Thibodaux Regional stays on the cutting edge

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 20, 2008


Editor and Publisher

THIBODAUX – Economic slowdowns nationally don’t appear to be affecting the state of health care in the United States.

That trend couldn’t be more clear than in the Southeast Louisiana region, where one health care facility after another serving the River Region has been going through big expansions, or outright building new hospitals.

The most recent facility to continue that effort is Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, which kicked off the third phase of its huge $100 million expansion on Thursday.

This big project follows a new hospital that was opened to the public in St. James Parish last year, and a large expansion and renovation at St. Charles Hospital last year as well.

Officials at River Parishes Hospital in St. John Parish have said they are seriously considering building a new facility to replace the 25-year-old hospital in St. John, however no official plan has been announced as of yet.

On Thursday, Thibodaux Regional broke ground on the third phase of its multi-phase facility expansion, termed the “South Project,” that will include expansion and renovation of over 51,000 square feet of hospital property.

Out of the 51,000 square feet, there will be 13,580 square feet of new construction and renovations that will include the Emergency Department, Kitchen and Dining facility, the front entrance, gift shop and chapel.

Stephen East, director of business development at Thibodaux Regional, said that his facility is reaching out to gain more market share all the way through the River Parishes, including St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes.

“We definitely are serving the River Parishes, and feel like we have so much more to offer than any of the other hospitals in the area,” he said. “We do most heart bypasses in the region, we have a 64 slice CT Scan Machine, a top-of-the-line almost new MRI, and have drawn many of the top physicians from the region. And that’s just some of the reasons we can offer such high quality care.”

East said that the reason Thibodaux Regional can invest so much more money into their facility, is because they are a not-for-profit hospital.

“That means the board here is taking the money that is made at this hospital, and putting it back into the hospital,” he said. “It’s a huge difference to the public for us to be a hospital service district, where we have no tax that is supporting our hospital, like other hospitals have. This hospital has no debt.”

The new project at Thibodaux Regional will see the emergency room triple in size, while the cafeteria/dining/kitchen area will double in size.

The current phase of construction will have $26 million put back into the local economy, with the South Project scheduled for completion in 2010.

Other improvements from the project will include an overall healing environment, according to hospital officials, while there will be an expansion of the chapel and gift shop.

The first two phases of the Thibodaux Regional expansion included the Women’s Center, Heart & Vascular Center, Medical Office Building and Patient Tower.

“This facility can handle far more things here than other regional hospitals due to the advanced technology we have,” East added. “The hospital has ranked in the top 5 percent in patient satisfaction for the past six to eight years, and that’s due largely to the fact that they are reinvesting their profit back into the facility. That’s a huge difference to the patients considering where they want to go for their services.”

Chief Executive Officer Greg Stock said that the size of the hospital will triple in size, and is designed to ensure optimal patient flow, patient privacy, convenience and comfort, while maintaining state-of-the-art technology.

“The South Project will not only support the growth and quality patient care Thibodaux Regional provides to the region, but will have a significant, positive economic impact on the community and the region as a whole,” said Jacob Giardina, chairman of the board of commissions for the hospital.

Joining Board Chairman Giardina and Stock, CEO, at the groundbreaking were Thibodaux Regional Board of Commission members Jody Plaisance, MD, Vice-chairman; Donald Ayo, PhD; Danny Cavell, and Cleveland Hill, Phd.