A PUBLICATION FOR
caring community for our
every moment, every day
A LETTER FROM THE CEO
West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) is committed to caring for our community, every moment, every day. Care and Community are at the core of our organization – they are the pillars that guide our growth and operational improvement measures. COVID-19, two hurricanes and, most recently, a winter weather event, have created great challenges for our community and our hospital. However, through that adversity, WCCH has continued to meet the healthcare needs of this community while expanding services. I am excited about two new projects that will further our mission of caring for our community. Carlyss continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas in our service district. Earlier this year, WCCH announced the construction of a new Carlyss Primary Care Clinic. The new Primary Care Clinic will be located next to Iberia Bank on the corner of LA 27 and Walker Road. The over 4,700 square-foot clinic will be equipped with eight patient rooms, laboratory draw capabilities and a minor procedure area. This addition to our medical services is exciting and demonstrates our commitment of providing exceptional healthcare services to meet the growing needs of this community. Later this Spring, WCCH will introduce the Community Health Center (CHC) of WCCH to our community. While many individuals have health insurance through their employer and other programs, there are still members of our community without access to care. The CHC is designed to improve the health of medically underserved and uninsured by providing high quality, affordable and accessible health care to our community. The clinic will offer primary care, walk-ins, general surgery, gynecological and fracture care services. Lastly, on March 30, WCCH celebrated our physicians on National Doctors’ Day. During one of the hospital’s most challenging years, we remain eternally grateful for their continued dedication and commitment to fulfilling our mission of providing exceptional care. Our physicians are our lifeline – the heart of our organization. We continue to handle each day’s challenges and successes, and we are confident in the future because of the resiliency and focus of our physicians and employees. We’ve proven that by working together, we can overcome anything. Thank you for allowing us to serve as your community hospital. WCCH remains committed to caring for our community, every moment, every day.
Janie D. Frugé
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON CLINIC IN CARLYSS Janie Frugé, CEO of WCCH, and members of the board of commissioners officially break ground on the new Carlyss Clinic.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently for a new clinic in Carlyss. The West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Primary Care Clinic will be located next to Iberia Bank on the corner of LA 27 and Walker Road. The over 4,700 square-foot clinic will be equipped with eight patient rooms, laboratory draw capabilities and a minor procedure area. WCCH plans to house two to three primary care providers along with a full-time support team. “These additions to our medical services are exciting and are further proof that our commitment of providing exceptional healthcare services to our community continues,” says Janie Frugé, chief executive officer of WCCH. The architect for the $1.475 million project is King Architects. Gunter Construction is serving as general contractor. Construction has begun and is slated for completion in early 2022.
A rendering of the completed building.
“Carlyss continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas in our service district,” explains Bobby LeTard, chairman for the WCCH Board of Commissioners. “Because of this continual growth, we knew we needed to develop a plan to meet the growing healthcare needs of this community.”
INTRODUCING URONAV: A More Accurate Method of Diagnosing and Treating Prostate Cancer
West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital introduces UroNav, a leading-edge imaging system for targeted prostate care. A combination of MRI images along with ultrasound-guided biopsy images give physicians a clear image of the prostate and the ability to biopsy at the same time. “It’s similar to the GPS navigation system in your car,” explains Farjaad Siddiq, MD, urologist with WCCH. “The UroNav system combines the accuracy of MRI imaging and the flexibility of ultrasound to pinpoint and target suspicious areas in the prostate.” UroNav allows physicians to pinpoint suspicious areas of the prostate more easily. This helps improve the accuracy of biopsies and allows us to diagnose prostate cancer more reliably. Which allows patients to have a diagnosis and begin treatment more quickly. Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American men and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for them. One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. “Utilizing advanced technology like UroNav allows physicians to provide more targeted care with faster and more accurate results for our patients,” says Dr. Siddiq.
BIG IMPACT THYROID DISORDERS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIETY OF SYMPTOMS
Thyroid disorders can present with a wide variety of symptoms. The most common thyroid disorder is under activity of the thyroid known as hypothyroidism, however patients can also present with overactivity of the thyroid or hyperthyroid state. Because of this, patients can present with a wide variety of symptoms related to either underactivity or overactivity of the thyroid. Many common complaints associated with underactivity of the thyroid/hypothyroidism include fatigue, cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation, decreased heart rate and “foggy thinking”. Overactivity of the thyroid/hyperthyroidism often presents with symptoms such as racing heart, unexplained weight loss, anxiety and occasionally increased frequency of bowel movements. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck weighing typically 25 to 30 grams. It is responsible for the production and release of 2 hormones (T4/thyroxine and T3/triiodothyronine). These hormones play a role in regulation of nearly every organ system in the body. Because of the effect of thyroid hormone on nearly all body systems, an abnormality in thyroid function can cause a wide array of symptoms. Roughly 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and women are much more likely to suffer thyroid dysfunction than men. Endocrinologists Dr. Tim Gilbert, Dr. Tyler Zachary and Dr. Sandra Dempsey of the Endocrinology Center of Southwest Louisiana are specialists in thyroid disorders. “The wide array of symptoms that can present in patients with thyroid disease often make it difficult to pinpoint the problem. A thyroid gland that is not functioning appropriately can frequently cause a wide array of symptoms causing a patient to feel off balance,” explains Dr. Gilbert. Initial work-up typically entails obtaining blood test/labs to see if the thyroid is functioning appropriately or if there is an under or overproduction of thyroid hormone. “Labs along with detailed discussion of symptoms with the patient’s provider is the most common method for diagnosing thyroid disorders,” says Dr. Zachary. “ Occasionally, additional testing such as thyroid ultrasound or nuclear medicine thyroid uptake and scan is warranted.” Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland, stems from the
inadequate production of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, decreased heart rate swelling and constipation as noted above. If left untreated hypothyroidism can raise cholesterol levels increasing the risk for heart attack, stroke and death. Replacement of thyroid hormone has been proven to be very safe and effective in bringing a resolution to symptoms one may be suffering due to underactive gland. “Most patients often begin to feel better within a week or two of initiation of thyroid hormone replacement and are typically at or near at a baseline/ pre-hypothyroid state within a month or two,” Dr. Dempsey says. Thyroid hormone replacement/treatment for hypothyroidism is most often a lifelong regimen. Patients can work with their providers to find the replacement regimen and dosing that is most suitable for them. Another frequently seen but less common thyroid issue is overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can affect any person at any age but is most recently seen in patients in their 20s and 30s. In contrast to hypothyroidism, the thyroid becomes overactive and produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. The excessive amount of thyroid hormone circulating throughout body can cause a significant disruption in multiple organ systems. Symptoms may include heat intolerance/ excessive sweating, palpitations or rapid heart rate, unexplained weight loss, anxiety and insomnia as well as a problem with bulging of the eyes (exophthalmos). Hyperthyroidism/ overactivity of the thyroid is again easily recognized and treated if symptoms are discussed with a healthcare provider and appropriate labs are obtained. Neglecting to treat hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart, bone and metabolic problems. Unfortunately, there are many symptoms that patients experience that may not be initially recognized as thyroid related. A survey done by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists showed that only 25% of women who have discussed menopausal symptoms with a physician were actually tested for thyroid disease. Another thyroid condition frequently treated by Drs’. Gilbert, Dempsey and Zachary is the presence of thyroid nodules. The occurrence of thyroid nodules increases with age and among females. Depending on demographics the incidence of thyroid nodularity can range from 10% to upwards of 50%. It is fortunate that only a very small percentage of thyroid nodules ever turn out to be malignant. In fact, only somewhere around 5% of thyroid nodules are deemed malignant/ cancerous by biopsy. The team at the Endocrinology Center of Southwest Louisiana has the ability to perform a complete work-up of thyroid nodules from in office imaging to fine-needle aspiration. It is fortunate that once thyroid cancer is removed surgically and occasionally treated with radioiodine, in most cases, it is essentially cured and the chance of recurrence is very low. It is important to seek advice and work-up from your healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms possibly related to thyroid. The good news is that most thyroid conditions can easily be managed and treated after proper diagnosis.
“ A thyroid gland that is not functioning appropriately can frequently cause a wide array of symptoms causing the patient to feel off balance.” Dr. Timothy Gilbert Endocrinologist
SPRING INTO GOOD HEALTH
This spring, many of us are easing back into a fitness routine. Let’s face it, between COVID-19, quarantines, two hurricanes, working from home and/or handling home repairs, exercise and good nutrition may not have been at the top of our lists. “No worries,” says Suzy Trahan, LDN, RDN, director of Dynamic Dimensions Fitness Centers. “We’re here to help, wherever you are on your fitness journey.” Dynamic Dimensions recently re-opened both locations in Sulphur and Moss Bluff after completing repairs from the hurricanes. “Group fitness, normal operating hours, 24-hour access and childcare are offered. We’re loving the opportunity to welcome our members back and the opportunity to bring our new members into the DD family,” says Trahan.
REGULAR EXERCISE PROVIDES MANY BENEFITS, INCLUDING: Better Sleep | Increased Flexibility | Stronger Heart | Achieving Ideal Weight Increased Muscle Tone | Less Stress | More Self-Confidence | Increased energy
Trahan offered these tips for resuming workouts safely and effectively:
WARM UP PROPERLY Begin moving at a slow to moderate pace to gradually increase your heart rate. If you’re on a treadmill, start slowly for five minutes then increase speed. If you’re doing a group fitness class, the warmup is usually a scaled-back version of the cardio portion of the class. Warming up properly allows muscles and joints to prepare for greater range of motion and effective movement.
TAKE IT EASY This isn’t the typical advice you’d expect to hear, but experts warn against overdoing it in the beginning. Injuries occur when people try to do too much too soon. It’s better to gradually increase the intensity and length of time for exercise.
UTILIZE RESOURCES “Our fitness coaches are degreed, certified and trained in proper movement, they’re here for you,” explains Trahan. “If you’re not sure how to use a piece of equipment, or how to use free weights properly, we want to help you. Good technique and proper alignment are important. We want to help you succeed.”
MAKE THE COMMITMENT Whether you exercise in the morning, noon or evening, the best time to exercise is whenever works best for you. Being consistent is key for achieving the benefits of exercise.
NUTRITION MATTERS After experiencing such a turbulent year and realizing we’re still not all-the-way-recovered from uncertainty, it’s easy to find comfort in the kitchen. We may have reached for ice cream, chips, chocolates and other snack foods more often than we should have. Many of us can probably relate to feeling bloated, tired and sluggish due to lack of exercise and good nutrition. Now is the time to make improvements in eating habits. In fact, what you eat can help fuel your exercise routine. “Whole-grain breads and pastas are digested at a slow rate, giving sustained energy throughout the day,” explains Fran Landry, LDN, RD, director of nutrition services for West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. “The pastries, cookies and pies have empty calories and don’t provided sustained energy.”
Another way to boost your overall health is by drinking water. Even slight dehydration can have a significant effect on your stamina. Staying hydrated helps you feel energized. “Some people ask if they should choose water or a sports drink during or after exercise. Water is usually the best choice, but if your activity lasts longer than an hour, a sports drink will replenish electrolytes that are lost as you sweat,” Landry says. Starting smart will help you avoid injury and get you on the way to making your fitness and nutrition goals a reality. For more information, call Dynamic Dimensions in Sulphur at (337) 527-5459 or in Moss Bluff at (337) 855-7708 or visit www.dynamicfitnesscenters.com.
CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENTS IN PHYSICAL MEDICINE Achieving the highest level of function is the goal of occupational and physical therapy. While that is the technical definition, reaching those goals is life changing for patients at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s Physical Medicine Center. April is Occupational Therapy Month, the perfect time to celebrate the successes that happen every day within the therapy center. “We always have something to celebrate,” says Paula Koonce, director of physical medicine for West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. “Whether it’s a patient who gave 110% during their session, or a patient who reached a goal that was set for them; through hard work and careful guidance, it’s an honor to have a front row seat to these accomplishments.” Occupational Therapy helps people with daily activities they would do normally in their daily routines, and achieve their maximum level of independent living.
• An individualized evaluation to establish each patient’s goals and treatment plan • Customized plan of care to improve function, strength and range of motion • Dedicated team of therapists to assist, encourage and support each patient • An outcomes evaluation to ensure goals are being met or making changes to plan
“Our therapists assist patients to adapt, whether it involves the use of adaptive equipment so they can accomplish their daily tasks, or by modifying their surroundings,” explains Koonce. “Our goal, and the patient’s goal, is for them to be active in their home exercise program, and to reach their highest level of functional independence by the time they are discharged from therapy.” Our team of therapists treat patients of all ages and ability levels. People with orthopaedic injuries, arthritis, joint replacement, poor balance, brain injury, stroke and other diagnoses can benefit from Occupational Therapy. Oculomotor and vision therapy are also provided. In addition to traditional therapy services, WCCH offers the Therapeutic Riding Center on Landry Lane in Sulphur. The barn and grounds are home to horses used in hippotherapy, a type of occupational therapy. The horses become part of the unique therapy sessions. For more information about physical medicine services, visit wcch.com.
SIGNS OF A STROKE
Since May is National Stroke Awareness Month, it’s a good time to refresh the signs of a stroke so that you can recognize what’s happening and call 9-1-1 for medical services as quickly as possible.
701 Cypress Street Sulphur, LA 70663
For questions about any of the information in this publication, call the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital marketing department at (337) 528-4735. Healthwise is published by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital to provide general health information. It is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a physician. Please Recycle This Publication. ©2021 West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital
F = FACE DROOPING
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is their smile uneven or lopsided?
A = ARM WEAKNESS
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH
Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
T = TIME TO CALL 9-1-1
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately. All photos were taken prior to the mask mandate.
The new Community Health Center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will be open to the public soon. Patients are welcome whether they are insured, underinsured, as well as those on Medicare and Medicaid. SERVICES INCLUDE: • Primary Care • Urgent Care • General Surgery • Gynecology • Fracture Care
703 Cypress St., Suite A, Sulphur