• WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER: West Jefferson Medical Center is one of 466 hospitals nationwide to receive a Patient Safety Excellence Award through the Healthgrades evaluation of hospital performance. Healthgrades ranked West Jefferson in the top 10 percent of all hospitals evaluated for performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications.
  • Hospitals were evaluated based on the occurrence of observed incidents and expected performance for 14 patient safety indicators as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Healthgrades evaluated 3,858 hospitals that submitted patient surveys to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, covering admissions from April 2014 to March 2015.
  • OPIOID ADDICTION GRANT: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $325,000 grant to the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority for its JeffCare program to expand access to treatment for opioid addiction. JPHSA provides behavioral health, developmental disabilities and primary care services for individuals of all ages who are residents of Jefferson Parish and who meet basic eligibility criteria. JeffCare intends to use this funding to establish an intensive outpatient detoxification program for opiate addiction at its West Jefferson Health Center.
  • METROPOLITAN HUMAN SERVICES DISTRICT: Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham recently took over as executive director and medical director of the Metropolitan Human Services District, where she has often served as medical consultant. Head-Dunham previously served as assistant secretary and medical director for the Office of Behavioral Health in the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. The Metropolitan Human Services District offers services to people in Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities or addictive disorders related to gambling, alcohol or drugs. The 24/7 phone number for the MHSD Care Center is (504) 568-3130.
  • TOURO REHABILITATION: Touro Infirmary has relocated its two outpatient rehabilitation centers, Back in Action and Neuro Rehabilitation, to 1525 St. Charles Ave. The programs formerly were housed in separate buildings. The renovated 20,000-square-foot facility features two therapy floors for physical, occupational and speech therapy, neuropsychological services and therapeutic recreation. There are an indoor pool for aquatic therapy, private treatment rooms, a therapeutic kitchen, large gyms and new equipment throughout.
  • PRIORITY HEALTH CARE: Priority Health Care has opened a second office, at 12A Westbank Expressway, Suite 111, Gretna. Priority Health Care is a federally certified community health provider. It is one of five community health centers in a service area with 152,000 residents, of whom nearly 60,000 are low-income, and almost 27,000 are uninsured. Priority offers its services to all, with or without insurance. Its other office is at 4700 Wichers Drive, Marrero. For information, call (504) 509-4800 or go to priorityhealthcare.org.
  • HELP WITH STOPPING SMOKING: The Smoking Cessation Trust crossed a major milestone in its 10-year program recently when it exceeded 50,000 applicants registering for free help with quitting smoking. The trust’s goal is to help 210,000 Louisiana residents become smoke-free by 2022.
  • ACCORDING TO THE 2015 AMERICA’S HEALTH RANKINGS REPORT FROM THE UNITED HEALTH FOUNDATION, LOUISIANA PRESENTLY RANKS 46 OUT OF 50 STATES FOR TOBACCO USE, WITH NEARLY A QUARTER OF THE STATE’S RESIDENTS SMOKING. THE SMOKING-CESSATION PROGRAM OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES COMPLETELY FREE: cessation medications, nicotine replacement therapy, individual/ group cessation counseling, telephone quit-line support and/or intensive cessation support services. The program is open to Louisiana residents who smoked a cigarette before Sept. 1, 1988. To register, visit smokefreela.org or call (504) 529-5665 or toll-free (855) 259-6346.
  • MATERNITY CARE: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has designated West Jefferson Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care. The Blue Distinction program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery. Hospitals with the Blue Distinction designation agree to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care and have initiated programs to promote successful breast-feeding. The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others. For information about the program, visit bcbs.com/bluedistinction.