Heart of the matter

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

By Monique Roth

Mixed in with the mingling crowd of middle-aged medical professionals, elected officials and hospital executives at a recent medical center ribbon cutting was a teenager who knows first-hand just how important the new facilities are.

Dozens of people gathered for a grand opening Thursday hosted by the River Region Chamber of Commerce, Cardiovascular Institute of the South and St. Charles Parish Hospital for a new state-of-the-art catheterization laboratory facility and world-class cardiovascular center located at 1057 Paul Maillard Road, Suite D 1900 in Luling.

Included in the group was Brock Benedetto, 19, who underwent open-heart surgery June 5 at the facility.

“It was a great experience,” Brock said. “They’re a great staff and they kept everything positive for me and my family.”

Brock said his heart condition was first detected when he was a child, but doctors informed his family he would not need any surgeries until he was in his 50s or 60s.

But during a routine physical required for him to play baseball at Destrehan High School, the doctor performing the physical recommended Brock make an appointment with a specialist to further investigate what he heard in Brock’s heart during the physical.

“Dr. Paris ran tests and found the aorta valve was severely leaking and allowing blood back in,” Brock said. 

Brock was able to finish his senior year of baseball before the surgery, and now with the surgery behind him, his heart will continue to be monitored. He said no other surgeries are expected any time soon.

Brock’s mother Wendy, a St. Charles Parish realtor and councilwoman, said her family had a “fabulous experience” with the clinic.

Paris said the new facilities are the best he has ever worked in.

“These top-of-the-line facilities allow us to do more testing in-house,” Paris said. 

He added the world-class facilities’ close proximity to patients and neighboring communities is also important.

Wendy agreed, saying she was happy her son was able to be cared for so close to home.

CIS Marketing Director Anne Kolwe Boudreaux said “it’s a dream scenario that the cath lab and clinic are connected,” explaining CIS remodeled an older space that is now its new clinic and the hospital upgraded its cath lab.

The new cath lab and clinic allow CIS and STCH to perform interventional procedures to treat heart disease and diagnose heart conditions. 

“This is really a milestone for St. Charles Parish, the hospital and our program,” CIS CEO David Konur said.

To schedule an appointment at CIS, call 985-308-1604 or toll free at 1-855-308-1604.