St. Elizabeth Hospital

Why Community Education Matters

03/08/2018

Each year St. Elizabeth Hospital provides education to members of the community on a variety of topics related to health and wellness. We offer these programs because, to the extent that we can improve the health of our community members, we are also helping to prevent chronic illness. You may think it odd that a healthcare organization would engage in activities which prevent injury or illness.

After all, we are in the business of providing healthcare to the ill and injured, but we know that it is less expensive for individuals and families to maintain wellness than it is to treat chronic illness. It is also less expensive for hospitals and doctor’s offices to prevent than to treat existing injury and illness. In many instances healthcare organizations are better reimbursed for care related to health maintenance than they are for treating chronic illnesses and injuries.

It’s much more than a financial benefit for which we strive, though. As a faith-based, non-profit organization, our mission is to “extend the healing ministry of Jesus… especially those most in need.” To that end, every three years we engage in a Community Health Needs Assessment. Utilizing health data statistics from various sources such as the Health Communities Institute Database and with input from community leaders, healthcare leaders, business leaders, and civic authorities, we determine which healthcare issues are most important. We then strategize how we might best improve these issues to the betterment of our community. We target community education to populations including the elderly and pediatric population to focus on disease processes that have been identified as high priority areas from the Community Health Needs Assessment and address not only current state of health but also illness prevention.

Between July, 2015, and June, 2016, St. Elizabeth provided over 190 community screenings and community education seminars, and reached more than 2,500 members of the community. Some of the screenings included blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI screenings at local churches, cancer screenings, and community health fairs. Seminars included topics such as smoking cessation, diet and high blood pressure, diabetes prevention education, maintaining heart health, and fall prevention awareness. St. Elizabeth partnered with many community organizations and government entities such as The Church in Donaldsonville, the Ascension Parish Library, Ascension Counseling Center, and the Capital Area Agency on Aging to reach as many members of the community as we could.

St. Elizabeth also partnered with members of the business community throughout the year to provide programming such as flu shots and CPR education to employees of local industry and businesses. In total, St. Elizabeth contributed more than $300,000 in fiscal year 2016 in community-related events, nursing and student education, and community health education and screenings. The Vitality Institute in its July 2015 report, “Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community is Critical to Workforce Health” identified the following potential gains to employers through partnership: Improving and maintaining the health of their employees (decreasing their own health care costs in the long term), Increasing retention/engagement/interest in their business, and tapping into major market trends that are of interest to investors and other potential partners/stakeholders. [Oziransky, Vera, Derek Yach, Alexandra Luterek, and Denise Stevens. Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community Is Critical to Workforce Health

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit 800-bed medical center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,100 employees committed to building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With a Regional Medical Center, dedicated Children’s Hospital, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 450-provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. In 2016, Our Lady of the Lake was one of three hospitals recognized by the American Hospital Association with the Quest for Quality Prize award.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit www.ololchildrens.org.

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit www.letsbuildamazing.com.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus in Baton Rouge and the future freestanding hospital, as well as in Monroe with St. Francis Pediatrics. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one the largest healthcare systems in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we serve patients statewide through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. Our five hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales and Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa. For more information, visit www.fmolhs.org.

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.