St. Charles Parish Hospital is resuming chemotherapy as its latest addition of services, a move aimed at providing care conveniently located for prospective patients.
Hospital CEO Austin Reeder called it “local care for patients who are weak and need to be close to home. It’s also convenient for the family members who help the patients.”
Reeder also said increasingly stringent regulations made it cost prohibitive, but a growing need for the service is the force behind it being resumed.
Chemotherapy infusion is expected to draw patients mostly from St. Charles Parish, as well as surrounding parishes. Reeder estimated there are at least 1,000 potential patients leaving the area for care at other Ochsner facilities with more possible outside the system.
The hospital’s chemo infusion clinic is on the first floor at 1057 Paul Maillard Road, Luling. It is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Drs. Srikanth Tamma and Ryan Griffin alternate seeing patients on Monday afternoons, 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Often referred to as chemo, the service uses one or more anti-cancer drugs to treat patients.
At St. Charles Parish Hospital, the service represents the same quality cancer care offered at all Ochsner facilities, Reeder said. Also, a patient can continue using his or her oncologist.
“Chemotherapy is one of those key services that help support the hospital and keeps service local.” – Austin Reeder
Griffin and Tamma will see patients in their clinic space in the hospital.
“It’s very beneficial for our patients to not only have the option to receive chemotherapy close to home at St. Charles Parish Hospital, but also have access to more specialized care within Ochsner Health System,” Griffin said.
Reeder added, “It’s all about local care and providing highest quality care with an excellent patient experience.”
The service also fits the trend of growing outpatient care.
“Chemotherapy is one of those key services that help support the hospital and keeps service local,” he said.
Hospital services are growing system wide.
In August of last year, the hospital got St. Charles Parish Council approval to refund bonds to provide $2.25 million for an outpatient diagnostic center at the Plantation View Medical Office building in Destrehan. The district receives voter-approved 2.48 mills in property taxes until 2025, which it will use toward payments.
Reeder estimated the hospital is investing $60,000 to $80,000 to start up chemo treatment. A building or “mixing unit” was leased to provide a temporary location where chemo drugs will be mixed for treatment inside the infusion space at the hospital. Plans for a permanent mixing unit within the hospital and larger chemo infusion space in Destrehan are being considered, depending on demand.
- 2015: Ochsner Health System begins managing St. Charles Parish Hospital.
- June 2017: Austin Reeder is named CEO.
- November 2017: St. Charles Parish Hospital announces the “every patient every time” strategy and more than $11.5 million dedicated to its five-year capital plan to grow services.
- August 2018: The St. Charles Parish Council approved refunding bonds to provide $2.25 million for an outpatient center at the Plantation View Medical Office building in Destrehan.
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