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Vo l u m e 1 3 | N u m b e r 2 | S e c o n d Q u a r t e r 2 0 1 1 | w w w. n o r t h o a k s . o r g

Summer is a time for traveling, outdoor get-togethers and pool parties. It can be a special time, full of memories for your family and friends. But, it can be dangerous too. Make your summer one to remember, for all the right reasons with the following “survival tips.� (continued on page 2)

Keep Your Precious Cargo Safe Know Your H2O Pack for the Future Swim Smarter Skin Deep

Walk-In Clinic or Emergency Room? 4 | Too Much of a Good Thing 6 | North Oaks Surgery Center 8 North Oaks Launches Robotic Surgery Program 10 | New Hospitalist Practice 11 | North Oaks Quality 12 Welcome, New Physicians 13 | Community Scrapbook 13 | Calendar of Events 15

Summertime Survival guidE [continued from page 1]

By North Oaks Contributing Writer Nanette Russell White

Keep Your Precious Cargo Safe In Louisiana and nationwide, children are dying from being unintentionally left alone in parked cars as temperatures rise rapidly to dangerous levels – often exceeding 120 degrees.

Here are some tips to help avoid unnecessary deaths and keep your children safe:

• • • • • • •

Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle (not even for a minute). Check the car to make sure all occupants leave the vehicle or are carried out when unloading. Always lock your car and keep keys and remotes away from children. Keep a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat as a reminder of a child in the backseat. Place something in the back seat you would need, such as a purse, briefcase or cell phone. Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 to help get them out.

Our bodies are about two-thirds water. When someone gets dehydrated, it means that the amount of water in the body has dropped below what is needed for normal body function. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, low or no urine output, sunken eyes, headaches and acting listless. This can become a serious life-threatening emergency, given Louisiana’s hot summers.

To prevent dehydration:

• Drink more when the weather is hot or when you are exercising. • Drink frequently. It is better to drink small amounts of fluid rather than trying to force large amounts of fluid at one time. • Electrolyte solutions or freezer pops are especially effective, and are preferable to sports drinks which contain a lot of sugar. Call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms: dizziness, lightheadedness, lethargy or confusion.


North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

Pack for the Future


im S a m

r e rt

Be the lifeguard on duty.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3,500 unintentional drownings occur each year in the U.S. To swim smart, consider the following: • Always swim with a partner. Even experienced swimmers may become tired or get muscle cramps. • Avoid alcohol before or during swimming, boating or water skiing. • When swimming in an ocean, don’t panic if you find yourself in a current. Swim with the current, gradually trying to make your way back to shore. • Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as water wings, noodles or inner tubes, as a substitute for life jackets. • Designate a responsible adult to watch children in and around the water. This designated adult should avoid distracting activities like reading, talking on the phone or mowing the lawn when on duty. • Check the weather forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning can create life-threatening conditions for swimmers.

When hitting the highway or taking to the air, consider these travel tips:

• Bring high-energy snacks to keep you going while sightseeing or when eating out is not an option. • Pack a small first aid kit that includes bandages, ointments and gauze. • Anticipate and avoid travel stress by leaving early and planning ahead. • Keep necessary medical items and prescriptions with you and not in your checked luggage or packed away in your car trunk. • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Keeping your hands clean may prevent you from getting sick and spreading germs to others. • To prevent blood clots, move around during long trips.

Skin Deep Protection from sun exposure is important year-round, but especially during summer hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Use sunscreen with Sun Protective Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection. • Reapply sunscreen if you stay out in the sun for more than 2 hours and after you swim or do things that make you sweat. • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears and neck. • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from Ultraviolet (UV) rays and reduce your risk of developing cataracts. • Reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade before you need relief from the sun. Remember that the best way to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing– even when in the shade.

For more information on how to keep your family healthy this summer, speak with your health care provider or call North Oaks Family Medicine at (985) 230-5800 in Hammond, North Oaks Primary Care Clinics in Independence at (985) 878-4174 or in Livingston at (225) 686-4930, Northshore Internal Medicine Associates in Hammond at (985) 230-7675 or North Oaks Multispecialty Group in Livingston at (225) 686-4960 for an appointment.

Take the North Oaks Summertime Safety Quiz. Visit for more information. You could win a full-size North Oaks Family First Aid Kit! Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,,,


By North Oaks Walk-In Clinic Physician Sidney L. St. Amant, MD

c i n i l C n I k Wal y c n e g r e m or E ? m o o R


North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

From minor car accidents to major illnesses like heart attacks, unexpected health emergencies can be stressful and overwhelming. The first step in getting on the road to recovery is to decide whether to head to the Emergency Room (ER) or be treated at a Walk-In Clinic. North Oaks’ Emergency Department is the second busiest in Louisiana. Because critical or lifethreatening cases are treated first, there may be a wait in the Emergency Room (ER) for less critical or non-life threatening emergencies. While the average waiting period across the country is from 2 to 4 hours for non-critical cases, it could be even longer at busy times. Conditions that should take you directly to the ER include: uncontrollable bleeding; disorientation or mental confusion; sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech; numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs; severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea; symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, chest pain or pressure; pregnancy

with bleeding; difficulty breathing; sudden, severe headache; fainting or seizures; sudden loss or change of vision; and intent to harm self or others. If your condition is not life-threatening, visit a Walk-In Clinic where you can see a physician or nurse practitioner without an appointment and get a medical treatment or consultation. Examples of these conditions include: allergy care; sinus infection treatment; cuts or unexpected bruising; bladder infections; insect bites and stings; flu; and many other illnesses or minor traumatic injuries. So, consider whether your condition warrants the ER or whether it can be better treated at a Walk-In Clinic. But, don’t waste precious moments if your situation is life-threatening. Go straight to the ER.

n o i t n e v Panic Pre gencies. r e m E h lt a e H or Sudden Be Prepared f

Whether you decide to visit the Emergency Department or go to a Walk-In Clinic, partner with your health care provider and prepare an “emergency file” that includes: • insurance cards • Social Security Number for yourself and that of your spouse if he or she is responsible for your insurance coverage • log of your doctor visits • log of medical tests • log of hospitalizations • list of allergies • a current list of your medications (including vitamins and dietary supplements) • the names and phone numbers of your primary care physician and other specialists you may have seen recently • the name, location and phone number of your pharmacy.

Because you may be under stress, you won’t remember everything that is being said about your treatment. Bring paper and a pen for you or a family member to take notes. It also will make it easier if you have notes to refer to when you return home. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand what you have been told or if you still have questions. You also may wish to bring comfort items like bottled water, hand sanitizer, tissue, change for vending machines and a book or magazine. It will help the time pass and may relieve some anxiety. Remember, whether you visit the ER or a WalkIn Clinic, be prepared to provide accurate information regarding your medical history, symptoms and contact information.

Sources: American College of Emergency Physicians, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

North Oaks Walk-In Clinics Available in

3 Locations North Oaks Walk-In Clinics are open to treat most illnesses and minor traumatic injuries without an appointment. Clinics are staffed with family and emergency medicine-trained physicians who are qualified to care for patients of all ages – from infants (ages 3 months and older) to senior adults. On-site diagnostic X-ray and laboratory services also are available.

1 Hammond

Located within North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital 1900 S. Morrison Blvd. Hammond, LA • (985) 230-5726 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

2 Livingston

Located within North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex 17199 Spring Ranch Road, Suite 100 Livingston, LA • (225) 686-4900 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

3 Walker

28050 Walker S. Rd., Suite L Walker, LA • (225) 664-2111 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


u c h M o f o o a T

T h d ing o o G

How to avoid an accidental vitamin and dietary supplement overdose Vitamins are necessary nutrients that supplement a healthy life. It is possible to get all the vitamins we need from our daily meals. However, millions of people in the U.S. incorporate vitamin and mineral supplements in their daily diets. Vitamins and supplements, correctly taken, may offer the body many advantages. People with certain health problems, those that adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may benefit from vitamin supplements. The key is to find out which vitamins the body is lacking and the correct dosage that would benefit the body. By North Oaks Pharmacy Department Clinical Coordinator Jamie Covington, PharmD and North Oaks Contributing Writer Shane Cox


North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

The body uses vitamins to aid in growth, digestion and nerve functions. Vitamins and supplements are broken down into two categories: • Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed by the body, but are not stored in large amounts. Vitamins that are not stored are released from the body by the kidneys. • Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed by the same fluids that absorb fat. These vitamins are stored by the body to be used as needed.

Spoonful of Trouble

Dietary supplements are not necessarily dangerous unless taken incorrectly. Before self-diagnosing and supplementing your diet, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist. There may be risks associated with the supplement that are not readily available on the label, especially risks associated with mixing some supplements with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Certain vitamins also may interfere with some medical tests.

Consider the Following Before Taking Vitamins or Dietary Supplements: • Do not chase the latest “miracle” pill making headlines. It takes time to establish the benefits and risks of any supplement. Ask your health care provider whether or not the latest fad is for you. • Less is more. Some supplements consumed in large quantities may actually hurt you or cause some unwanted side effects, such as diarrhea, constipation or nausea. • If something sounds too good be true, it most likely is. Just because a product is advertised as “all natural” or a “cure-all” does not necessarily make it safe for everyone to take. • Ask yourself if it is worth the money. Americans spend billions of dollars a year on vitamins and supplements. Some of these supplements can be very costly and offer the body little or no benefit at all. For example, excessive amounts of water-soluble vitamins like C and B are not used by the body and are expelled in your urine.

Common Side Effects of Taking Too Much of a Vitamin or Dietary Supplement: • Vitamin A: Nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, clumsiness, birth defects, liver problems and possible risk of osteoporosis • Vitamin C: Diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps, interactions with cancer treatments (i.e., chemotherapy and radiation therapy) • Vitamin D: Nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, weakness, weight loss, confusion, heart rhythm problems and deposits of calcium in soft tissues • Vitamin E: Increased risk of bleeding through reduction of blood’s ability to form clots after a cut or injury • Zinc: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea and headaches • Magnesium: Diarrhea, abdominal cramping, increased risk of magnesium toxicity • Fish Oil: belching, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, inability to fight off infection, reduced blood pressure and may cause blood pressure levels to drop too low in people who are being treated with blood pressure-lowering medications (Medications that slow blood clotting also may be affected by fish oil and may cause bleeding by causing the blood to clot ineffectively.) • Licorice Root (DGL): miscarriage or an early delivery, fatigue, absence of menses, headache, water retention and decreased sexual desire and function in men • St. John’s Wort may alter how fast the body breaks down some medications (i.e., Xanax, antidepressants [Elavil, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft], birth control pills, Digoxin, pain medications [Demerol, Oxycodone, Tramadol], Plavix, Allegra, migraine headache drugs [Maxalt, Imitrex, Zomig] and Zocor).

Your pharmacist and health care provider’s expertise goes beyond prescribing and dispensing medication. Remember he or she will be able to provide valuable insight into medication, vitamins and dietary supplements. Always check with your health care provider or pharmacist before taking vitamins and dietary supplements, especially if you take prescription medications. For more information, contact your health care provider or pharmacist. Sources:, ,


North Oaks Surgery Center

By North Oaks Contributing Writer Britni Serou

Expanding Surgical Services to Meet Your Needs More operating rooms are now available to North Oaks Medical Center patients with the addition of the new North Oaks Surgery Center.

On May 12, more than 200 guests were on hand at a ribbon cutting and open house, which showcased how the free-standing center is designed to enhance patient experiences.

North Oaks Surgery Center ribbon cutting participants are (from left) North Oaks Medical Center Surgery Chairman Robert Kidd, MD; North Oaks Construction Coordinator Edward Wascom; Ponchatoula Mayor Robert Zabbia; Surgery Center Coordinator Nanette Nealy; North Oaks President/CEO James E. Cathey Jr.; North Oaks Board of Commissioners member Dr. Eleanor Dixon Wells; Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess; North Oaks Assistant Vice President of Surgical Services Terri Lewis; Hammond City Councilman Johnny Blount; North Oaks Board of Commissioners Chairman Guy Recotta Jr.; North Oaks Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman A.J. Bodker; North Oaks Board of Commissioners member Blake Daniels; Hammond Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Charlotte Banks; and North Oaks Board of Commissioners member James Nelson, MD.

Guests also were offered “behind-the-scenes” tours of the Surgery Center, including its four operating rooms and two special procedure rooms where a variety of pediatric and adult outpatient procedures are performed. In addition to the guided tours, winners of the Tangipahoa Parish “What Health Care Means to Me” Student Art Contest were unveiled for permanent display. The contest was open to all fourth-grade students and sponsored by North Oaks in partnership with the Tangipahoa Parish School System and Hammond Regional Arts Center. Original artwork created by high school art students to illustrate “care, compassion and healing in health care” also was unveiled for permanent display. 8

North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

surgery center team

Our highly skilled and experienced Surgical Services team has been performing surgical procedures for over 5 decades. In addition, they have the full support of the entire North Oaks Health System team of 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers.

The North Oaks Surgery Center includes: (from left, first row) Staff Nurse Shannon Livaudais; Peri-operative Director Beverly Caldwell; Surgery Center Coordinator Nanette Nealy; Staff Nurses Dawn Lupo, (second row) Lori Toups, Mary Plaisance and Sharra Bryant; Patient Care Tech Linda Smith; (third row) Staff Nurse Leslie Wood; Certified Scrub Techs Kimberly Graham and Stephen Burjard; Staff Nurse Chantel Faciane; Certified Scrub Tech Cindy Impastato; and Admit Assistant Kim Price. Not pictured is Certified Scrub Tech Mandy Ray.

Recovery Area Above, the recovery area is equipped with eight beds and windows, as well as rocking chairs so that parents of our pediatric patients may comfort their little ones after a procedure. To make children more relaxed on the procedure day, all of the pediatric patients receive a special North Oaks teddy bear, coloring books and crayons, as well as a doctor or nurse’s hat signed by their patient care team.

At right, the Surgery Center’s four operating rooms bring the hospital’s total operating room count to 12. In 2012, 14 new operating suites will open when the hospital expansion is complete.

operating room

Types of outpatient procedures performed at the Surgery Center for adults and children include, but are not limited to: • • • • •

Cosmetic Dental ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Gastroenterology General surgery

• • • • •

Gynecological Ophthalmology (eye) Orthopedics Urology Pain management.

North Oaks Surgery Center is located across Veterans Boulevard from North Oaks Medical Center, less than 1 mile from the hospital. For more information, please call North Oaks Surgery Center at (985) 230-7333 or visit


North Oaks 1st Northshore Hospital to Launch Latest Generation Robotic Surgery System

Pictured, from left, with da Vinci trained OB/GYNs W. Jeremy Erwin, Dwan Mabry and Gary Agena and “Oaklee the surgical robot” (front row) are members of the North Oaks Robotic Surgery Team, including: Certified Scrub Tech Buffy Coates, Registered Nurses Alice Stevens, Agnes Falcon and Stephany McLaughlin, and Licensed Practical Nurse Barbara Gibbens (back row). Not pictured are Registered Nurses Heather Marcelle and Sheryl Slaven.

On May 4, North Oaks Medical Center made history by becoming the first Northshore hospital to utilize the latest generation da Vinci® Si™ robotic surgical system. Already, the robot is surpassing utilization expectations for gynecological procedures, including hysterectomies and ovarian cystectomies, with Drs. Gary Agena, W. Jeremy Erwin and Dwan Mabry certified to use the system.

“North Oaks’ purchase of the da Vinci® Si™ system complements our goal of extending minimally invasive surgery to the broadest base of patients,” explains Terri Lewis, North Oaks’ Vice President of Surgical Services. Many surgical procedures that use standard laparoscopic technique may be performed more quickly and easily with the da Vinci® Si™. Ultimately, patients may benefit from smaller incisions, greater precision, less scarring and post-operative pain, quicker recovery times, shorter hospital stays and better outcomes.

Certified da Vinci Gynecologists

Hi, My Name is Oaklee!

Gary M. Agena, MD 10

W. Jeremy Erwin, MD

Dwan S. Mabry, MD

North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

North Oaks partnered with the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center to sponsor a contest to name the hospital’s da Vinci robot. Students in kindergarten through 6th grade were eligible to enter. The Hammond High Magnet School Torbotics Team and Bayou Builders First® LEGO® League had the task of choosing the winning name. “Oaklee” got their vote because it was friendly and identifiable with North Oaks. The winning name was submitted by 10-year-old Tayden Guidry of Lake Charles, a frequent visitor of the children’s museum.

By North Oaks Contributing Writer Britni Serou

“This is top-of-the-line technology,” affirms Dr. Erwin. While maintaining the same look and feel of traditional surgery, its advanced level of minimally invasive technology takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. “It makes procedures safer for our patients,” explains Dr. Agena. Assisted by the hospital’s specially trained robotic surgery team, surgeons operate with high-definition, 3-D visualization using a precise robotic control panel. “The North Oaks Robotic Surgical Team is top-notch, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” comments Dr. Mabry. Future plans are to expand into other specialty areas, including cardiovascular, colorectal, ENT and urology, to name only a few.

For more information, please call the North Oaks Communications Department at (985) 230-6647 or visit

New Hospitalist Program Benefits Patients As part of North Oaks’ continuous commitment to patient, physician and employee satisfaction, a hospitalist program was recently implemented by the health system in partnership with Southern Louisiana Physicians, LLP. Hospitalists are board-certified or board-eligible primary care physicians. They focus entirely on delivering comprehensive medical care to hospitalized adult patients, who either do not have a personal physician or who have been referred by their own primary care physician or specialist upon admission to the hospital. Ultimately, hospitalist programs are designed to enhance consistency in patient care, reduce the patient’s length of stay and contribute to positive patient experiences. In addition, primary care physicians benefit in that they are able to devote more time to their patients in the office having the peace of mind that their hospitalized patients’ needs are being met.

“We are on call 24/7 and spend our workday in the hospital instead of in a private practice to best manage and coordinate all aspects of inpatient hospital stays from admissions to discharge. We work closely with each patient’s primary care physician and the nursing staff to coordinate the patient’s care at all points and consult specialists as necessary. Often, we see our patients more than once a day to answer questions, follow up on tests, address any needs that may arise and ensure that care is going according to plan.”

By North Oaks Contributing Writer Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto

For example, primary care physicians typically round on their hospitalized patients early in the morning before their clinic opens. If a hospitalized patient’s lab or test results come back after the doctor rounds, it may mean another overnight stay for the patient. If a hospitalist were involved, he/she would be able to read the labs immediately, order any additional tests and possibly prevent another overnight hospital stay. Because hospitalists complement and do not replace primary care providers, patients are transitioned back to the care of their personal physician after discharge from the hospital. For patients who do not have a primary care physician, assistance in finding a provider after leaving the hospital is available. “This program demonstrates North Oaks’ commitment to quality, efficiency and the patient experience,” affirms North Oaks Chief Medical Officer Robert Peltier, MD. “Hospitalized patients and their personal physicians will truly benefit from collaboration and synergy with the hospitalist team.” According to the Society of Hospital Medicine, there are more than an estimated 30,000 hospitalists practicing in the U.S. today. For more information about the Hospitalist Program at North Oaks Medical Center, call (985) 230-3068 or visit

–Kasey Chenevert, MD North Oaks Medical Center Hospitalist Medical Director


North Oaks Quality in Louisiana Top 10% in the Nation 2011*

The Comprehensive Medical Rehabilitation (CMR) Unit at North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital ranks first in Louisiana and among the top 10 percent of more than 750 similar facilities across the U.S. for positive patient outcomes, according to Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR). The CMR Unit provides short-term inpatient nursing and rehabilitative care for patients with diagnoses of amputation, arthritis, brain injury, cardiac or congenital conditions, joint replacements, neurological disorders, orthopedic or spinal cord injuries and stroke. To learn more about the CMR Unit, call (985) 230-CMRU [2678] or visit

Top Performers

Accepting the UDSMR “Top Performer” award for 2011 are members of the North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital team: (from left, front row) Nursing Assistant Octavia Addison, Registered Nurse Stacy Slay, CMR Unit Program Coordinator Lisa Goings, Licensed Practical Nurse Amy Hutchinson, (second row, from left) Registered Nurse Sandy Coleman, Infusion/Wound, Ostomy, Continence Coordinator Darci Delatte, Physical Therapists Keri Saint, Kathy Kinnison and Shari Graci, Occupational Therapist Kendra Schilling, Speech Therapist Katie Reed, Occupational Therapy Assistants Brittany Nielson, Geri Mannino and Erica Brumfield, Registered Nurse Melissa Gomez, Nursing Assistant Joyce Akes-Williams, Registered Nurse Crystal Vicknair, (third row, from left) Inpatient Rehabilitation Services Director Janelle Lanier, Nursing Supervisor Steve Jenkins, Speech Therapists Reagan Johnson, Lindsay McAlpin, Occupational Therapist Barrett Willis, Physical Therapy Support Staff Supervisor Michael Williams, Program Assistant Barbara Sims, Rehab Tech Matt Schexnayder, Case Manager Nancy Holland, Occupational Therapist Leslie Zazulak, Senior Vice President/ Rehabilitation Hospital Administrator Sybil Paulson, Medical Director Randy Roig, MD, and Rehabilitation Services Financial/Operations Coordinator Scott Gaydos. 12

North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

North Oaks Lab Earns Continued AABB & CAP Accreditations North Oaks Department of Laboratories recently earned renewal of two notable accreditations through 2013. Both accreditation renewals follow intensive, on-site assessments by specially trained inspectors. First, AABB, a Maryland-based peer review assessment program, has renewed North Oaks’ accreditation for excellence in transfusion activities, a distinction the health system has achieved for 37 consecutive years—since 1974. By successfully meeting these requirements, North Oaks is positioned among an elite 1,800 similar facilities in the U.S. and abroad with the distinction of AABB accreditation. Secondly, the College of American Pathologists has renewed North Oaks’ accreditation based on excellence in record-keeping and quality control of procedures for the preceding 2 years, staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall laboratory management. North Oaks is currently among 7,000 labs worldwide that have earned CAP accreditation. CAP’s accreditation program is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s inspection program. North Oaks President/Chief Executive Officer James E. Cathey Jr. explains, “North Oaks values accreditation from AABB and CAP because we want the best for our patients. Both organizations are highly regarded for helping facilities around the world to achieve excellence through the promotion of a level of professional and medical expertise that contributes to quality performance and patient safety.” To learn about the services of North Oaks Department of Laboratories, please call (985) 230-6165 or visit

Physicians have a choice of where to practice. We are delighted that these physicians have chosen our health system. Join us in welcoming them to our community. Khawaja S. Jahangir, MD Hospitalist North Oaks Medical Center (985) 230-3068

Kasey R. Chenevert, MD Hospitalist North Oaks Medical Center (985) 230-3068 M. David East, MD Hospitalist North Oaks Medical Center (985) 230-3068

Steven C. Motarjeme, MD Hospitalist North Oaks Medical Center (985) 230-3068

Rafael Robledo, MD Internal Medicine North Oaks Internal Medicine Clinic (985) 345-4484 Not pictured: Hospitalists Curtis D. Prowell, MD and Byron K. Herpich, MD North Oaks Medical Center (985) 230-3068

To learn more about the North Oaks Hospitalist Program, see page 11 or call (985) 230-3068.

Robotic Surgery Demo

Torbotics & Bayou Builders Select Name for Surgical Robot

Members of the North Oaks robotic surgery team networked at the recent Hammond Chamber of Commerce’s Community & Business Expo. North Oaks offered expo-goers hands-on da Vinci robotic surgery demonstrations and complimentary heart risk assessments, including blood pressure checks and cholesterol and glucose screenings. Robotic surgery team members on hand included, from left, Certified Scrub Tech Buffy Coates, Registered Nurse Sheryl Slaven, Drs. Dwan Mabry and Jeremy Erwin, Registered Nurse Alice Stevens and Licensed Practical Nurse Barbara Gibbens. To learn more about North Oaks robotic surgery program, see page 10.

Making Great Strides

First to Your Aid

In partnership with the Hammond High Magnet School Torbotics Program and the Bayou Builders First® LEGO® League, North Oaks’ new da Vinci® Si™ robot has been named “Oaklee.” The winning name was submitted by 10-year-old Tayden Guidry of Lake Charles. The name unveiling culminated a special hands-on “traveling exhibit” day at the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center where children and parents could demo a da Vinci robot just like Oaklee. Pictured, from left, are: (front row) Bayou Builders Zachary Riche, Nils Sommerfield, Joy and Josh Asoodeh, Luc Allain, Riley Williams, Aaron Weymouth and Karlie Riche; (second row) Torbotics members Maggie Rocker, Rose DePaula, Vernell Banks, Brandt Lamonte, Ashlyn Dykes, April Gaydos, Brittany Dykes and Millard McElwee.

Robot Test Drive From left, Clinic Coder Cindy Dimiceli, Communications Director Melanie Zaffuto and Heart Health Services Director Christi Marceaux represent North Oaks as the Hospitality sponsor for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides walk at North Oak Park in Hammond.

Each spring, North Oaks staff members volunteer their personal time to provide first aid coverage at several Tangipahoa and Livingston Parish community events, including the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and March of Dimes March for Babies in Denham Springs and Hammond. From left are first aid volunteers Administrative Nursing Supervisor Nell Herring, Health Educator Maryellen Jenkins, Nurse Practitioner Kerri Burkes and Scrub Tech Dorothy Berkley.

Under the watchful eye of Jack Groner of Intuitive Surgical, Savannah Nelson gets behind the controls of da Vinci at the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center demo day.


continued First Annual Change of Heart Expo in Livingston Parish

Eighth Annual Tangipahoa Parish Change of Heart Expo

Charles Strong of Hammond gets diabetes education tips from North Oaks Diabetes Education Clinic Coordinator Debora Jones at the eighth annual Change of Heart Expo at North Oaks Diagnostic Center in Hammond. Nearly 100 community members participated in 248 health screenings, a health fair and seminars.

Sixty community members attended the first annual Change of Heart Expo at the new North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex. Event attendees participated in 153 health screenings, physician seminars and a health fair.

First Annual Sports Medicine Physical Day in Livingston Parish

Orthopedic Surgeon J. Larry Fambrough, MD, examines 15-year-old Cade Marsh of Walker during the first Annual Sports Medicine Physical Day at North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex. Fifteen physicians and nurse practitioners and more than 60 North Oaks staff members performed 505 complimentary physicals for student athletes during the community outreach event.

Twentieth Annual Sports Medicine Physical Day in Tangipahoa Parish

From right, Orthopedic Surgeon Bryan S. Dudoussat, MD, checks a previous baseball injury of Hammond High School sophomore Blake Cobre as part of his physical examination during the twentieth Annual North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day in Hammond. More than 100 North Oaks employees and hospital volunteers, as well as 25 physicians and nurse practitioners, gave of their time to conduct 1,307 complimentary physical examinations for junior high, high school and SLU students.

North Oaks Dietetic Intern Leslie Ballard prepares a dish during the “Eat Right with Color” cooking demonstration at Alack Culinary Equipment and Supplies in Hammond. The event was held in observance of National Nutrition Month to teach participants how to cook dishes that add a variety of color to the plate and make a meal healthy, as well as appealing.

Kids’ Bike Race

Ladies Top 28

From left, Melissa Dufour and Melissa Ridgedell, serving as door guards, were among more than 100 North Oaks staff members who volunteered their time at the Ladies Top 28 Basketball Tournament at Southeastern Louisiana University.


Cooking Demonstration

North Oaks Community Newsletter | Vol. 13 | No. 2 | Second Quarter 2011

From left, Dina and Summer Guilbeau and Miller McCants of Denham Springs enjoy learning about first aid at the North Oaks teddy bear clinic with Transcription System Analyst Angie Smith (second row) at the 8th annual Kids’ Bike Race in Denham Springs. The race was cosponsored by Pelican State Credit Union and North Oaks to promote children’s health and fitness.

Call (985) 230-7777 or (225) 686-4899 to register for Community Education classes and Car Seat Fittings. For a full description of classes and support group meetings, go to

Support Group Meetings AWAKE (Alert, Well And Keep Energetic) Support Group Oct. 12, 5:30 p.m. Breastfeeding Support Group: 6 p.m. July 26, Aug. 30, Sept. 27 and Oct. 18 Connection Peer Support Group (NAMI): 6:30 p.m. July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10 Diabetes Support Group July 6, 3 p.m. “Stress Management” Aug. 2, 6 p.m. “Foot Care” Sept. 7, 3 p.m. “Exercise & Diabetes” Families Touching Families: Filling the Gap: 10 a.m. July 9, 23; Aug. 6, 20; Sept. 10, 24; Oct. 8, 22 Group Living with Affective Disorders Support Group: 6 p.m. July 5, 11, 18, 25; Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Sept. 6, 12, 19; Oct. 10, 17, 24 Northlake Area Transplant Support Group: 7 p.m. Sept. 1 Tighten Up Support Group: 7 p.m. July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct. 10 Note: If you have bereavement support needs or questions, please call North Oaks Hospice at (985) 230-7620 for information on available community resources.

CPR Classes *minimum 4 hours American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR–$30 (for medical professionals) July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 19; 5 p.m. American Heart Association Heartsaver AED CPR Class–$20 (for the layperson) July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 22 and Oct. 27; 5 p.m.

Classes for Families & Children Body Beautiful I Class: Puberty for Girls–Free July 21 and Oct. 25, 6 p.m. Body Beautiful II: Self-esteem/Peer Pressure–Free Sept. 29, 6 p.m. Breastfeeding Class–Free July 14 and Sept. 15, 6 p.m. Car Seat Fitting Station–Free* July 11 and Aug 4; 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Sept. 1 and Oct. 20; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. *By appointment only Prenatal I Class: Families Under Construction–Free July 12 and Aug 30, 6 p.m. Prenatal II Class: Labor & Delivery–Free July 19 and Sept. 6, 6 p.m. Prenatal III Class: Relaxation Techniques–Free July 26 and Sept. 13, 6 p.m. Prenatal IV Class: Infant Care (& Tour)–Free Aug. 2 and Sept. 20, 6 p.m. Prenatal V Class: American Heart Association CPR for Family & Friends–$5 Aug. 9 and Sept. 27, 6 p.m. Something for Siblings Class–Free July 12 and Sept. 15, 5 p.m.

Special Events*

“Look Good…Feel Better” Presentation for Women in Cancer Treatment–Free July 18, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 17, 6-8 p.m. Look Good…Feel Better is a dinner program sponsored by the Tangipahoa Parish Cancer Support Group and American Cancer Society to enhance the self-image of women living with cancer. The program offers free makeovers and a take-home cosmetic kit, as well as practical, personalized advice about make-up and skin care, wig selection and upkeep, and creative ways to use scarves, hats and turbans. Registration is required. Please call North Oaks Outpatient Infusion Therapy Unit at (985) 230-1660 to register. Summer Activities for Kids Group Exercise Class–$25/month “Kids for Life” (ages 6-12) and “Teens Rule” (ages 13-17) are group exercise classes designed to get children and teens moving and feeling good! In addition to the opportunity for social interaction in a positive environment, benefits to participants may include greater strength and endurance, reduced anxiety and stress, improved self-esteem, a decrease in heart disease risk factors and weight management. Call North Oaks Wellness at (985) 230-5250 for class schedules and registration. Super Sitter Babysitting Class (ages 10-14)–Free Participants will have hands-on opportunities to practice basic infant care, learn first aid techniques and CPR and choking intervention for infants and children in this 1-day class. July 14, 21 and 28; 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

American Red Cross Standard First Aid Class–$40 July 14 and Sept. 8, 5 p.m. The American Heart Association (AHA) strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the AHA. Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA course materials, do not represent income to the Association.

Remember, if a hurricane approaches the area, the North Oaks Public Information Hotline at (985) 230-INFO [4636] will be activated to share updates, including the location of Medical Special Needs Shelters operated by the state’s Office of Public Health. Updates also will be posted to and shared with radio partners: KSLU 90.9 FM, Northshore Broadcasting (WFPR 1400 AM, WHMD 107.1 FM, WJBO 1150 AM, Tangi 96.5 FM) and WWL AM 870/FM 105.3.


Volume 13 | Number 2 | Second Quarter 2011

Presort Std

North Oaks Health System 15790 Paul Vega, MD, Drive | Hammond, LA 70403 P.O. Box 2668 | Hammond, LA 70404 Phone: (985) 230-6647 | Fax: (985) 230-6138 |

US Postage PAID Baton Rouge LA Permit No 2035

CommUnity is printed and published by North Oaks Health System under the leadership of the North Oaks Board of Commissioners. The information in this newsletter is meant to complement the advice of your health care providers, not to replace it. Before making any major changes in your medications, diet or exercise, talk to your health care provider. With a focus on our patients, community and one another, North Oaks Health System is dedicated to promoting wellness, restoring health and providing comfort. ©2011 North Oaks Health System

Dr. Masel diagnoses and surgically treats disorders of the nervous system. He specializes in minimally invasive and endoscopic spine and brain surgery. Dr. Masel also performs complex spine and brain

©2011 North Oaks Health System

“ Neurosurgery has made many

tumor surgeries.

advances in less invasive and safer operations. It still is a very delicate business. Conservative choices are often better. Let’s discuss the options. In many cases, surgery offers tremendous relief and can improve a patient’s quality of life.”

Dr. Masel has recently relocated his practice to Louisiana from Texas where he was recognized as one of the “Top Neurosurgeons in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

David L. Masel, MD, FACS

Board-certified Neurosurgeon

w w w. n o r t h o a k s . o r g

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Masel, call North Oaks Multispecialty Group at (225) 686-4960 (Livingston) or North Oaks Neurosurgery Clinic at (985) 230-7400 (Hammond). Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

17199 Spring Ranch Road • Suite 210 • Livingston, LA 15837 Paul Vega, MD, Drive • Suite 202 • Hammond, LA

General Surgeons to Serve Livingston Parish Board-certified General Surgeons Dorothy A. Lewis, MD, and Spencer P. Tucker, MD, will begin seeing patients Monday, July 11 at North Oaks Multispecialty Group located within North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call North Oaks Multispecialty Group at (225) 686-4960.

Dorothy A. Lewis, MD General Surgeon Spencer P. Tucker, MD General Surgeon

North Oaks Community Newsletter Volume 13 | Number 2  

Summertime Survival Guide