With only two hospitals in the Teche Area, Franklin Foundation Hospital, and Iberia Medical Center, both facilities have made strong efforts to expand their campuses, spread community health awareness and be a full-service hospital to all patients in the area.
Franklin Foundation is a critical access hospital, but offers more than the average critical access facility, according to Kevin Romero, Franklin Foundation’s marketing director.
“We’re trying to develop a full-service type of hospital that can take care of the needs of the Western St. Mary area,” he said.
Iberia Medical is currently expanding its facilities with the remodeling of its labor delivery unit, which will hold seven new delivery rooms.
“They are currently designed for an LDRP model or single-room maternity model,” said Seth Landry, marketing coordinator for Iberia Medical Center. “That means the mom and family can remain in the same room throughout the entire process. It’s the best practice with hospitals around the country nowadays.”
The medical center is also constructing a new outpatient rehab facility that will offer more space and frequent guidance from physicians and physical therapists for patients.
“It’s going to be about a 9,000-square-foot space filled with brand new equipment,” Landry said. “It’s a much-needed service for our community because they see a ton of patients.”
Franklin Foundation has promoted community health with the help of its education nurse, which Romero said has helped with the strong impact the flu has had this flu season.
“It has inundated our emergency room,” Romero said. “There are no urgent care clinics here in Franklin or in Western St. Mary Parish so people have to run to Morgan City or New Iberia. Our emergency room has been functioning like an urgent care. We’re having to hospitalize a lot of people because of the severity of it.”
Iberia Medical has also seen high numbers, according to Landry.
Since January, the hospital has tested 1,096 patients for the flu with 428 of those tests returning positive.
“We still recommend getting the flu shot even though it’s not as effective this year,” Landry said.
When aiding patients who have the flu or need any form of medical assistance, Romero said the hospital has become the community’s full-service hospital and residents are able to have a more personal experience compared to other hospitals.
“We can offer more one-on-one service,” he said. “Our patient survey scores are a lot better than the bigger hospitals.”
According to the patient hospital experience survey conducted by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Services, 87 percent of Franklin Foundation patients who participated said they received great communication from doctors and nurses.
Romero said it was the small town mentality that promotes a flow of quality care and communication between patients and medical workers. Landry agreed and said the community aids the hospital as it aids the community.
“We wouldn’t be able to expand ourselves if it wasn’t for the support of the community,” Romero said. “I think it’s the people of New Iberia who like rallying behind something they can call their own.”