Radiology Department prides itself on sincere patient contact

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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LUTCHER — While the cost of radiology equipment and maintenance is high compared to other diagnostic departments, the ability to offer these services is vitally important to timely responses to illnesses.

The radiology staff at St. James Parish Hospital has more than 400 years of combined experience, offering advanced imaging services that most critical access hospitals across the country lack.


It’s important for small communities to make investments in technology that puts the patients first, according to Jeremy Martin, Chief Operating Officer of St. James Parish Hospital.

National availability of advanced imaging at critical access hospitals is only 13% for mammography, 33% for ultrasound, 56% for CT and 13% for MRI. These services are thankfully available locally, to patients in the River Parishes.


“A lot of people think about radiology in an emergency setting, and that is pertinent, but it’s important even in an ambulatory setting for overall wellness and peace of mind,” Martin said. “We are small enough to call patients and give them results really quickly. It’s that personal touch. In a large system, you typically get the results in your portal before you get a phone call. It’s really important that you hear from your provider. The bottom line is, if the rural hospitals disappear and people can’t get local quality care and diagnostics, then more people are going to die waiting in the over-inundated, urban health care systems.”


Kassie Roussel, Marketing and Communications Director for St. James Parish Hospital, said it is easy to put off screenings and tests that require you to travel to the city.

“We can do all of these things right in our backyard,” she said. “Life gets busy, but it’s harder to justify not doing it when it’s right here.”


Available services include MRI, ultrasound, 3D mammography with AI, breast MRI, breast ultrasounds and biopsies, bones density exams, echocardiograms, fluoroscopy, myelogram (spinal canal exam), CAT scans, X-rays, kidney stone management and diagnostic radiology.


From January to early November 2022, the St. James Hospital radiology staff performed nearly 15,000 imaging studies. “We track and measure how many minutes it takes for a patient to complete tests and for results to be ready,” said Jeremy Martin, COO. “We understand that waiting on answers is scary, so doing a quality job quickly is our goal.”


On average, St. James Parish Hospital completes CTs within 37 minutes, and providers receive a final report within two hours of the patient’s arrival for services. Mammograms are also conducted in an average of 37 minutes, with the final report available within three days. Meanwhile, MRIs are typically completed within 85 minutes, with final reports accessible by providers within six hours, and ultrasounds are completed in an average of two hours with the ordering provider receiving a final report within three hours of the patient’s arrival.


Mike Luminais most recently served as Director of Radiology at St. James Parish Hospital. He retired last week with 32 years of service and looks forward to spending quality time with his grandchildren.


Luminais started working at St. James Parish Hospital in his last year of radiology school. He worked part-time in the hospital and full-time at Marathon Petroleum for 45 years before retiring from Marathon 11 years ago. Since then, he’s been at St. James Parish Hospital full-time.
Over the course of his career, Luminais watched the field of radiology move from films and plates to digital processes that allow the staff to operate more efficiently than ever before.


“I think the caring staff that we have definitely sets us apart. We try to accommodate patients with scheduling as much as possible. I don’t like to see them have to wait like with bigger hospitals. In a smaller atmosphere, we have more sincere patient contact,” Luminais said. “We not only have the technology that the bigger hospitals have, but we also have these local people that really care.”


The hospital continually enhances radiology services to improve patient care through technology such as artificial intelligence, which helps validate physician findings and tools that track radiation doses to reduce the risk of harm from radiation. Additionally, the hospital’s radiology department has expanded by making certain services available in the neighboring medical plaza for more convenient care.


More information on St. James Parish Hospital’s radiology services can be found at and at