Opelousas General Health System has received the Silver Level 2007 Louisiana Hospital Quality Award, presented by Louisiana Health Care Review Inc., the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Louisiana. OGHS is one of 67 hospitals in the state to receive the award, which honors hospitals that successfully implement quality initiatives directed toward improving patient care in the hospital setting, recognizing those facilities that are actively engaged in improving care in one or more of the following areas: acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. The clinical topics measured for the awards have been designated as national health care priorities by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Staff members from OGHS have been working with quality improvement specialists from Louisiana Health Care Review Inc. to use proven, evidence-based practices to improve care for their patients. 

Dr. Robert J. Young III, an ophthalmologist, and his son Beau have partnered with Sterling Optical to open retail locations in Abbeville and Youngsville. Twenty-eight-year-old Beau has a decade of on-the-job retail experience under the guidance of his father and grandfather, who operate the Young Eye Clinic and its retail component, Eyeglasses Incorporated at 2774 Rodeo Road in Abbeville. Eyeglasses Incorporated was converted into a Sterling Optical location in early May; the Youngs also opened a second Sterling Optical at 327 Iberia St. in Youngsville. Operating through its Sterling Optical and Site for Sore Eyes brands, Emerging Vision Inc. is a leading provider of eye care products and services and one of the largest and fastest-growing franchised optical chains in the country. The brands offer full-service eye care at reasonable prices, providing professional eye exams, a large selection of quality eyewear and convenient locations. Emerging Vision operates 157 stores, only seven of which are company owned, in 15 states — most under the Sterling Optical and Site for Sore Eyes brands. The Youngs have plans to open between five and 10 Sterling Optical locations throughout southern Louisiana over the next 10 years.

The community relations staff of Lafayette General Medical Center was recently honored with five awards from the Louisiana Society for Hospital and Public Relations, including the prestigious Best of Show Jacqueline Leonhard Award for Writing Excellence. This is the second year in a row a member of the community relations team received this Award — Patrice Doucet won in 2007, and this year Leslie Davis took home the top honor for the Hospital Week advertising series. The society’s Pelican Awards recognize the most outstanding marketing, advertising and public relations work among hospitals statewide. The Lafayette General team includes Mark Attales, Doucet, Davis and Kim Morse, graphic designer. Pelican Awards won: Radio Advertising – CyberKnife; Print Advertising, black and white – Easier Route to Your Heart cardiology ad; Print Advertising Campaign, black and white – Hospital Week series; Print Advertising Campaign, color – Technology campaign; Jacqueline Leonhard Award for Writing Excellence – Hospital Week series.

Dr. Gabriel Dersam, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, has joined the staff of Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Dersam specializes in diagnosing, treating and managing a wide range of children’s musculoskeletal (bone, joint or muscle) problems. This includes conditions present at birth and those that arise later due to injury, stroke or a neuromuscular disorder. Dersam earned his medical degree from the University of Arizona, College of Medicine. He then completed his residency at the University of Minnesota and a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Gillett Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

Amelie Hollier has received her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, graduating with “highest honors” and becoming one of only two DNPs in Louisiana. Her area of study was pharmacotherapeutics in primary care. While enrolled in the curriculum, she was awarded with the Ruby L. Stevenson memorial scholarship for outstanding achievement. For the past nine years Hollier she has worked as nurse practitioner of St. Clare Employee Health Service at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, a health clinic designed to serve the needs of Lourdes employees and their children at a minimal cost. She has been employed by Lourdes for 19 years. Hollier attained bachelor’s degrees in microbiology, chemistry and nursing from UL-Lafayette and earned her master’s degree in cardiovascular nursing from McNeese State University. Additionally, she achieved a post masters as a family nurse practitioner from the UL. Last year, Hollier was selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners for her outstanding contribution to health care through nurse practitioner clinical practice, research and education. Fewer than 150 nurse practitioners in the United States have attained this distinction. In addition, Hollier is the author of 13 books for nurse practitioners and five pharmacology books for primary care providers.

The Rev. Walton C. Dunbar, a chaplain in the pastoral care department of Our Lady of Lourdes, was honored by the Association for Professional Chaplains for his 25 years of service as a board certified chaplain. Dunbar is an ordained United Methodist Minister and an active member of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He received certification as a board certified chaplain in 1986 and also serves as a pastoral counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist. Dunbar has served as a staff chaplain at Lourdes for more than seven years.

The 2008 “Be A Heart Starter” committee has awarded Lafayette High School an automated external defibrillator for having the most participants in the 2008 “Be A Heart Starter” CPR training day, which was held on April 19 at the Cajundome.

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