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FALL 2019




Donations from Ochsner employees help to continue the hospital’s legacy of care and compassion.

INSIDE: • In their time of need, the Savoie family found relief through the • • •

Pediatric Family Assistance Fund. Now, they want to pay that generosity forward. (page 4)

Ambassadors for Ochsner Hospital for Children make sure that every pediatric patient has what they need most: a friend. (page 8) Dietician Molly Kimball shares a recipe from The Eat Fit Cookbook: Chef Inspired Recipes for the Home. (page 11) A partnership with Gilead Sciences makes HIV and HCV screening accessible to Baton Rouge patients. (page 12)


FOUNDATION BOARD D E A R F R I E N D S, There are many reasons why someone might choose to give to Ochsner. Maybe they want to say thank you after surviving a challenging health event through the help of their Ochsner care team. Maybe they want to support and encourage the growth of innovative, groundbreaking

PICTURED BELOW Standing from Left: Marcel Garsaud Frank Dudenheffer Tommy Fonseca

treatments for future patients. Or maybe they want to

Cliffe Laborde

help ensure that everyone has access to the highest

Greg Flores

quality care exactly when and where they need it. But I think the main reason why people choose to give is, simply, because they want

Sarah Freeman Carey Dr. Joseph Dalovisio

to help people. Whether it’s with a financial donation or the gift of time and talent,

Pamela Steeg

Ochsner donors give because they care about the health of our communities. They

John Kennedy

are people just like you and me, and they are the patients, clinicians, employees

Wilmer ‘Bill’ Freiberg

and organizations who are making a difference in the lives of so many. Because

Todd Johnson

all of us want to know that when we’re sick, someone will be on our side.

John Hairston

In this issue of Ochsner magazine, you’ll find stories about some of these donors. You’ll learn why they give and how they are making an impact in the lives of patients in our communities. You’ll read about employees who give not only their time and skills, but also financial contributions from their own paychecks to care for our patients. You’ll learn about a family devastated by loss that has found hope in helping others. You’ll see how a team of passionate individuals works to bring a bit of normalcy to the lives of sick and hospitalized children. I hope you enjoy the stories in this issue. They are hopeful reminders of the many ways to give back and lift each other up. Thank you to the donors, staff and organizations featured in this issue and throughout our community who make it possible for us to care for our friends, families and neighbors every day. We could not do it without you. Warner L. Thomas President & CEO, Ochsner Health System

Seated from Left: Tommy Coleman Karen Stall Miles Clements, Chair Calvin Fayard Warner Thomas Chadwick Landry Norris Williams Not Pictured: Gayle Benson Robert Boh Paul Flower Leon Giorgio Desiree Harrison Tara Hernandez Michael Maenza Steve Nathanson Catherine Burns Tremaine

Photo by Stephen Legendre 2

Summer 2019



Warner L. Thomas President and Chief Executive Off icer Robert Hart, MD, FAAP, FACP Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Off icer Michael Hulefeld Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Off icer Scott J. Posecai Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Off icer Pete November Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Off icer


Hope Away from Home In their time of need, the Savoie family found relief through the Pe dia tric Family A ssis tan ce Fun d . Now, th ey want to p a y th a t g en erosit y for ward .


Leonardo Seoane, MD, FACP Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Off icer

Giving and Growing

Tracey Schiro Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Off icer

Donations from Ochsner employees help to continue

David Carmouche, MD Senior Vice President and President of Ochsner Health Network and Executive Director of Ochsner Accountable Care Network

the hospital’s legacy of care and compassion.

Mark Muller Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

David M. Gaines Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Off icer

Ambassadors for Ochsner Hospital for Children make sure that every pediatric patient has what they need most: a friend.

Michelle Dodenhoff Senior Vice President and Chief Development Off icer Jennifer Bollinger Senior Vice President of Consumer Strategy

OCHSNER MAGAZINE Melissa Landry Editor Lea Witkowski-Purl Editor

RENAISSANCE PUBLISHING Topher Balfer Custom Publishing Editor Ali Sullivan Art Director

The Eat Fit Cookbook


Dietician Molly Kimball shares a recipe for Surfer’s Bar Seared Yellowfin with Vegetables and Salsa, as featured in The Eat Fit Cookbook: Chef Inspired Recipes for the Home.


A Global Effort A p ar tn ership w ith G ile ad S cien ces m akes HIV an d H C V scre enin g accessible to B a ton Ro u g e p a tient s .



To support philanthropy at Ochsner, please visit:


Grateful patients and dedicated m em b ers of th e com m unit y h elp O chsn er provide high quality care through events and celebrations of Ochsner and the generosity of its donors.


o c h s n e r. o rg


Hope Away f rom Home

By Jordan LaHaye Photos provided by the Savoie Family

The Savoie Family

Inspired by the care their son received at Ochsner, Nina and Joseph Savoie are returning that kindness to the families of pediatric patients.


n November 2017, after five years, Nina and Joseph Savoie

specialists grew to include Dr. Fernando Andres Urrego for

knew that their son John Harris’s medical battle was coming to

pulmonology and Dr. Mariastella Serrano for gastroenterology.

its end. They called Dr. Patrick Cripe, their Pediatric Intensive

virus (RSV) that kept him in the ICU for 10 days on a ventilator when

“We’ll manage this. We have a plan.”

he got another cold that threatened to keep him there much longer.

The staff met them at the door of the Emergency Department

“Everyone came in and checked on him,” said Nina. “They

and took them to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and a nurse that

were really good at communicating among each other, keeping

knew John Harris and his case was called in. “We’ll keep him as

everyone on the same page.”

comfortable as we can,” Dr. Cripe said. The Savoies had first come to Ochsner after transferring from their hospital in Baton Rouge two years before. At that point, John Harris, who was born premature, was two years old and had been diagnosed with the rare heart condition,


He was just recovering from a scary bout of respiratory syncytial

Care doctor at Ochsner, on his private cell phone. He told them,

John Harris’s liver and spleen were getting dangerously large alongside his persistent heart and lung problems. “Each doctor was keeping their parts running, but no one knew what exactly was wrong with him,” said Nina. Seeing little progress, Nina and Joseph asked their team of

pulmonary vein stenosis. Under the care of Dr. Victor “Sam”

specialists if they could have a meeting to figure out a plan. In

Lucas and Dr. Ryan Griffin, he received several heart catheters

a little room in the hospital, the whole team came together and

and was kept on oxygen for breathing issues. As his condition

made the decision to consult Dr. Dmitri Niyazov who conducted

became more and more complex, John Harris’s team of

basic genetic testing. When those results came back inconclusive,

Summer 2019

Dr. Niyazov wanted to go a step further and conduct a more extensive study called whole exome sequencing. “Insurance wouldn’t cover the test, and normally it takes eight months to get results,” said Nina. “But Dr. Niyazov told us not to worry about the price. He said, ‘We’ll take care of this, we need to figure out what is wrong with him.’ We got the results in ten days.” The test revealed that John Harris had a rare condition called Niemann-Pick Type C, in which genetic mutations make it difficult for the body to metabolize cholesterol and lipids, resulting in the buildup of fats in the liver, spleen, lungs and brain. There are around 500 known cases of Niemann-Pick Type C in the world,

John Harris Savoie at Ochsner

and there is no known cure. “They told us he would eventually start to lose skills,” said Nina. “When we got there, he was walking a little, had a few words. He would lose all of it.”

“He wanted to see everyone, wave at everyone as they came by,” Nina remembers. “He was sedated and intubated and doing

After 75 days in the ICU, John Harris went home.

the itsy-bitsy spider. And once he had seen everyone, only after

“Everything had changed,” said Nina. “Our doctors had never

— he passed away in his favorite place.”

seen a case before, but they told us, ‘We will do this with you.’” Because typical onset of Niemann-Pick Type C is age seven, the Savoies immediately had their older son tested. When the results came in, knowing how anxious they were, Dr. Niyazov personally called Nina even though it was 9 pm. Thankfully, he didn’t have it.

After John Harris’s death, Joseph approached their doctors, knowing that surely there were still some unpaid bills to settle, things that insurance didn’t cover. “They came back and said, ‘nothing,’” said Joseph. “They never sent us a bill. We had decent insurance, but there was a lot of

“I’ll never forget that day, how relieved we were,” said Nina.

things that it wouldn’t have covered. We spent 90 nights in the

More doctors at Ochsner joined John Harris’s team, including

Brent House Hotel, not to mention the genetic testing.”

pediatric neurologists Dr. Diane Africk and Dr. Aaron Karlin,

Joseph learned that some of their bills had been covered by

who helped the family develop rehabilitative solutions to

the hospital’s Pediatric Family Assistance Fund, which serves

maintain as much of John Harris’s motor skills and abilities for

to help minimize the expenses of long-term illness for children

as long as they could.

and their families.

During all of this, Dr. Urrego was working behind the scenes on

Joseph and Nina wanted to give back to the hospital that had

securing FDA approval for compassionate use of a clinical trial

gone to such lengths to care for their son, and they wanted to do

drug that was being tested in Chicago. Because of his oxygen

something to make such a devastating experience easier on other

dependence and the severity of his illness, John Harris wasn’t a

families. Shortly after John Harris’s death, they made a donation

qualified candidate for the trial. However, compassionate drug use

to the Pediatric Family Assistance Fund in his name and they

would allow the doctors at Ochsner to administer the experimental

encouraged family members and friends to donate in lieu of flowers

drug to him outside of the trial. After a lengthy legal process, John

or dedications at his funeral. They’ve continued donating ever since.

Harris was approved to start treatment in the summer of 2017.

“My hope is that families who don’t have the means or support

“We didn’t even have to fight for the drug,” said Nina. “Our

levels that we had from our family and friends, that they are able

doctors did all of the fighting for us.” John Harris began receiving infusions every other week, bringing hematology and oncology onto his team. “He was losing a lot of skills at that point,” said Nina. “He couldn’t sit up anymore or hold his head up. We wanted to see if it did anything at all, even just give him some comfort — help him breathe easier, be able to move.” John Harris’s condition wasn’t improving and at the end of the year, the family began to have more serious conversations about

to experience this without worrying about money,” said Joseph. “They have enough to worry about.” Nina said that at Ochsner she felt like there were people fighting for her son. “My biggest hope for other families is that they have just one thing they don’t have to fight for,” she said. “You fight a lot, every little thing. I hope that they have what we did, that someone comes and just says, ‘I know you need this. We’ll take care of it.’”

the end. Because of his use of the clinical trial drug and the use of the ventilator when things got bad, John Harris wasn’t qualified for

If you would like to suppor t families facing the illness

hospice care, “but our doctors were helping us, managing payment

of a child through the Pediatric Family A ssistance

and comfort medications,” Nina said. On the day that he passed,

Fund, please visit

all of John Harris’s doctors and nurses, many of whom had been

or contac t Traci Lucas , Direc tor of Development , at

battling with him for most of his life, came by to see him.

504 - 8 42- 6055 or traci.lucas

o c h s n e r. o rg


Giving and Growing

By Emily Andras | Photo by Daymon Gardner

Employee and Physician Giving program provided her with a financial lifeline — one that she now donates to so that others can receive the same aid. Dr. Vu Vuong, a Senior Physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology, has worked on Ochsner’s West Bank campus since 1997 and said his reasons for giving back to Ochsner are simple. “The people working here at our West Bank campus were, are and will always be ‘my people,’” said Dr. Vuong. “We work closely together to take care of our friends and neighbors — i.e. folks known in other parts of town as ‘patients.’” To Dr. Vuong, giving back to Ochsner is as natural as breathing. “It is simply an act of love—of taking care of one’s own family.” This is not an uncommon feeling among

“ I t i s simply an a c t of love” – Why O chsn e r

Ochsner staff members who choose to

e m ploye e s are g ivin g ba ck to t h ei r workp l a ce

give. Tamika Warmington Barfield, the Manager of Annual Giving for the Ochsner Health System, has seen the impact that


Employee Giving has on Ochsner — and or many, giving any amount of their hard-earned money back to their employers would seem like an absurd idea—but for Ochsner employees, paying it forward is part of what it means to work at the largest non-profit healthcare system in Louisiana.

The annual Physician and Employee Giving program, which began its 2019 drive

“Every day, Ochsner team members perform countless thoughtful acts that help the people around them,” said Tamika.

in August, offers Ochsner employees a unique chance to influence change by

Many Ochsner facilities highlight these acts

supporting growth and improvement in areas they are passionate about.

of giving through a Physician and Employee

Employees and physicians throughout Ochsner Health System donated more

Giving wall, which patients and families

than $2 million in 2018 to support everything from patient programs to employee

often stop to admire on their way in or

assistance. All of the money raised stays within the Ochsner system, which some

out of the hospital. “Our donors are more

employees cited as their primary reason for giving.

enthusiastic about giving when they see that

Donations don’t just come from the top: part-time technicians to the chief nursing officer give back to Ochsner. Patrice Stanford, a Patient Access Representative in Gynecologic Oncology at Ochsner Baptist, gives every year to honor how Ochsner has helped her. Patrice, who has worked at Ochsner since 2006, was forced to take an extended leave of absence due to illness in 2012. During the nearly 18 months she was recuperating, the


on members of the community.

Summer 2019

employees care about where they work.” Four Ochsner employees — from all levels and departments — told us about why they choose to give to the Physician and Employee Giving program.

Dr. Vincent “Butch” Adolph, RMD Regional Medical Director, Lake Charles and Shreveport Dr. Adolph also gives to the surgical scholarship fund to help medical students, the same way he was helped in a time of need.

I’ve donated to some major construction capital projects like the Ambulatory Center across the street and the expansion of our PICU to create a cardiovascular ICU. I also give to the Pediatric Patient Assistance Fund — these patients are going through medical and emotional challenges while they’re also missing work or are far f rom home. I want to donate to them to help minimize the f inancial challenges that they might be facing.”

Deborah Ford Chief Nursing Officer, Hospital Administration Deborah has worked in nursing for more than 40 years and is most excited to see her contributions go toward f inding cures and new ways to offer relief to patients

As a chief nursing executive, when I’m rounding on the unit, I see how sick our community is and how they depend on us to make them better. Because we take this money and put it back into our people and programs and our research, it helps us have things like Innovation Ochsner and continuing education for our nurses so they can take care of the sickest of the sick. That’s what motivates me to go ahead and click that button.”

Dr. Dennis Kay, Sr. Chairman, Department of Radiology Dr. Kay was Ochsner’s f irst fellowship-trained interventional radiologist; he helped develop the interventional radiology team, new therapies and techniques during his time at Ochsner

I managed to narrow it down to three reasons why I give. The f irst is that I’m thankful for the education I received here — I’m very thankful for the opportunity I received when I did my residency and training here. The second is that I’m thankful for all the professional opportunities I had here. I got to help the department grow f rom angiography into the interventional radiology era. The third is that I fully believe in our mission to serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate. From development funds to the cancer gala and patient care, I have the chance to give on so many levels.”

Nell Naquin Medical Technologist, Hematology Pictured with her bell, which she received f rom a student during her days as a teacher; she rings the bell around her department to gather donations

I believe in engagement: the more engaged I am, the happier I am. Giving helps me feel as though I have a part and a place. My piece of the philanthropy pie isn’t much, but when you put together my small piece and everyone else’s small piece, it can do bigger and better things.”

o c h s n e r. o rg


Yo u ’ v e G o t a F r i e n d i n M e

By Topher Balfer

At O chsner Ho spital for Children , A mbas s ador s O f fer Companionship and Comfor t to Pediatric Patient s

Photo by Patricia Boehm Steve Purcell, Senior Story and Creative Artist; John Lee, Art Director; Graham Finley, Animator; Alyssa Del Vigna, Community Relations Specialist; Britta Wilson, Vice President of Inclusion Strategies


f all the relationships that define and shape a child’s life

dors come in. Their mission is simple: to lend a helping hand,

— parents, siblings, neighbors and teachers — there are

to share a smile and to offer some of the companionship and

none quite like the bonds they share with their friends.

togetherness that children need.

A friend can be the difference between a good day or a bad day. They can make an ordinary situation into an occasion for laughter and imagination. And in the face of difficulties, a friend can provide the strength and courage necessary to overcome any obstacle. When a child requires extended medical care, meaning time away from school, and the normalcy of a routine, the disruption to their day-to-day lives can be frightening and overwhelming without friends by their sides. At Ochsner Hospital for Children, that’s where the Ambassa-


Summer 2019

Sharing a Smile Whitney Alford, Child Life Coordinator at Ochsner Hospital for Children, said that Ambassadors help to fulfill a therapeutic role in the lives of children by engaging them through reading and other activities. “The work of children is to play,” Whitney said. “It’s how they learn about the world around them and increase in cognitive, social, physical and emotional development. This can be

limited in the hospital setting. Through therapeutic play and special events, we are able to create good memories to associate with hospitalization, instead of only hard ones.” Traci Lucas, Directory of Philanthropy at Ochsner Hospital for Children and one of the founders of the Ambassadors program, said there are several opportunities throughout the year for Ambassadors to become involved in the daily lives of pediatric patients. “Once a month, we have an Ambassador Story Time. We give the Ambassadors a list of patients they can visit, and they go to their rooms and ask if they can read a story,” she said. “It brings a little bit of a break in the monotony of a day for both the child and the parents.” Anyone can become an Ambassador. It starts with a philanthropic donation of at least $1,000. The funds collected from

The Ochsner Flight Care Team waves excitedly for beads from a 2019 parade participant.

these gifts can make a substantial difference in the resources and facilities available to pediatric patients.

is just amazing,” he said. “We have stayed in touch with them

“The gifts from the Ambassadors can make a big impact

throughout the years, and when they reached out to us about

on a program or a project,” Traci said. “Each year, the gifts

the Ambassador program, I was happy to participate. I’ve re-

support one particular thing. In 2018, our inaugural year,

ally enjoyed being part of it.”

gifts were dedicated to help with renovations in the Pediatric

Billy said that one of his favorite parts of being an Ambassa-

Emergency Department. This year, gifts are being earmarked

dor comes after he’s finished reading a story, when he and the

for renovations in our Pediatric Hospital.”

child can talk about what they’ve just read.

Billy Goliwas and his wife, Anne, are both Ambassadors who

“It’s a great way for the kids to have some interaction at the

have offered philanthropic support and participated in the

hospital that’s not completely centered around the reason

monthly story times. Supporting pediatric patients is per-

they’re there,” he said. “I think that brings a little comfort to

sonal to the Goliwas family. William, Billy and Anne’s son, was

them, and it also allows the parents some time to gather them-

born prematurely at Ochsner and spent many of his first days

selves, take a little break and re-center on some things not

in the hospital. Billy said that the situation was made easier

directly associated with the children.”

by the dedicated care team. “We spent a lot of time at Ochsner with our son and grew to love the hospital and the people working there. Their effort

The difference this can make is tremendous, he said, even if the child’s reaction is as simple as a smile. “There’s nothing better than to see the smile of a child who’s in a bad predicament,” he said. “It’s just so rewarding to be able to help in any way, to create a level of comfort for those kids. I think this is just one more step that Ochsner takes to make those kids and their parents feel as comfortable as they can while they’re there.” Helping Hands for the Holidays In addition to the story times, Traci said that the Ambassadors partner with the Child Life team throughout the year to organize and host special holiday events. This way, pediatric patients are able to enjoy traditions that they might ordinarily miss in a hospital setting. “The volunteering at the hospital is all coordinated and done with the amazing help and work of Child Life,” Traci said. “Ambassadors will come help and help decorate wagons and wheelchairs to make them fun, festive Mardi Gras floats. Ambassadors help to push wheelchairs, roll IV poles and pull wagons, forming a parade that moves through the hallways.

Billy reading to patients during Ambassador Story Time.

The kids will throw beads, cups and plush toys to “anyone and everyone they see.”

o c h s n e r. o rg


patients or guests that happen to come to Ochsner and see this wonderful event taking place for the kids.” The Visit of a Lifetime This July, pediatric patients were treated to an incredibly special event, one that had even Ochsner employees and Ambassadors excited: a visit from the Pixar Animation Studios team and a private screening of Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4. Traci explained that each time a new Pixar movie comes out, the team behind the film picks two cities, and then plans visits to pediatric hospitals in those cities. This year, Ochsner was contacted to host a screening, giving patients the chance to experience something that most kids can only dream about. “The whole focus is the kids. They’re really altruistic about this visit,” Traci said. “They bring several artists along for the screening and they go to the kids’ rooms and draw characters for them. It can be their favorite character, which doesn’t have to be a Disney character, since they understand that kids are kids.” After spending time in inpatient rooms, the artists also visited Ochsner’s pediatric outpatient clinic, so that oncology and infusion patients were able to spend time with the Pixar team, too. Then, employees and Ambassadors helped to gather the Steve Purcell draws characters from Toy Story 4 for a patient.

kids for their exclusive Toy Story 4 screening, something that Whitney said was an incredible way to make the families feel special in a welcoming space. “A private showing of a film like Toy Story 4, that is so new

“Events like the parades are just so exciting for them to get out

to the theaters, is exciting for patients because they might

of their rooms,” said Donna Muller, Ambassador and Education

otherwise not get the opportunity to see it due to hospitaliza-

Outreach employee at Ochsner. “If they are able to participate

tion,” Whitney said. “Patients and families get to come see

in these parades, where they are the center of attention, I think

a movie, eat some popcorn, and for a little while, they can

that gives them hope. Anything that makes them happy and

forget that they are at Ochsner Hospital for Children.”

gets their minds off of what’s going on is very healing. They can laugh and smile and just be normal for a little bit.” During Easter, pediatric patients are brought down to the

The kids left the movie with fond memories, some goodies from Pixar and maybe even a new favorite character or two. With the invaluable support and friendship of the Ambassa-

indoor visitor’s garden for an egg hunt, but Traci said the most

dors, and with the continued efforts to bring joy and excite-

popular event happens during Halloween.

ment through Child Life programming, events like these are

“It’s so amazing. Every year, we take donations of Halloween

helping to ensure that no child feels like they’re missing out

costumes for kids who are in the hospital,” she said. “We put all

on life by making their wellness a priority. Instead, they are

of the kids in brand new Halloween costumes, put them in wag-

able to create new relationships, build positive memories, and

ons and wheelchairs, and then get Ambassadors and volunteers

take the steps toward a happy and healthy life.

to help push all of the kids through this big route on the first floor of the hospital and our lobby.” Following a “Trunk or Treat” format, participating hospital depart-

It turns out that there are friends everywhere you turn, even in the hospital. “With the support of the Ambassadors,” Whitney said, “we

ments set up a station along the route, where kids can stop for

can continue educating, growing and celebrating milestones

anything from candy and goodies to bags filled with coloring books,

in patient’s journeys — to recovery and beyond.”

toys and bubbles. The departments take it seriously, often decorating their stations by theme and wearing group costumes. More than

Fo r m o re i n fo r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e A m b a s s a d o r s

56 Ochsner departments participated in the parade in 2018.

fo r O c h s n e r H o s p i ta l fo r C h i l d re n o r h ow yo u c a n

“It’s such a beautiful thing for the kids,” Traci said. “It brings a


h e l p, p l e a s e v i s i t o c h s n e r. o r g /a m b a s s a d o r s o r

lot of joy to them and lets them be kids. It’s fun for the families

c o n ta c t Tra c i L u c a s , D i re c to r of D eve l o p m e n t , a t

to participate and the employees love it, as well as all the other

5 0 4 - 8 4 2 - 6 0 5 5 o r t ra c i . l u c a s @ o c h s n e r. o rg .

Summer 2019

Enjoy a Recipe f rom th e Eat Fit Team Lucy ’s Retired Surfer ’s Bar Seared Yellowf in with Vegetables and Salsa

Seared Yellowfin Tuna: 4 - 6 ounce tuna fillets 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup red onion, sliced 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 10 cups fresh spinach Mango Pineapple Salsa: 1 pineapple, chopped 1 ½ mangoes, chopped ¼ medium red pepper, chopped ¼ jalapeño pepper, chopped ¼ onion, chopped ¼ poblano pepper, chopped ¼ tablespoon sea salt 1 tablespoon honey ¼ cup cilantro, chopped ¼ cup rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sriracha COMBINE pineapple, mangoes, red pepper, jalapeño, onion, poblano pepper, sea salt, honey, cilantro rice wine vinegar and sriracha in a large bowl and gently mix. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. SEASON each tuna fillet with a pinch of salt, pepper and drizzle of olive oil. Place fillets on a skillet over high heat and sear each side for 1 minute. Remove from heat and slice into thin strips. IN A SKILLET over medium high heat, sauté onions and olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, tomatoes, spinach, salt and pepper, and cook until spinach is gently wilted. PORTION the vegetables onto 4 large plates. Top with sliced tuna and garnish with ¼ cup of salsa. PER SERVING: 310 calories, 8 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 700 mg sodium, 15 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar (gram added sugar), 45 grams protein MAKES FOUR SERVINGS

Find more Eat Fit recipes like this one in the Eat Fit C o o k b o o k , a va i l a b l e n ow a t

o c h s n e r. o rg


Ochsner Baton Rouge Joins Global E f f o r t t o D e t e c t a n d C o m b a t H I V/ A I D S

By Andrea Blumstein

In partnership with Gilead Sciences, Ochsner is ensuring that HIV and HCV screenings are available and accessible


lthough the HIV/AIDS epidemic first reached public con-

In 2017, Gilead Sciences launched its COMPASS (COMmitment

sciousness in the United States in the 1980s, the stigmas

to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States)

surrounding the virus still endure today — and resourc-

Initiative, a 10-year, $100 million partnership with community-

es for those affected remain scarce in many areas of the country.

based organizations working to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Ochsner Baton Rouge is tackling these healthcare challenges head on, implementing systemic changes that anticipate and respond to longstanding community-wide problems. Almost 20,085 individuals are living with an HIV diagnosis in Louisiana, according to a 2016 report published by AIDSvu — an online resource that transforms HIV data into a visual representation of the epidemic’s impact in the country. Created in partnership with Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Gilead Sciences, Inc. and the Center for AIDS

in the Southern United States.

We w a n t t o r e d u c e t h e s t i g m a

around these two diseases locally and let patients know that it is treatable, and it is manageable

Research at Emory University, AIDSVu also reports that approximately 3,911 cases of HIV in Louisiana are located in Baton

“When considering where to develop partnerships, we identify

Rouge. In addition, partner site HepVu estimates that 50,700

communities with high prevalence for HIV. Because the surveil-

people in Louisiana are currently living with Hepatitis C (HCV).

lance systems are not as mature for HCV, we look at substitute

As a part of the effort to combat these illnesses — and the

markers, such as the rate of drug use in the area as reported by

social stigmas surrounding them — Ochsner Baton Rouge

drug overdose hospitalizations and deaths. We also determine

secured funding from Gilead Sciences in order to mobilize

prospective community and clinical partners with readiness to

on the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations to

make the systemic change necessary to implement the FOCUS

integrate infectious disease screening into clinical settings.

pillars,” said Sylvia Andrews, a director within the FOCUS program

This will help to normalize and sustain testing for blood-borne

who oversees partnerships within Louisiana and Mississippi.

viruses like HIV and HCV, and it will in turn produce positive outcomes for all Louisianans. “One of our main goals is to do what’s right for the patient,” said Susan Green, Director of the Nursing Unit and Emergency

“In places like Louisiana, even though we have Medicaid expansion, there is still a high number of patients who use emergency care as their primary, or only, source of care,” said Sylvia. In October 2018, Ochsner Baton Rouge submitted a full proposal

Medical Services at Ochsner Baton Rouge. “Undoubtedly, the

to Gilead Sciences FOCUS program1 to routinize HIV and HCV screen-

research was there that a large population exists that either

ing as part of emergency care. They hoped this initiative would iden-

know and are untreated, or don’t know and are untreated —

tify patients earlier in the disease progression and quickly link them

both of whom are spreading the viruses.”

to the first medical appointment following their diagnosis.

Susan collaborated on the screening program with Lauren Sevier, Project Coordinator at Ochsner Baton Rouge. “We want to reduce the stigma around these two diseases locally

“The great thing about this project is how truly collaborative it is,” said Kristin Petry, Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Ochsner. The team working on the project

and let patients know that it is treatable, and it is manageable,”

included representatives from across Ochsner Health System,

said Lauren. “Getting them into care and staying there so that they

including the Emergency Department, Information Systems,

are virally suppressed and no longer transmitting is our focus.”

Revenue Cycle and key system leadership. The group worked

1. In the U.S., the FOCUS Program is a public health initiative that enables partners to develop and share best practices in routine blood-borne virus (HIV, HCV, HBV) screening, diagnosis, and linkage to care in accordance with screening guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and state and local public health departments. FOCUS funding supports HIV, HCV, and HBV screening and linkage to a first medical appointment. FOCUS partners do not use FOCUS awards for activities beyond linkage to a first medical appointment.


Summer 2019

There are approximately 3,911 people living with HIV in Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge - Rates of Persons Living with HIV, 2017 Early treatment reduces HIV transmission by 93% among heterosexual couples

1,851+ 1,151 - 1,850 801-1,150 601-800 351-451

Modifications being implemented will increase HIV & HCV screenings of eligible patients from under 1% to 35%

251-350 201-250 0-200

Infographic adapted from

on the proposal for about eight months. “We not only worked with Gilead Sciences FOCUS program to

Just as the project was getting off the ground in early 2018, a patient came into Ochsner’s Emergency Department with shortness

make sure the proposal was good, but also with Ochsner Baton

of breath. Her blood was drawn as part of this program, panels

Rouge leadership to ensure we could hit the ground running if

were sent to the lab for testing, and the patient was diagnosed with

the project was funded. Together, we worked to preemptively

chronic HIV. It is believed that she likely carried the transmittable

change the algorithms that fire off in the emergency depart-

HIV infection for several years without knowing her condition and

ment so that a nurse could be properly notified of essential

that without medical intervention, she would not have survived.

next steps without interrupting patient care,” said Kristin. Modifications to the Epic Medical Record System will improve

Since the implementation of Opt-out HIV/Hepatitis C (HCV) testing in February 2019, the emergency department at Ochsner

HIV screenings of eligible patients from 0.5% to 35%, while

Medical Center Baton Rouge has screened over 5,000 patients.

screening for HCV will increase from 0.2% to 35%.

Of those, nearly 150 had positive results.

Scientific advances in HIV prevention have fundamentally

Such instances prove that philanthropic partnerships like the

changed our ability to prevent new infections and the ap-

one with Gilead Sciences are key to saving as many lives as pos-

proaches that are needed to make this happen. A 2016 re-

sible — and the impact is only made greater by ensuring these

port released by the National Institutes of Health evidenced

initiatives are made available to communities in need.

that early HIV treatment reduces HIV transmission by 93% among heterosexual couples. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Southern

“We want to make sure we emphasize that this is a great thing for our community,” said Lauren. “We are reducing the stigma, spreading the word that these diseases are medically managed,

states experienced 52% of new HIV infections in 2017, despite

are treatable, and individuals do not need to fall to the outskirts

being home to a relatively smaller portion of the country’s

or feel exiled from our community.”

population. The cause of this surge, they say, is similar to other societal disparities like poverty, housing stability and

I f yo u wo u l d l i k e to h e l p i n c r e a s e s c r e e n i n g s i n

food security. A variety of community-based solutions are

emergency departments, please visit , please

required to reduce stigma and increase access to care for at-

v i s i t O c h s n e r. o r g / F O C U S o r c o n ta c t K r i s t i n P e t r y,

risk populations, but the collaboration between Ochsner and

D i r e c to r o f D eve l o p m e n t , a t 5 0 4 - 8 4 2 - 8 4 6 7 o r

Gilead is already demonstrating positive results.

k r i s t i n . p e t r y @ o c h s n e r. o r g .

o c h s n e r. o rg



The 2019 Benefactor Dinner was held on M a y 8 , 2 0 1 9 a t t h e A u d u b o n Te a R o o m . At the event , Miles Clements , Chair of Ochsner Health Foundation Board (lef t) a n d Wa r n e r T h o m a s , P r e s i d e n t a n d C E O o f Ochsner Health System (right) presented gif ts to honorees to thank them for making a d i f f e r e n ce .

Bonnie Rault

Anderson Baker, representing Gillis, Ellis & Baker, Inc.

O n J u n e 1 5 , 2 01 9, a c e l e b r a t i o n wa s h e l d a t t h e h o m e o f D r. G e r a l d D e n to n a n d W i l l i a m W i n e b r e n n e r i n h o n o r o f D r. R i c h a r d Deichmann and the Professorship named i n h i s h o n o r.

Dr. Robert Hart, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Richard Deichmann and Dr. Leonardo Seoane, Senior Vice Ruddy Ramelli, representing Jones Walker, LLP


Summer 2019

President and Chief Academic Officer


O n M a y 7, 2 0 1 9 , D r. S h a n e F r e n c h a n d D r. L i z L a p e y r e g a t h e r e d w i t h f r i e n d s a t t h e h o m e of Mary Matalin for conversat ion around women’s healt h, wellness and empowerment.

John F. Kennedy and Mary Matalin

Dr. Liz Lapeyre, Lori Jupiter, Tanya Jupiter and Lauren Phipps

O n J u n e 1 2 , 2 0 1 9 , t h e g r a n d o p e n i n g o f t h e P h y l l i s M . a n d P a t r i c k F. Ta y l o r A u d i t o r i u m was held at Ochsner Bapt ist.

Beth Walker, CEO of Ochsner Baptist, Warner Thomas, President and CEO of Ochsner Health System, Phyllis Taylor, Dr. Mo Bethea, Dr. Edward St. Martin and Andy Wisdom, Ochsner Health System Board Chair

o c h s n e r. o rg


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Ochsner Philanthropy Fall 2019