Hospital partnership good for the heart
Drs. Stephen Ramee and Mark Grise will work alongside St. Charles cardiologist Dr. C. Jayakrishnan, and will be available to see patients with problems ranging from peripheral vascular disease to structural heart disease.
“Ochsner and St. Charles Parish Hospital chose to partner after recognizing a need within the local community to expand beyond primary cardiology care and offer diagnostic cardiac services closer to home,” Ochsner CEO Dr. Patrick Quinlan said. “Ochsner’s commitment to care for our communities means bringing initial or expanded medical services into local neighborhoods when there is a need.”
The partnership decision was reached back in September, and the agreement includes Ochsner assisting St. Charles Parish Hospital in filling clinical gaps in service and expanding clinical services.
“Generally, one of the benefits of the partnership was that it would bring in more specialties,” Hospital Director of Marketing Pam Norfleet said. “Being a smaller hospital, it can be hard to bring in physicians, so this partnership has allowed us to do that.”
Ochsner’s medical staff will compliment the cardiac, surgical, renal and imaging services already provided by St. Charles physicians. Ochsner will also be able to perform angiography and limited peripheral intervention at St. Charles Parish Hospital and will be available for consultations in the clinic on site. Besides treating patients with peripheral vascular disease and structural heart disease, Ochsner physicians will see patients with medical conditions like renovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and dialysis access failure using procedures like invasive and interventional cardiology.
That will be beneficial since Louisiana residents are known for their increased cardiac health risks.
“Our diets, lifestyles and genetics all attribute to an increased risk for cardiac blockages and other vascular problems,” Ramee, Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute Head of Interventional Cardiology and director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, said. “By combining general and specialized cardiology we can better diagnose and treat St. Charles residents.
“Our goal is to help save lives and return patients to the care of their community physicians.”
St. Charles Parish Hospital CEO Fred Martinez says that this will only strengthen the hospitals Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which is the only national certified program of its kind in the River Parishes.
“We are pleased to be able to offer additional cardiology services to our community with the help of Ochsner’s cardiology team, who have a longstanding reputation of excellence,” Martinez said.
For Ramee, by bringing specialized care to St. Charles Parish residents’ doorsteps, he hopes those residents will be more likely to “take that additional step that could save their life.”
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Following a vote by the St. Charles Parish Council in favor of renewing property taxes that in large part funds the parish's Department of Parks and Recreation and Council on Aging, St. Charles Parish residents will decide whether to make that a reality on the Dec. 10 ballot.