St. Charles Parish Hospital cuts the ribbon on facility upgrades
Posted at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2022
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LULING — A bond referendum passed in 2021 paved the way for improved facilities at St. Charles Parish Hospital in Luling, expanding access to convenient and compassionate care for local patients.
A double groundbreaking ceremony was held Nov. 8 at the Schoenberg Ambulatory Diagnostic Center to celebrate the completion of the hospital’s new Ambulatory Chemotherapy and Infusion Center and MRI Care Suite.
St. Charles Parish CEO Keith Dacus said these spaces will promote a sense of tranquility, comfort and healing as care is delivered.
The Caring Suite MRI aims to reduce patient anxiety and the potential for re-scans with state-of-the-art technology and a calming atmosphere that includes premium LED lighting and a touchpad user interface, illuminated wall fixtures and speakers for music selection.
“It’s a large diameter design, which allows us to treat patients who might be a bit claustrophobic and nervous about having an MRI. It also has lights, a TV and an option to select music,” Dacus said. “You can flip it over so your head can stay out of the tube if you need to do a body scan. Before, you couldn’t do that. The other thing is that with the new technology, these scans used to take 30 to 45 minutes, and now they can be done in 15 to 20 minutes.
Imaging services are used for bone densitometry, CT scans, MRI, mammography, nuclear medicine, radiology and ultrasound. These services, along with other outpatient services, are available from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The community also got a first look at the new Chemotherapy and Infusion Center at St. Charles Parish Hospital, which is modeled after the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center to provide patients with continuity in environment and processes. of treatment as they continue their chemotherapy journey closer to home.
The infusion center started with just two chairs and has since grown to seven chairs, including a private room that can be used for patient care requiring individual attention. Staff member Katherine Ferguson said each station has comfortable seats equipped with a TV to help pass the time. Complimentary amenities include warm blankets, plush recliners, in-chair TVs, and refreshments.
Whether the goal of treatment is to cure, control disease, or provide palliative care, the infusion team offers an outpouring of love and support to patients and their families. Improving infusion services close to home also limits travel time for patients who may not feel able to drive 45 minutes to seek treatment.
“I think St. Charles Parish is a community-driven parish, so this is really going to allow more people with cancer to really stay in their own backyards and still get top-notch care,” said said Ferguson. “The difference between the St. Charles Parish Infusion Center and other centers is that our team here is truly proud of their patients and the care they provide.”
In addition to chemotherapy and immunotherapy, infusion services available from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday also include blood transfusions, iron transfusions, hydration, antiemetic therapy, management of pain and the treatment of gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders.
“It would not have been possible without the inhabitants of the parish,” Dacus said. “These are two projects that kick off the bond referendum passed in 2021. We have seven projects underway in different phases.”
Dacus previewed some upcoming projects, including a renovation that will equip the hospital’s pharmacy to mix chemotherapy for the new infusion center. On the north side of the hospital, the ground has been leveled for the development of an intensive outpatient behavioral health program.
Located on Paul Maillard Road in Luling, St. Charles Parish Hospital has served the community since 1959. The facility is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and operated by Ochsner Health.
This year, St. Charles Parish Hospital was awarded an “A” hospital safety rating by the Leapfrog Group for meeting the highest safety standards in the United States.
For more information, visit www.ochsner.org/stch.