New outpatient center, programs to be discussed during town hall meetings

Thursday marks the first of what will be two town hall meetings held by St. Charles Parish Hospital, aimed at giving community members a forum for feedback while also informing them about new additions to the hospital and several new programs on the way.

Thursday night’s meeting will be held at the Plantation View medical offices in Destrehan, while next Thursday night the venue shifts to the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center in Luling. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m.

“Creating opportunities for dialogue is critically important to the ongoing success of St. Charles Parish Hospital,” said Austin Reeder, CEO of St. Charles Parish Hospital. “The town hall meetings are an opportunity for the hospital to share relevant updates with the community about our partnership with Ochsner and new services coming.”

Reeder said there will be providers onsite for residents to meet and ask questions, allowing them to gain insight into the array of healthcare options available at the hospital.

The hospital’s continued evolution since it joined Ochsner Health System in 2014 will soon include the addition of an OB/GYN clinic and chemotherapy on the West Bank, while on the East Bank plans include the addition of more primary care suites and an outpatient center equipped for lab testing, mammography and ultrasound. Currently, there is no location for patients to get blood drawn or have imagine done on the East Bank.

“We want to keep patients local and close to home so they don’t have to drive to Metairie and New Orleans to seek care,” Reeder said. “(With the additions), the East Bank really becomes a one-stop shop for most outpatient needs.”

There are also plans for renovations to the hospital’s same day surgery area. That process has begun, Reeder said, and it should be wrapped up and ready to go within the next couple of months. Its waiting area will be expanded: currently, there are chairs to seat 10 people, and that will expand to more than 30.

“We’ve had days with 28 outpatient procedures scheduled, and if everyone brings one loved one, you could have 30 people there at a given time,” Reeder said. “The current waiting room is very small and we’re going to rectify that.”

The outpatient center would cover between 7,000 to 8,000 square feet on the first floor of the Plantation View office.

Hospital representatives expect that work to be done within the next six to eight months.

The hospital is also planning on adding to its staff with doctors specializing in cardiology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, nephrology and podiatry.

A trio of brand new programs is also on the way and will be centered around executive health and wellness, smoking cessation and diabetic education, respectively.

Those who attend the town hall meeting and fill out a questionnaire will also be in line to win prizes, and there will be food provided free of charge.



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