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Pocket EKG

Take the Test for Life

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IS PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH 551 Jefferson Street Lafayette, LA 70501 phone 337.988.4607 fax 337.983.0150 MEDIA





News & Announcements


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First in the World


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Robot Lends Surgeons a Helping Hand


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Gift of Life

LGMC Earns HHS Bronze Award Often times, strangers come together to give the gift of life. Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) is committed to increasing awareness of the need for organ and tissue donations and expediting the procedures in times of need. LGMC was recently honored with a Bronze Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in recognition of its achievements in organ donation. "Over the years, countless lives have been saved thanks to organ donation,” says LGMC President /CEO David L. Callecod, FACHE. "I can’t stress how important being an organ and tissue donor is and how vital it is to Lafayette General’s mission to restore, maintain and improve health.” HHS announced awards for hospitals, organ procurement organizations and transplant programs across the nation for their success in increasing the number of organs available and transplanted. Organizations receiving awards






Unique Gift Shop


LGMC to Manage UMC


Test for Life


Weight Loss Program


Changes Underway


achieved a 75 percent or greater collaborative conversion rate. "I applaud these award winners for bringing the ‘gift of life’ to so many,” says the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, Howard K. Koh, M.D. "Their tireless efforts to make improvements in the donation and transplantation field will continue to help save lives.” This is not the first recognition LGMC has received for its work in organ donation. Last April, during Donate Life Month, LGMC, in partnership with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), celebrated being named "Hospital of the Year” by Southern Eye Bank for giving the gift of sight through cornea and tissue donations. LOPA’s Jerrod Daigle expressed gratitude for their partnership with LGMC. "I’m proud to work with such a dedicated staff at LGMC,” he says. LOPA was also a Bronze winner under HHS’s Organ Procurement Organization awards. The Health Resources and Services Administration at HHS supports the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, which brings together donation and transplantation professionals, hospital staff and other

professionals involved in the donation process to identify and share best practices.

LGMC Welcomes New Physician Cassandra Pillette, M M.D., D joins Lafayette General Medical Doctors at her new location on Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., providing family medicine to adult, pediatric and geriatric patients. Dr. Pillette has been practicing family medicine in Acadiana for the last several years. She received her medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans and is board-certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Pillette's office is located at 4906 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Suite 1302, Bldg. M. She is accepting new patients and Medicare. For an appointment, call (337) 534-8964.




Shots for Tots To help protect children from serious diseases, Shots for Tots helps educate parents on the need for immunizations and provides opportunities to have children immunized at discounted costs. Recommended times for immunizations are ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-15 months, 4 years and 11-12 years. Lafayette General provides immunization services at specific times during the year for $10 per child. For more information on the Shots for Tots program, visit

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In the years since 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, national and state government officials have pushed through efforts to help communities better prepare for disaster situations. In Acadiana, health care providers are collaborating in several joint ventures to coordinate disaster response and readiness capabilities. The joint purchase of a Western Shelter Gatekeeper tent, a mobile hospital tent commonly called a “surge tent,” will help hospitals in the case of a disaster or mass trauma event that causes an overflow of patients. The Gatekeeper All Hazards Emergency

arkinson’s Disease (PD) is life changing. It’s a progressive Deep Brain Stimulation disease with symptoms that teaching device include tremors, rigidity, stiffness, slow movements and walking problems. For Renella Hamilton of Carencro, the disease progressed so slowly that she was not aware of the effect of the changes. It was her family that finally called her attention to the problems. “My family noticed it more than I did,” Renella says. “I moved in slow motion, like I had taken too many drugs. My left hand would shake.” Looking back, she thinks her Parkinson’s Disease may have progressed slowly over 50 years. During that time, she saw physicians and was given medications for various ailments and symptoms, but no one diagnosed her with PD. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, symptoms from PD often occur gradually, and the disease is difficult to diagnose until it progresses. One day, Renella’s sister noticed that she didn’t blink her eyes in one hour’s time. “I didn’t even realize it,” Renella says. At that time, her symptoms included shaking in her left hand, rigidity and slowness in movement. She began looking for help from a neurosurgeon, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the nervous system, including brain, spinal cord and nerves. After a neurological evaluation, she was diagnosed with PD, and her physician recommended Deep Brain Stimulation surgery to help with the symptoms. She went to see Alan Appley, M.D., of Acadiana Neurosurgery and director at Lafayette General’s CyberKnife Center Louisiana. Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure sometimes used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, essential tremor and Dystonia Disorder. Most often, it is used for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications. The surgeon implants a neurostimulator, a small battery-operated medical device that is similar to a pacemaker. The device delivers electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and PD symptoms. The surgeon adjusts the device to the particular needs of the patient. There are three parts to the neurostimulator: the lead, a thin, insulated wire that is inserted through a small opening in the skull and implanted in the brain; the extension, an insulated wire that is placed under the skin of the head, neck and shoulder and connects the lead to the neurostimulator; and the neurostimulator that is usually implanted under the skin near the

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SCHEDULE DATES: Feb. 16, April 20, Aug. 3 and Oct. 5

LOCATION: Outpatient Surgery Area within LGMC

TIME: 8 a.m. to noon COST: $10 per child (Bring immunization records for each child being immunized)

Emergency Readiness Hospitals Share Use of Surge Tent



Zachary Richard Photo by Buffy Massey

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EVENING Foundation Gala Rolls Out the Red Carpet


uests walked a red carpet as they entered the second annual Gala and Art Auction hosted by the Lafayette General Foundation. The elegant event, held in October, helped raise funds for the Foundation in support of Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC), Acadiana’s only community-owned hospital. Held at the Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center, the event raises funds to improve health care in Acadiana. As a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation, LGMC generates money by billing for medical services, and then reinvests net revenue into the hospital system. With the need of charitable care on the rise, and payment reductions increasing, the Foundation was formed to help

Clay and Linda Allen



Martha and Stephen Abshire, M.D.


raise funds and awareness for initiatives that benefit LGMC and its affiliates as they seek to provide innovative and cost-effective health care solutions for Acadiana. The now annual event began in 2011 with the grand celebration of the 100th anniversary of Lafayette General. Approximately 400 people attended the 2012 event. Guests were welcomed by Scott Brazda, master of ceremony, and LGMC President/CEO David L. Callecod, FACHE. Some highlights of the event were musical performances by well-known local entertainers. Rio Luminoso, featuring photographer/musician Philip Gould, opened the evening, followed by renowned musician Zachary Richard, who gave a performance for guests at the Gala before leaving on tour.

Lenny and Christine Lemoine, Jennifer and Jeffrey Joseph, M.D.

First in the World LGMC Hosts Clinical Trial

L Seema and Mian Ibrahim, M.D., Judy and Lalith Wijayasuriya, M.D. W ijayasuriya ij i M D

La. Sen. Fred Mills, Jr., City-Parish Pres. Joey Durel D urell and and d former former State State t R Rep. ep Mi Mik Mike ke Mi Mich Michot hott

“We thought it would be great to have local entertainers come play for us,” says Carolyn Huval, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. “Everyone enjoyed it.” At each gala, the most anticipated event is a live art auction of items donated by LGMC physicians, employees and local artists. At the 2012 Gala, La. Senator Fred Mills, Jr. served as auctioneer, as he has since its inception. “Many physicians on our medical staff are artists, and they donate their art for this event,” says Huval. This year’s auction included a variety of art and special gift items, such as a piece from an employee who does oil paintings on corrugated tin, a wood carving from one physician and an overnight guided duck hunt and dinner from another. The Art Auction and Gala was presented with the help of many sponsors, including presenting sponsor, The Lemoine Group. “We’re so grateful for their support,” says Huval. "We couldn’t have had such a successful Gala without our sponsors." For more information on the Foundation, call (337) 289-8950.

afayette General Medical Center (LGMC) is on the cutting edge of advancements in medical technology Nick Cavros, M.D. to benefit patients. Nick Cavros, M.D., cardiologist at Cardiovascular Institute of the South at Lafayette General, is the first physician worldwide to use the CloSys Hemostatic Device (HD) and serves as the Principal Investigator in the CloSys™ Closure System IDE Trial at LGMC. The CloSys Closure System is a quick, safe and natural closure system for vascular access sites. It provides an improvement in closing arteries after heart surgery and cardiac catheterization. “It’s important to finish an intervention with the right closure device,” states Dr. Cavros. “The CloSys HD is easy to use, does not create complications and does not leave anything behind.” The device uses the patient’s own blood to help close the artery at the insertion site and does not require foreign materials for the procedure. Patients benefit from a cleaner wound closure and faster recovery time. “They can get out of bed earlier, walk around and leave the hospital sooner,” says Dr. Cavros. “I am very pleased to be an important part of the CloSys trial,” says Dr. Cavros. After several uses of the device in heart intervention procedures, he is finding good results with the system. “We performed the first in the world implant of this device,” he says. “The trial is ongoing. It’s an honor to be considered to be first to use the device. It shows that Lafayette General and CIS are in the forefront in medical advancement and new technology in health care.” The CloSys Closure System, manufactured by the CloSys Corp., is designed to achieve the benefits of rapid closure while using the principles of manual compression. By combining procedures, the system shortens the time for closure, therefore facilitating early discharge for patients and improving the hospital experience. The procedure with the CloSys HD takes minimal time and Clinical Trial continued on pg. 12

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS Emergency continued from pg. 3

Facility is a pre-packaged 19x35foot diameter shelter housed in a mobile 24-foot trailer that can serve as an emergency care center and as a command center for emergency responders. It can be connected to other structures or be self-contained field. This d for f use outt iin the th h fi ld T hi ttentt is a pooled resource made possible by an organized response structure that shares grant funding and decision making and can be deployed by any hospital in the region. Acadiana, Region 4, has used funding in joint investments to amass tools, supplies and equipment to serve the entire area. Other purchases include haz-mat and personal protection equipment for each hospital, a mobile DECON unit and a mobile medical pharmacy unit. “All hospitals are represented in this network,” explains Anjanette Hebert, director of security at Lafayette General Medical Center and Designated Regional Coordinator for Region 4. “But the rest of Louisiana is in awe of how well Region 4 works together. We accomplish a lot in this region.” Preparing for emergencies before they happen is part of what health care providers and emergency responders do, but working well together and sharing resources is a credit to the spirit of Acadiana. HEALTH IN GENERAL WINTER 2013


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onstruction continues at St. Martin Hospital (SMH), a part of Lafayette General Medical Center. Located in Breaux Bridge, SMH is expanding the hospital to provide more services and enhance the quality of medical care for people in the immediate area. “We are adding an outpatient area which will include outpatient registration, a new laboratory department, radiology department, an infusion area and an upgraded CT,” says Katie Hebert, CEO/ VP. “After the addition is complete we will expand and remodel our Emergency Department to include a ‘fast track’ area, seven patient rooms and a much improved floor plan that will enhance patient flow and the delivery of quality care.” Construction is projected to be completed in August. In the past couple of years, SMH has

Front entrance of St. Martin Hospital added CT and mammography services and has implemented an Electronic Medical Record system. A medical office building has been remodeled

to now provide space for a cardiology practice with Gus Ingraldi, M.D., Cardiovascular Institute of the South at Lafayette General, and a multi-specialty practice with Jason Durel, M.D., ENT, and Adam Kennedy, M.D., orthopedic surgeon. “This allows the communities of St. Martin Parish to stay close to home when they need a specialist,” says Hebert. Providing medical services in Breaux Bridge can make a big difference to those who are older and/ or who may not have transportation to Lafayette. Since 2009, SMH has been a part of LGMC. “This relationship has provided knowledgeable leadership with regards to federal and state regulations, trends in health care and support and guidance that rural hospitals not involved in a health system struggle to acquire,” says Hebert.

Parents Don’t Fret! Doctor’s Blog Helps Parents


ny parent knows the worry of trying to decide when a child needs emergency medical care. As medical advisor in the pediatric treatment area within Lafayette General’s Emergency Department, Scott Hamilton, M.D., has calmed many anxious parents and seen plenty of false alarms. For several years, he has been writing an online blog to give parents a resource for what to do in a medical emergency. “I write in the blog what I say to parents day in and day out,” says Dr. Hamilton. “And I try to talk to people in language they understand.” Now his blog is available at and through a link at where it is accessible to parents anytime, anywhere there is an internet connection. Dr. Hamilton stresses the importance of finding a good pediatrician and suggests looking for a doctor with a 24/7 answering service and convenient office hours. “That way you can call the doctor for advice and maybe avoid a visit to the Emergency Department,” he says. “Look for a pediatrician who will be helpful when you need one.” LGMC has a dedicated pediatric treatment area within the Emergency Department designed for the comfort of kids and parents. The area is open during the current renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department.

Scott Hamilton, M.D.




Robot Lends Surgeons a Helping Hand da Vinci Surgical System Offers Faster Recovery


n your wildest dreams, would you ever have thought you’d see robots in the operating room? In fact, the da Vinci Surgical System® was approved by the FDA in 2000 and has been used by surgeons at Lafayette General for several years since then. The minimally invasive surgical system allows surgeons greater motion and flexibility when operating. For patients, it can drastically reduce time in the hospital and in recovery. The da Vinci Surgical System is named after Leonardo da Vinci, the 15th-century painter who advanced the study of anatomy. His detailed drawings led to the design of the first robot. The surgical system uses the science of robotics to give surgeons greater precision and control in operating. With state-of-the-art science and technology, many complex and delicate surgical procedures that cannot be performed with laparoscopy can now be done using a very small incision. “With the da Vinci Surgical System, this kind of minimally invasive surgery is more available for complicated and difficult cases,” says Daniel Bourque, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Bourque has used the da Vinci system at Lafayette General on a range of gynecologic conditions, including hysterectomy, cervical and uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and menorrhagia or excessive bleeding. “We do very few large incision procedures,” he says. “Our goal is for all surgeries to be minimally invasive. For any gynecologic procedure, it’s very advantageous to the patient.” Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the company that makes the da Vinci system, confirms it is now the number one surgical treatment for women facing gynecological cancer and is also used in four out of five radical prostatectomies in the U.S. Since 2000, more than 1,600 da Vinci systems have been placed at more than 1,200 hospitals worldwide, and

Lafayette General was at the forefrontt of providing this new technology for physicians and patients in Acadiana. “Surgeons must be trained to perform procedures with the da Vinci system,” says Dr. Bourque. “We’ve been operating with the da Vinci for about five or six years now. We’ve gotten nothing but accolades from patients after the surgery. Most of them are able to go home the day of surgery or the day after with minimal pain.” Physicians operate while seated at a console with a 3-D view within the body. There is full vision of the procedure while the robotic arms translate the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements to the tiny laparoscopic instruments. It provides clear vision and access to places hard to reach and greater range of motion in operating. “For the surgeon, it reduces the physical stress in performing operations,” Dr. Bourque says. Traditional gynecologic surgery requires a large incision for access to the uterus, which can affect surrounding organs and nerves. Women experience more pain and a longer recovery as the incision heals, which prevents them from returning to normal activities for an extended time. With da Vinci surgery, advantages may include significantly less pain, less blood loss, less scarring, shorter recovery time, a faster return to normal daily activities and, in many cases, better clinical outcomes. To hear stories from patients who have had da Vinci surgery, go to HEALTH IN GENERAL WINTER 2013




Pocket EKG —

Don’t Leave Home Without It LGMC Provides Free Screening for Heart Health e all carry cards in our pocket or wallet. Lafayette General’s “pocket EKG” is one card everyone should add to their collection. The laminated card includes essential emergency information and cardiac history on one side and the patient’s baseline EKG graph on the other. In an emergency situation, having the card can help save time and expense and may prevent unnecessary testing by providing physicians with a baseline EKG to compare with a current reading.


Monthly heart fairs at Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) at Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC), and quarterly at LGMC’s Burdin Riehl Center, provide free EKG screenings for anyone registered. “The most fundamental test in cardiology is the EKG,” says John Patterson, M.D., cardiologist at CIS at Lafayette General. “An EKG reading is best when you can compare it with a baseline reading.” Dr. Patterson explains that many EKGs reveal irregular heart rhythms, which may turn out to be normal for the patient. Having a card with the baseline reading available in the case of a future medical issue helps the attending physician make better decisions on health care. “It’s been a surprising number of abnormal EKGs we’re finding in this process,” he says. Michael Peebles, M.D., medical director of the LGMC Emergency Department, has seen how a pocket EKG can help save time. Often, one of the first things done in the emergency room when a patient complains of chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack is to run an EKG. If the test shows an abnormality, it can often lead to more invasive




testing to determine diagnosis and treatment. The pocket EKG gives the physician something to compare to help determine whether an abnormality is unusual or normal for the patient. “It’s helpful when patients have as much medical information as possible,” says Dr. Peebles. “It can help the attending physician make decisions more quickly. If the patient is suffering from any signs of heart failure, the pocket EKG can provide an easy way to check the baseline EKG done at the heart fair against the current EKG.” In an emergency, time is critical. What happens if a patient comes into the Emergency Department with no medical information on them? Dr. Peebles says the staff will immediately check for medical history on the patient through the Lafayette General system. If they are not on file with LGMC, they will check with Opelousas General through a Health Information Exchange Program tied to LGMC, then with outside hospitals and/or physicians. The more information the patient can provide, the better. This can be particularly important if health issues arise when traveling out of state or out of the country. Dr. Peebles highly recommends having a pocket EKG, particularly for people over 40 and for those who may have heart problems. The pocket EKG is offered free at monthly heart fairs. “The price is right,” he says. “It just



takes a little effort on the part of the patient to get it.” In its “Guide to Basic Cardiovascular Testing,” CIS states that an electrocardiogram is a test used to record the electrical signals that control the rhythm of the heart. An EKG can detect things like current and past heart attacks, blockages, a thick heart wall, certain electrolyte imbalances and even changes that have been brought on by medications. The test is painless. While the patient is sitting, a trained technician places electrodes on his/her chest and the machine records the heart rhythm on graph paper. Afterwards, this information is recorded and copied onto a laminated card which is later mailed to the patient. The monthly heart fairs at LGMC began in February 2012 in conjunction with Heart Month in America. The Center for Disease Control states that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and one

out of four deaths in Louisiana is due to heart disease. The heart fair at LGMC was initiated to help promote cardiovascular health to the community. By November 2012, LGMC performed 679 free screenings at the monthly fairs, and 146 tests revealed an abnormal EKG. At each event, a cardiologist is on hand to read the EKG on site and discuss any abnormality with the patient. In the case of an abnormality, the cardiologist presents options or recommendations for follow-up care. There are about 80 openings for patients at Saturday heart fairs. People are encouraged to register ahead to assure a place. “The efficiency in the process has been remarkable,” Dr. Patterson says. At each event, there are about six EKG machines, each monitored by a trained technician.

There is a cardiologist present to read results and several staff members to help with registration. The heart fairs have turned out to be beneficial in several ways. “The initial idea for the testing was to promote awareness,” says Dr. Patterson, “but the testing has proven it can be life-saving for patients who have abnormal results. This is a unique approach to educating the community on heart health and also to giving back to the community.”

2013 HEART FAIR SCHEDULE Monthly heart fairs held at CIS at Lafayette General office (443 Heymann Blvd.), 3:30-6 p.m.

Jan. 10 Feb. 6 Mar. 14

Apr. 11 May 9 June 13

July 11 Aug. 8 Sept. 12

Oct. 10 Nov. 14 Dec. 12

All dates are the second Thursday of the month with the exception of February. Saturday heart fairs held at Lafayette General's Burdin Riehl Center (1211 Coolidge Street), 9 a.m.-noon

Feb. 23

Apr. 27

Call (337) 289-8600 for appointments.

Aug. 24

Oct. 26


FREE pocket

(read by a cardiologist)

EKG card




Rosalind Allen, RD, LDN

Confused about how to maintain a healthy diet and a busy lifestyle? Rosalind Allen, RD, LDN, Nutrition Services Supervisor at Lafayette General, answers questions and gives helpful tips on eating healthier. Q. What are some tips on cutting salt in your diet, and how important is this? A. Too much sodium causes fluid retention which increases blood volume and requires the heart to pump harder. Over time, this can lead to high blood pressure, which can damage the arterial walls and make them vulnerable to atherosclerosis – thus increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. A small, lasting rise in blood pressure – even within the healthy range – ups your odds of heart issues. Current recommendations are to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams) of sodium per day. If you have high blood pressure, it’s 1,500 milligrams per day. To reduce sodium in your meal plan, do not salt foods after cooking and limit your salt in cooking. Limit intake of convenience/ processed type foods, read food labels and aim for fresh vegetables, fruits and meats. Season with fresh herbs and spices. Use salt substitutes. Use vinegar, lemon and lime juice – or try Bragg Nutritional Yeast for a seasoning.

Q. Acadiana loves seafood! What kind of seafood is best to eat and how often? A. Fish is widely known as a dietary source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help decrease the risk of heart attacks and stroke and may have the benefit of reducing triglyceride levels. All fish are a source of Omega 3’s, but some are richer than others, such as: Salmon – wild caught Sardines – Pacific – wild caught teaching Mackerel supermarket Lake trout tour, discussing Oysters – Pacific healthy food Perch – freshwater choices, for The American Heart Association the first seven recommends one to two fish meals people who call a week – a 3-4 oz. portion, baked, (337) 289-8600. broiled or grilled.


Unique Gift Shop National Franchise Comes to Lafayette


here’s a new look and style in the gift shop at Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC). Under new management by Lori’s Gifts, the updated store offers dynamic new merchandise, online ordering and same-day delivery to patient rooms. Lori’s Gifts is the nation’s leading operator of hospital gift shops with over 300 stores in 36 states. The company provides hospitals with a professionally operated gift shop with custom merchandise and superior customer service. At LGMC, the gift shop is stocked with unique items and has an updated appearance. “The Marc Chantal leather handbags and jewelry have been a huge hit at this location,” says Angie Peters, store manager. “Customers have been pleased and surprised with the wide selection of items we carry in addition to Get Well and baby gifts.” Lori’s Gifts carries items perfect for brightening




the day of a patient in the hospital, from cancer patients, those recovering from surgery and new babies, as well as for personal shopping. The addition of online shopping is a convenience that helps those who want to send a gift to a patient, but may be out of town or just can’t get to the hospital. Now it’s easy to shop from home by going to and clicking the online gift shop button on the home page. The variety of gifts offered includes cute and unique balloons, toys and stuffed animals, flowers, food and entertainment baskets and more. Orders are personally delivered to the patient’s room by hospital volunteers. Most orders are same day or next day delivery. Lafayette General’s Ladies Auxiliary, the “Pink Ladies,” provide volunteer assistance in the shop. Proceeds from purchases in the gift shop are reinvested by the volunteer auxiliary into Lafayette General and community projects. “We have 10 gift shop volunteers who assist us with stocking merchandise, customer service, ringing up the register and

anything else that needs to be done,” says Peters. “They are a fantastic group! We encourage them to focus on the areas in the gift shop that they enjoy the most. The whole group is committed to making sure that our customers have a great shopping experience.” The hospital gift shop is located on the first floor, near the lobby, at Lafayette General. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. New volunteers are always welcome. Whether delivering gifts and cards to patients or helping gift shop customers select just the right gift for a loved one, volunteers are key to the success of the shopping experience. For more information, contact volunteer coordinator services, (337) 289-7130.

Journey to Excellence Continues LGMC to Manage UMC


afayette General Medical Center (LGMC) is bringing its “Journey to Excellence� to University Medical Center (UMC). An arrangement between the two hospitals will allow LGMC to lease the facility from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) and the LSU Health System and manage health care services for patients there. Under the signed agreement, LGMC is helping UMC preserve inpatient, emergency room and outpatient physician clinic services. Another long-term goal of the agreement is to strengthen and expand physician training in Lafayette. The public-private partnership between the two health systems was announced at a press conference in December of last year. In the signed agreement with DHH and Louisiana State University Health Care Services, Lafayette General will help UMC remain open and avoid additional layoffs that were planned for January 1st. Through a series of milestone payments from LGMC to the LSU Health System, UMC will be able to maintain most services at the current level through June 30. On July 1st, LGMC will begin management of the hospital’s services. LSU approached LGMC about the possibility of a public-

private partnership between the hospitals last year. UMC, one of seven hospitals under management by the LSU Health System, was facing severe State budget cuts. LSU sought help with the charity system after Louisiana’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) was reduced, leaving UMC without necessary funding to maintain services. In a series of meetings, representatives from DHH, LSU and LGMC discussed the health care service needs at UMC and worked out terms of the agreement. Representatives at the press conference to announce the agreement were DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein, LSU Executive Vice President Frank Opelka and LGMC President/CEO David L. Callecod, FACHE, along with hospital leaders, physicians and Acadiana legislators. LGMC is recognized by federal and state tax laws as a 501c(3) not-for-proďŹ t corporation. Although the hospital generates money by billing for its health care services, it does not pay out any revenue to shareholders as for-proďŹ ts do. Any net revenue is reinvested into the organization for new equipment, facilities and technology to better care for the people served.

Total number of steps it takes to get from top to bottom of Lafayette General.




Test for Life



ith March recognized as Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Lafayette General Endoscopy Center (LGEC) encourages everyone to take the “Test for Life� with a free home colorectal screening kit that will be distributed through 18 Acadiana Walgreens stores. The program has grown from a distribution of 100 kits in 2008 to 2,500 in 2012. The home screening tests are easy, discreet and effective in detecting warning signs of colon cancer. Marsha Williamson, RN, nurse administrator at LGEC, has spearheaded the home screening kit program since it began. “The kits are a great mass-screening tool,� she says. “It’s a good check for people under 50 who have not had a colonoscopy and for those who have had a colonoscopy and are not due for another for 10 years.� Williamson credits Walgreens and district manager Lee Jones for helping bring the campaign to new levels by organizing distribution and providing ongoing publicity during the month. “The biggest problem in colon cancer awareness is not everybody gets screened,� says LGEC's Jacque Noel, M.D. “The easy, hands-free tests check for unseen blood in the stool, which can be an indication of other problems. The kits’ results are mailed back to LGEC.� As part of the campaign, each physician at LGEC will also give away a free colonoscopy in a drawing. The Test for Life program takes place in March, but Williamson says, “Every month is Colon Cancer Awareness Month for us.� Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and Williamson says it’s the only cancer that can be prevented




through screening. When polyps are found during a routine colonoscopy, they are removed by the physician, preventing the cancer from growing. She encourages everyone to know the high risk factors for colon cancer and to get a colonoscopy, recommended for those over age 50, age 45 for African Americans or 40 for those with high risk factors. Since 2006, the physicians at LGEC have been using high deďŹ nition endoscopy equipment allowing for greater ďŹ eld of vision and depth perception. LGEC physicians can detect polyps that were not seen on standard equipment. “When high deďŹ nition capability came out, we were the ďŹ rst in Louisiana to try it,â€? Williamson says. During the trial period, LGEC physicians noticed they were seeing lesions they had not been able to see before. Medical Director Stephen Abshire, M.D., and Williamson conducted research

to document what they were ďŹ nding through high deďŹ nition and then published the ďŹ ndings in medical journals and publications. “We had a 49 percent increase in polyp detection with high deďŹ nition over the standard,â€? says Williamson. “Other medical professionals are now using our statistics as their benchmark, and it’s improving the quality of care for everyone. I feel very fortunate to be working with our physician owners and Lafayette General, our corporate partner. They all share the same belief in investing in the best technology available to provide the highest level of care found anywhere to our patients here in Acadiana.â€?

DPS continued from pg. 3

collarbone. Before the procedure, the neurosurgeon uses an MRI scan to identify the exact area within the brain where the electrical nerves generate the PD symptoms. Once the system is in place, electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator up along the extension wire, to the lead and into the brain. These impulses interfere with and block the electrical signals that cause PD symptoms. “I had the surgery mainly to stop the shaking,� recalls Renella, “and it stopped instantly.� During the surgical procedure to implant the stimulator, she was awake and was able to respond to questions from Dr. Appley and nurses to help them make the proper adjustments. “It was an emotional surgery,� she says, “but there was no pain. I was wide awake for the whole thing. Dr. Appley’s physician assistant was standing by me and holding my hand during the surgery, and that was wonderful.� Renella was able to go home the next day following surgery. She says she feels like she has a little generator plugged in, and as long as it keeps going, she’s doing well. “If I had to do the surgery again, I would do it again,� she says. “Now I can do what I want to do, and I can even go dancing!� For more information about DBS surgery, call Acadiana Neurosurgery at (337) 235-7743.

Clinical Trial continued from pg. 5

is easy for physicians to use, as proven in trial results. “CloSys is privileged to be able to begin this trial at a high proďŹ le institution such as Lafayette General and to be able to have the device tested by these highly regarded cardiologists,â€? states Gervaise Wilhelm, CEO of CloSys Corporation. The company is conducting FDA IDE approved trials that are ongoing. Once the trials are completed, the device will be available for use by all physicians.

Benjamin Doga, M.D.



afayette General’s Bariatric Surgery Center is making strides in weight loss with strong accreditations and a Center of Excellence designation. As part of the mission to help people live healthier lives, LGMC is now offering a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program. “It’s set up for patients who are overweight and interested in losing weight but who may not be candidates for surgery,” says Brooke Doucet, RN, BSN, Bariatric Program Manager. “This provides another avenue for people seeking ways to safely lose weight.” The program is under the medical supervision of Benjamin Doga, M.D. Doucet says the program grew out of a need to provide something for patients who did not qualify for surgery, did not have insurance to cover the cost of surgery, may exceed the weight limit for surgery, or who are interested in losing 20 to 30 pounds. “We found the need was great for a program like this,” she says. “We had people calling and asking about a weight loss program, and hospital employees were interested.” The program includes bi-monthly meetings with Dr. Doga, as well as input from a dietician, behavior modification educator and exercise physiologist. Meetings are held at Lafayette General Surgical Hospital. The goal is to help people make realistic dietary changes in a short amount of time. Participants will be able to choose a three-month, six-month or one-year weight loss plan that may include

meal replacement and/or pharmaceuticals to help suppress appetite. Dr. Doga will evaluate patients to help determine the best option, and participants will receive support from staff and professionals throughout the program. “All of our team members are trained in working with people who are overweight,” says Doucet. Statistics show that weight loss programs are necessary to encourage a healthier lifestyle. The number of overweight and obese people in the U.S. increased from 61 percent in 2001 to 68 percent in 2011. In the 2011 obesity report, 12 states, including Louisiana, had obesity rates above 30 percent. The health issues caused by obesity include sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension and stroke. With obesity on the rise, health costs are affected both directly and indirectly. Estimates are that the additional health care costs associated with obesity average 4 to 9 percent of the total health care expenditures in the nation. The good news is that weight loss can dramatically improve health conditions. Current therapy for weight loss includes lifestyle modifications, pharmacological agents and behavioral therapy. “In Louisiana, we celebrate everything with food,” says Doucet, “and that makes it hard to lose weight and keep it off.” The Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at LGMC is a physician-directed program to help people lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle. For more information, call (337) 289-8484.

'HVVHU W Chocolate Torte

16 servings

8 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips (11/4 C) ½ C canola oil 1 C granulated sugar + 1 T ½ C whole wheat flour ½ C unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

5 large eggs, beaten (Can use ½ eggs and ½ egg whites) Powdered sugar (1) 16 oz. container fresh strawberries sliced (1) 8 oz. container fresh raspberries Light whipped topping – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round springform pan and dust bottom with 1 T granulated sugar. Place the chocolate chips and oil in a double boiler. Melt chocolate chips on medium heat for about two minutes, then remove from heat. Whisk together: sugar, flour and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Whisk eggs until well blended and add to dry mixture. Add the melted chocolate slowly to egg and dry mixture. Pour batter into pan and smooth with spatula. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely. When cool, remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar. Top with strawberries, raspberries and whipped topping. Per serving: 230 cal, 11 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated,) 28 carbohydrates, 25 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber HEALTH IN GENERAL WINTER 2013




A. Shown are participants in the latest Bariatric Fashion Show held at the Hilton Garden Inn on October 27, 2012. Collectively, these patients lost an amazing 1,514 lbs., for an average loss of 126 lbs. per person. C


B-D. Employees of Lafayette General Health System enjoy taking part in the Halloween costume contest and gumbo cook off — a United Way and Lafayette General Foundation fundraiser by the hospital.






E. The UL Ragin' Cajun football team stopped by LGMC on December 11 to visit with patients prior to leaving town for the New Orleans Bowl game.

83' $7(

'LERKIW9RHIV[E] Expansion and Renovation Project on Schedule


long South College Rd., motorists will notice dramatic changes in the façade of the hospital facing the intersection of South College and Coolidge St. Construction progress continues at Lafayette General Medical Center. Plans include renovation and expansion of the — Emergency Department, a trauma elevator from the helipad to the surgical wing and Emergency Department, the addition of a new surgical platform and construction of a six-level parking garage. The trauma elevator is being built to access the rooftop helipad and every floor of the 10-story West Tower. “This trauma elevator will provide the quickest and most direct access for trauma patients to be transported directly to the trauma rooms inside the new Emergency Department,”

says Marie Lukaszeski, project manager. Planning is critical with construction that ties into an existing structure, and care is being taken not to impact the staff and patients. “Most of this project is new construction, so there is minimal impact to existing interior spaces,” says Lukaszeski. The parking garage will include 343 parking spaces and will also house the Central Plant for the expansion. The garage will be shared by LGMC and the Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center. “We have been fortunate to have engaged a great team of LGMC staff, physicians, architects, engineers and contractors to contribute to a really great plan, and we anticipate all construction will go as scheduled,” she says. Completion dates are estimated for late summer 2014.

“Most of this project is new construction, so there is minimal impact to existing interior spaces.” Š¡“Ž¦–Š£¯Ž£–“ထ¡œ”ŽŒ¤˜ŠšŠ‘Ž¡



I will always choose Lafayette General While jogging in Girard Park one day, I suddenly collapsed from cardiac arrest. Deedra Harrington (a nurse practitioner from Lafayette General) just happened to be driving by and stopped to give me CPR while someone called an ambulance. I had a stent put into my right coronary artery at Lafayette General. I don’t know if people realize how many lives are saved at a hospital; I didn’t.

My name is Gary Dodson, and I know what Lafayette General did for me. HEALTH IN GENERAL WINTER 2013


Health in General Winter 2013  
Health in General Winter 2013  

A publication of Lafayette General Health.