It’s been 40 days and 40 nights since Crowley’s long-standing American Legion hospital became Acadia General.
On June 1st of 2014, Lafayette General Hospital officially took over control of the Acadia, and officials quickly put in a plan of action to increase employees and morale, while decreasing emergency room wait times.
“We are now able to bring in services and expand. Services such as orthopedics, maybe some urgent care. Different things that we can look at,” said Acadia General Hospital Chief Executive Officer Heather Harper. As part of the lease structure between the two hospitals, American Legion infused 3.4 million dollars in capital renovations.
According to Chief Financial Adviser Charmaine Vidrine, the first round of renovations will be minor upgrades.
“A lot of them are going to be helping with the infrastructure of the building, basically working on things like the air conditioning and things like that in the hospital,” Vidrine said.
In the coming year, however, buildings will receive an overhaul, starting with the emergency room. While it structural updates for the E.R. may have to wait, patients wait time has steadily decreased. Harper boosted an average wait cut of 45 minutes.
Acadia General, the largest private employer in the parish, has also seen an increase in outpatient services by ten percent. Feedback has been positive from all sides, starting with patients, who are benefiting from shorter wait times.
“A lot of folks have stopped us and said we were here a couple of months ago and now we are back and we see a change in how things are run,” said Harper.
300 employees are thankful to call Acadia General their home away from home, but the parish itself is perhaps benefiting the most. Acadia General currently provides the parish with 15 million dollars annually, and that number is expected to increase as more services are provided and residents stop looking outside of the parish for better medical attention.
In addition to infrastructure and wait time changes, the hospital recently added two new staff members. General Surgeon Maxie Trahan, M.D. And OBGYN Jimmy W. Shrasek, M.D., will begin work in August of 2014.