A WORD FROM OUR CEO Kenneth Cochran, DSc, FACHE President & CEO It is no exaggeration for me to state our team is amazing. You have endured no less than three (3) major changes to how we care for patients. You have donated your time, energy, and resources to teammates and members of the community. You have faced personal, financial, and family struggles with job duty and hour changes, family member job loss, and childcare changes. Be proud of yourself, your team, and family members supporting you. The state of our economy, the healthcare delivery system, and our way of life has changed dramatically. I have two messages to stress that will most certainly assist with today and tomorrow’s challenges.

First, please take care of your mental health. Mental health and wellbeing is not about being broken, bad, dumb, or crazy. It is about ensuring you are physically and mentally doing things that promote health within our bodies. Rapid change, loss of income, loss of life, even positive changes in our life creates stress that can be overwhelming. Do not be ashamed to get help. Talk to a friend. Call our EAP Hotline (free of charge), speak with a counselor, call Margie Quebedeaux (Counselor whose part of EAP), even call a national hotline if needed. As your leader, I have no shame in admitting that grief counseling is probably the only way my family has survived the loss of our son. So please…. .Take care of yourself. Second, prepare yourself to accept our personal and professional lives will never return to the way they were. Embrace the lessons learned during the extended time spent with family members. Make sure to make changes to personal routines that bring more joy to you and your family. Professionally, the delivery of healthcare will change. OGHS will need to change in meeting the demands of our patients and to continue our duty to the community. Be assured that changes will be mostly beneficial to the quality and cost of care for our patients. Do not fear change. Any fear should be converted into positive energy to be part of the solution to make healthcare safer and more affordable. Let me close by saying thank you and thank your family for supporting you during this challenging time. BE CERTAIN that I am committed to your personal safety and plan to ensure future process developments to minimize your risk of being infected by COVID-19. And, BE SAFE at work and home. Social distance & minimize the frequency of shopping trips. We continue to do everything possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 while keeping you and the community safe. If there is anything you need, please reach out to me or any member of the Senior Leadership Team so that we may assist you.




Doctors are looking for new and less invasive ways to help patients as COVID-19 continues to spread across the state. One of those new treatments is happening at Opelousas General Hospital. It’s called hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux with Opelousas General says, “The thing we see with severe COVID-19 patients is a complication with an inability to carry oxygen in addition to the problem to lungs itself. It’s not just lung injury. The virus does something to the red blood cells of certain patients.” The hospital introduced the therapy to COVID-19 patients. It can be used to treat respiratory distress in patients who have tested positive for the virus. Dr. Thibodeaux explains, “Fifteen minutes to bring to atmospheric pressures. Then the patient stays in for one hour, then depressurize for about fifteen minutes. They are in there for ninety minutes total.” In using this method, Dr. Thibodeaux says he sees promising results for the patients. “To date we’ve done six patients all of whom have responded; couple of them have been discharged,” Dr. Thibodeaux adds. Studies show patients on ventilators may experience lung damage after being removed.

He explains hyperbaric therapy is less invasive.


“Being inside hyperbaric chambers won’t cause injury. It’s a less invasive way to deliver oxygen that doesn’t require sticking a tube down the trachea,” says. Dr. Thibodeaux. Dr. Thibodeaux tells News Ten he hopes the treatment will continue and be one more way doctors can help treat COVID-19 patients.


Kathy Video


PSA Video

Now Open! 


   



New WellSmart Health Services

WellSmart Health Primary Care offices are now offering telemedicine visits. Call today! Collins Family Clinic - 337-678-4160 Dr. Jason Hatfield - 337-447-4025 Dr. John Rainey - 337-466-3938 Rural Health Clinic - 337-678-4285 Internal Medicine Clinic - 337-678-4343

WellSmart Health Pharmacy is offering curbside pickup and free delivery services for your medication. Call 337-943-7102 for more information.

COVID-19 Updates

 At this time, we are postponing all hospital week festivities that were planned, including the Annual Banquet/Crawfish Boil. We will keep you posted when a true celebration can be held in the future.  COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donations are being accepted from recovered COVID patients. Plasma can be used to help treat critically ill patients. If you have had a documented diagnosis of COVID-19 by a molecular PCR test and are now recovered and asymptomatic, please call 948-7180 to find out if you qualify as a donor.  Dr. Tina Stefanski from the Office of Public Health recently reported that the number of deaths in St. Landry Parish due to Coronavirus are overwhelmingly from nursing homes at the time of her news conference. She confirmed that 25 of the 28 deaths in our parish were from nursing homes.  For Coronavirus (COVID-19) information regarding virus symptoms, ways to protect yourself and resources, visit You can click on the tab at the very top of the page to access this information.  Floor markers (stand 6-feet apart) have been placed at both campuses in various locations, such as Admit, Dietary, Retail Pharmacy, and a few clinics to remind people to continue to practice social distancing.  As of this writing, we have treated at least 10 patients who have met criteria for the new Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBO). This treatment was initiated from Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux and Dr. Amer Raza’s combined research knowledge concerning the effectiveness of using HBO to treat patients with COVID- 19. Dr. Thibodeaux and his team have worked diligently to develop the protocol for inclusion and treat- ment.  Plans are underway to initiate performing medical and surgical procedures beginning on Monday, May 4th. Information has been sent out to members of the medical staff with guidelines/requirements for scheduling procedures.  Governor John Bel Edwards has extended the Stay At Home Order until Friday, May 15th. Louisiana does not currently meet the White House criteria for entering Phase One of reopening, which is why this Order was extended.

Community Resources

 The Healthy St. Landry Alliance Resource Directory can be accessed via shrL7F9h0jLhFVISC/tbl2oIW2k1OexljwL?blocks=hide . This resource has information regarding food insecuri- ties, assistance with utility payments, housing and other resources.  The St. Landry Parish School Board will continue to provide meals to students through June 30, 2020, or until the expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier. For details, visit .  USDA issued guidance, a Federal assistance one stop shop for rural community assistance is availa- ble through…/…/77324848567-l .  If you are in need of diapers, the Diaper Bank is available to employees as well as the public. Simply call the Foundation at 678-4266. Your request is confidential.  If you need supplemental food sources, contact ICONS Food Bank at 594-8845.  Cleco is encouraging eligible customers who need help paying their electric utility bills to apply for supplemental funds added to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (ILHEAP) as part of the CARES act. The application can be accessed here .  Opelousas General Health System provides free counseling services to employees through our Employee Assistance Program. Margie Quebedeaux, one of the providers has relocated her office. She will now see clients in the WellSmart Rural Health Clinic located at 1200 Hospital Dr., Suite 5. She can be reached at 945-5545.  St. Landry Economic Development has created a website for information and resources specific to the Coronavirus pandemic. To learn more visit .  232 HELP is a service that links people in need to the resources that can help them. They also have specific information related to COVID-19. For more information visit .  St. Landry Parish Chamber of Commerce has created a few Facebook pages to provide information re- garding community resources and information regarding food take out. The public groups are St. Landry Parish COVID-19 Community Resources and St. Landry Parish Take-Out & Delivery Options during COVID- 19 Outbreak.  For information or to apply for unemployment benefits due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) visit .  The Local Workforce Development Board for this region has set up a "central" web page for resources across the region in partnership with St. Landry, Iberia and Lafayette United Ways https:// .  The Louisiana Department of Health has up to date information related to COVID-19. Follow this link for more information.  For information related to small business guidance and loan resources, visit .

The Governor of Louisiana has made it necessary to wear a mask when out in public to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases. There will be exceptions for young children or adults who have breathing problems. The following are the dos and don’ts of wearing a mask:


Wear your mask so it covers just the tip of your nose.

Wear the mask below your nose.

Leave your chin exposed.

Push your mask under your chin to rest on your neck.

DO: Wear your mask so it comes all the way up, close to the bridge of your nose, and all the way down under your chin. Do your best to tighten the loops or ties so it’s snug around your face, without gaps.

Main Campus 539 E Prudhomme St Opelousas, LA 70570

South Campus 3983 I 49 S Service Rd Opelousas, Louisiana 70570

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter