitation and poor prognosis. | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020






Medical expertise, sophisticated technology benefits patients with orthopedic conditions

WITH MORE THAN 25 years of experience in primary hip and knee cases, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Niels Linschoten is one of Baton Rouge’s most renowned orthopedists. He treats most orthopedic conditions but is best known for his expertise in joint replacements and complex cases, using both conservative therapy and surgical treatment. Dr. Linschoten was born in the Netherlands and spent most of his youth in Curacao, an island in the Dutch Caribbean, where his father was also a physician. As a teenager, he returned to the Netherlands and remained there until graduating from medical school at Utrecht University. He came to the U.S. to train at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. in general surgery and completed his orthopedic surgery residency there. He then attended a fellowship in joint replacement surgery at the Cleveland Clinic

before settling in Baton Rouge in 1992, first with Ochsner Health System and later with Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic. “I have devoted my life to improving the quality of care for my patients, especially those with lower extremity pain,” Dr. Linschoten says. “Our team is committed to making treatment as easy as possible for patients, and our access to the most sophisticated technology ensures the best care in the region.”



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- Dr. Niels Linschoten

Medicine—and orthopedics—is undergoing rapid improvements that benefit patients, Dr. Linschoten says, and he is excited about the ability to perform less invasive procedures with better pain control and recovery time. “I am especially excited about the introduction of MAKO robotic technology, which allows the surgeon to do the planning and execution of knee replacement procedures with a much greater degree of precision,” he says. Dr. Linschoten was one of the first physicians in the city to train with and begin using the Mako robotic-arm assisted technology for knee replacements. Since adopting Mako technology, he has seen positive outcomes for his patients. He also performs total hip replacements on a weekly basis, taking on both primary hip replacements and more complex revision cases.





USING THE LATEST technology, optometrist Dr. Shonda Achord is able to view a patient’s entire retina and diagnose such diseases as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and even hypertension without dilating the patient’s eyes. Achord was one of the first optometrists to have an optomap digital retina imaging system in her Baton Rouge clinic. The system was invented by a Scottish engineer whose 5-year-old son became blind in one eye because a retinal detachment was detected too late for treatment. Achord started her own clinic in 2000 and invested in the optomap shortly after. “It makes us better doctors,” she says. “The equipment is expensive, but we feel like we couldn’t practice without it now because we’ve seen things that we know can be missed in a routine eye exam.” From left, Dr. Bridgette Connorton, Dr. Shonda Achord, and Dr. Joli Shepard Alternatively, the patient’s eyes have to be dilated, a process that can take up to 30 minutes, and the patient’s vision could stay blurry for up to four to six hours afterward. “There are instances where we do still have to dilate, but it has cut down the amount by a lot,” Achord says. The optomap is comfortable, safe, sanitary and instantaneous, she adds, and the image is captured in less than a second. It can be done on patients of all ages, including toddlers. “We can pick up retinal holes, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, and vessels that show early signs of hypertension,” Achord says. “Even if the patient doesn’t know they have high blood pressure, we can tell in the back of the eye.” The digital image is captured every year as part of the patient’s eye exam. “It though many insurance plans do not cover becomes part of your permanent record, it, that is starting to change and more inwhich is valuable for us because we can surance companies cover “retinal imaging.” monitor disease over time,” she says. Achord also offers specialty contact lenses The cost of the optomap is $39.99. Alto patients with irregular corneas, such as


Optomap imaging system detects and diagnoses vision problems

post-surgical corneas. Achord Eye Clinic is at 8280 YMCA Plaza Drive, Building 9, and Achord practices with two associate optometrists—Dr. Joli Shepard and Dr. Bridgette Connorton. | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020





Physician-owned and patient-focused

THE DESIRE FOR specialized care and positive patient outcomes has led to the growth of specialty hospitals across the country—and Baton Rouge is no exception. The trend is driving a period of rapid growth at Surgical Specialty Center of Baton Rouge, where physicians are proud of their effective treatments and superior clinical outcomes. “Our doctors are seasoned experts in their specialties and they have the support of a skilled nursing staff,” says Chief Nursing Officer Kari Ulrich. “We have it down to a science because we do the same types of cases over and over and value the physician input in the process.” Doctors at Surgical Specialty Center are performing more types of surgery than ever before, including robotic techniques for urology and a host of general surgery procedures. The total joint replacement program has grown over 200 percent since it began three years ago. To expand capacity, the center purchased the majority share of 50

Lake Surgery Center in 2017, which has also experienced rapid growth. Administrators are now focusing on expanding the nursing staff in order to keep up with a high patient volume and growing range of services. In particular, the hospital is looking for skilled nurses who already

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Kari Ulrich, Chief Nursing Officer

have hospital experience and are ready to work in a fast-paced environment. The hospital’s doctors respect and appreciate the nurses who help them work efficiently. They tend to form strong bonds, which leads to a better experience for patients, Ulrich says. “Our relationship with our docs is like a well-choreographed dance,” she adds. “We know their next moves. We work so closely with them that we know them that well.” More than 20 employees have worked at the hospital for at least 15 years—a reflection, says CEO Ann Heine, of the positive workplace culture. “Employee satisfaction is highly correlated with patient satisfaction,” she adds. “Our goal is to continue to attract and retain an experienced workforce,” says Human Resources Director Lara Mosbroker, “one that shares our vision of providing excellent service to our customers, patients, physicians and each other.”





Local company takes special steps to prevent spread of disease

WESTPORT LINEN SERVICES processes more than 50 million pounds of health care laundry annually, and the locally owned company, which serves facilities in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, has a key role in helping to prevent the spread of infectious disease. “Linen is considered a vector of disease,” says Westport Linen co-owner Eddie Lefeaux. “It could possibly spread infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another, which makes it essential that all health care linen is hygienically clean.” Westport Linen works closely with the infectious disease prevention departments within hospitals and treats all linen as if it is highly contaminated before beginning the cleaning process. Westport Linen is one of the few laundries in the area that is accredited by the Health Care Laundry Accreditation Council, which puts the facility through an intense process where all aspects of the business are certified, including hiring of employees, handling and transporting of soiled linen, in-plant processing and delivery back to the client.

“Our clients have the assurance that we are processing the linen according to the HLAC and TRSA hygienically clean standards,” Lefeaux says. “We take it very seriously. If the carts aren’t clean, things like that, you can cross contaminate pretty quickly.” Westport uses an EPA approved chemical that is specially formulated for the health care industry, and processes are monitored hourly. While the industry-wide rejection rate of laundered linen is 5 percent, Westport’s standard is 2 percent or less. The

company uses advanced machinery and computerization to recognize mistakes and stop the laundering process immediately, rather than at the end of an hours-long cycle. One aspect that sets Westport Linen apart from similar commercial laundries is its commitment to laundering only health care linen such as scrubs, patient wear, pillowcases, sheets, bath towels and wash cloths used by hospitals, surgery centers, doctor’s clinics and nursing homes so as not to commingle the health care linen with linen from other industries. This results in a higher quality product. Westport Linen now has three plants which are located in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans, more than 400 employees and more than 300 customers served. The company’s quick growth can be traced back to its reliability and quality product. “We’re one of the most reliable service providers a hospital has,” Lefeaux says. “We deliver during storms. We make sure the hospitals are completely covered. Our people step up.” | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020






Physician helps design ‘anchor’ device for arthroscopic procedures

DR. MARK FIELD began his quest to be an orthopedic surgeon after working with a family friend. As a 16-year-old University High student, he was given the opportunity to step into an operating room to watch a surgical procedure. “To see it and be right there, it was transforming for me,” he says. Today, Dr. Field practices with the Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic. After finishing his orthopedic training, he completed a shoulder and elbow fellowship and has made a career out of repairing the shoulders and elbows of baseball players. He has been the LSU baseball team orthopedic surgeon for the past 22 years and has taken care of collegiate baseball players from programs all over the state. Fortunately, many of the same advancements in shoulder and elbow surgery that have allowed Dr. Field to return elite athletes to their sport have also helped people 52

of all ages return to the activities that they love. As a specialist, Dr. Field has been able to arthroscopically repair more than 6000 shoulders and elbows. He has also enjoyed the creative side of medicine. Working with a national orthopedic device company, he helped design an anchor system used in arthroscopic shoulder repair. He also created a new knot—“The Field Knot”—that he uses in all of his shoulder repairs. Because of the dramatic rise in baseball-related throwing injuries, there is a renewed emphasis on injury prevention. Dr Field has worked with LSU and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association to help develop protocols and guidelines to keep athletes healthy and in the game. With more coaches and players adopting these guidelines, he hopes to see fewer injuries in the future.

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AS THE TEAM doctor for the New Orleans Saints, Dr. Chip Bankston is challenged in his career, enjoys unique travel experiences with his family and is allowed access to the latest research in his field. From Baton Rouge, he had his first experience in orthopedics as an undergrad at LSU, working during the summer at Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic with his cousin, Dr. Brent Bankston, who is the team physician for LSU. That summer, Chip Bankston fell in love with orthopedics and decided to make it his career. Following medical school at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and a residency program at the University of Alabama Birmingham in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Bankston went on to complete additional training on shoulder and elbow conditions with OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He returned to Baton Rouge in 2009, joining Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic alongside his cousin, where he says he treats “weekend warriors, professional athletes and everyone in between.” In 2017, Dr. Bankston was named head team physician for the New Orleans Saints. In addition, he is the team doctor for Denham Springs and Live Oak high schools. Working with the Saints is a 365day commitment, with injuries to manage and players to rehab during the off season. But he says it’s important to him that his Baton Rouge patients know he is still here for them. “This is my day job,” he says. “The Saints are my side job.” With more emphasis on player safety, the National Football League has partnered with a data analytics company to gather statistics. The NFL is interested in specifics like which helmets show a higher incidence of concussion, the position of the player’s head when he was hit, and the exact location of the blow, Dr. Bankston says. “All of the things I’m picking up from the NFL, the things we’re learning about concussions, are trickling down to high school


Role as team physician for N.O. Saints sets him apart in orthopedics field

sports,” he adds. Dr. Bankston is a member of the NFL Physician Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and a Louisiana Orthopaedic Association board member. The opportunity to go to these meetings, read the most recent journals and interact with leaders in the academic and orthopedic world also sets Bankston apart in his field. “I’m able to look to these people who are leaders in our field and call on them and say, ‘What would you do with this?’” Bankston says. “I can be mentored by them.”

Dr. Chip Bankston with New Orleans Saints Director of Sports Medicine Beau Lowery. | BUSINESS REPORT • Trends in Health Care 2020





A new era of vision correction has arrived WILLIAMSON EYE CENTER is an internationally recognized center of excellence, and is often one of the first practices in the nation to bring in new technology for eye care and surgery. 2020 is the year of vision and Williamson is leading the way. ENTER—LIGHT ADJUSTABLE LENS SURGERY For the first time in history, patients are now able to test drive and customize their visual outcomes after cataract or lens implant surgery with a new Light Adjustable Lens™ from RxSight™. Williamson Eye is the first and only practice in Louisiana, and one of just a handful of practices in the U.S. offering this new technology. “With the light adjustable lens, we’re now able to provide the best visual outcomes ever recorded, especially in eyes with prior LASIK or RK surgery,” says Dr. Blake Willliamson, cataract and laser vision correction surgeon. “In the clinical trials for this technology, patients achieved 20/20 vision at twice the rate as those who received a basic lens implant.” Traditional intraocular lenses (IOLs) still offer outstanding results but require physicians to rely solely on formulas and calculations to predict outcomes. The Light Adjustable Lens™ is the only FDA-approved lens that can be adjusted after surgery through a series of a few non-invasive light therapy treatments that change the power of the lens in just a few minutes without the need for further surgery. Through these treatments, patients have the unique ability to adjust and preview vision until it meets their personal desires and lifestyle requirements. The Light Adjustable Lens™ delivers superior visual outcomes that non-adjustable IOLs cannot match. OPTIMAL OCULAR SURFACE TREATMENTS Although these IOL’s (intraocular lenses) are modern miracles, if the eye’s ocular surface is not properly evaluated and treated, visual outcomes will undoubtedly suffer. Through Williamson’s Dry Eye Center of Excellence, a careful assessment of the patient’s ocular surface as well as the initiation of treatment, if deemed necessary, is an important part of each surgical consultation. 54

The most advanced dry eye diagnostics are done at the Williamson Dry Eye Center of Excellence.

Williamson Eye Center’s new South Baton Rouge clinic offers world-class care and technology in a relaxing hotel-like atmosphere.

“Less than perfect outcomes caused by dry eyes can be avoided with appropriate screening and diagnostic testing, combined with knowledgeable treatment prior to surgery,” says Dr. Joshua Davidson, optometrist at Williamson Eye Center. Williamson Eye has recently brought in advanced diagnostics for dry eye with the Oculus Keratograph 5M. This technology gives physicians an in-depth view of the ocular surface and helps guide treatment. At the end of the examination, patients receive a diagnostic report explaining the eye’s status and a detailed course of action for treatment.

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The RxSight™ Light Adjustable Lens™ allows patients to test drive and customize their vision after surgery.

STATE-OF-THE-ART EYE CLINIC Williamson Eye Center recently opened a second Baton Rouge location on the corner of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Picardy Avenue. Bringing the latest technology into a world-class center allows Williamson to further its mission and better serve patients in the heart of south Baton Rouge. ¹US Food and Drug Administration, Summary of Safety and Effectiveness (SSED) of Light Adjustable Lens and Light Delivery Device System.

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