Terrebonne General Health System celebrates 70 years of service

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Gunshots exchanged outside Thirsty’s Bar in Houma; stray bullet strikes victim outside Courtyard Marriott
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Terrebonne General Health System is celebrating its platinum jubilee, marking 70 years of dedicated service to the community! At last week’s Terrebonne Parish Council Meeting, the council passed a commendation declaring July 1, 2024, the official anniversary date, commemorating 70 years of Terrebonne General Health System providing a legacy of healthcare excellence and recognizing the dedication of the employees, medical staff, and volunteers.

The hospital, which originally opened its doors in 1954 with 76 beds and fewer than 80 staff members, has since transformed into a prominent healthcare facility– today, it stands as the largest community Health System in Southeast Louisiana. It boasts 321 beds, is nationally recognized, and has garnered numerous awards and accolades.

Leading Terrebonne General Health System is Phyllis Peoples, President and CEO, who oversees a healthcare team of over 1,500 employees and more than 450 medical staff providers, offering an extensive range of 42 specialties. The Health System has grown to include two outpatient surgery centers, Physicians Medical Center and Gulf Coast Surgical Center; an outpatient diagnostic center; and seven clinics. With 38 years of experience in healthcare administration, Phyllis has held her current position since 2003.

Terrebonne General Health System continues to thrive under Phyllis’ leadership, fostering their signature family-like culture. Long-term employees who have spent their entire careers at Terrebonne General attest to an environment that not only presents challenges but also provides opportunities for growth and development. This unique culture allows individuals to contribute meaningfully in an environment where they help people during their most vulnerable moments.

“The satisfaction derived from being part of something larger than oneself is rewarding,” shared Phyllis. “Healthcare is not just a profession but a calling to make a difference in the lives of others.””

Over the years, Terrebonne General has expanded its medical services to meet the community’s ever-evolving needs. “We’re really big on helping to educate people about healthcare and about their health. We don’t want to be seen as just a place you come to when you’re sick. We are the place you come to help your health throughout your lifespan. As healthcare evolves, so do we.”

This philosophy is evident as you learn more about the state-of-the-art technology employed across all the healthcare endeavors the hospital faces.
Terrebonne General’s cardiology services are renowned globally, featuring procedures and leading-edge research conducted by top cardiologists. As partners with the Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) for over 40 years, Terrebonne General provides exceptional cardiovascular care, posed at the forefront of diagnosing, treating, and performing a multitude of complex cardiovascular procedures annually, with over 229,000 heart procedures completed in its 70-year history.

The Women’s Health Center, recently recognized as a Birth Ready and Blue Distinction facility, delivers over 1,600 babies annually. Further, the Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center provides quality cancer care close to home–the newly renovated center offers an expansive infusion suite, a fitness and wellness area, state-of-the- art radiation oncology, free clinical trials and screenings, as well as compassionate physicians for the most advanced cancer treatment.

The hospital also offers orthopedic services, ranging from minimally invasive to advanced orthopedic procedures with state-of-the-art techniques and implants. Board-certified orthopedic surgeons included two board-certified spine surgeons who practice advanced orthopedic procedures, minimally invasive spine procedures, hip/knee replacements, and sports medicine.

Terrebonne General’s dedication to community health is exemplified through its Healthy Lifestyles Center, offering a range of services such as Wellness for Life, Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation, Diabetes Management, Weight Management, the Performance Training Center, a Mobile Care Clinic, Emergency Department, and the Community Sports Institute. The latter plays a significant role in fostering health and wellness by partnering with local schools and providing certified athletic trainers to support student-athletes in injury prevention and triage. Free Concussion testing for all students and CPR classes for all coaches are provided annually.

Phyllis emphasizes that Terrebonne General sees its primary responsibility as serving the people of the community. The hospital’s corporate strategy is centered on the needs of the community, and they actively seek input through regular surveys. The goal is to align services with what is best for patients and the community, and there is a commitment to adapting and evolving based on these needs.

“The core mission of Terrebonne General’s is to provide exceptional healthcare with compassion,”” continued Phyllis. “”The hospital is dedicated to treating each patient with the highest quality healthcare in a caring and comfortable environment, aiming to make them feel like they are part of the family. The hospital’s staff is made up of individuals who are not just healthcare professionals but also patients, family, and friends. These individuals have chosen the healthcare profession with the specific goal of making a positive difference in the lives of the patients they serve. This commitment reflects the hospital’s emphasis on fostering a sense of community and personalized care, ensuring that each patient receives not only medical expertise but also warmth and support throughout their healthcare journey.”

The family environment does not just apply to employees and patients, however, but reaches the community as a whole, through Team Terrebonne. Team Terrebonne is composed of civic-minded employees, administrators, physicians,” “board members, and volunteers of Terrebonne General Health System who are dedicated to improving quality of life and promoting healthy lifestyles in our community. Team Terrebonne members seek to lead by example and to use their energies, talents, and compassion to make our area Louisiana’s best place to live, work, and raise our families. Since its inception in 2007, Team Terrebonne volunteers have provided 155,907 hours of service to our community.

With 70 years of healthcare in the books, Terrebonne General plans to continue serving the community with high- quality, cutting-edge care. Future plans include the completion of Cancer Center expansion to ensure comprehensive and innovative care for cancer patients at all stages of treatment and recovery. The expansion includes an expansive infusion suite and an innovative group activities space for meditation and alternative therapies.

There are also plans for a future Wellness” “Center, aimed to promote community health and fitness, as well as use of advanced technology diagnostics, such as robotic assisted navigational bronchoscopy, to detect lung cancer sooner in patients. Terrebonne General also plans to leverage automation in its services, incorporating wearable devices, telehealth, and MyChart to bring convenience to patients. Additionally, research is being done on how aspects of AI can be responsibly instituted to benefit patients, staff, physicians, and advanced practice providers. Terrebonne General has also recently completed
a retail pharmacy, allowing patients to receive prescription medications before leaving the hospital with its Meds to Beds program. The health system will continue to offer COVID tests, vaccines, and other necessary immunizations through its Drive-Thru Center, providing a convenient and accessible option for the community.

The commitment to continually achieve exceptional performance on quality standards and benchmarks will be maintained, as Phyllis and the entire staff of Terrebonne General Health System recognize the evolving nature of healthcare and emphasizes its readiness to adapt by incorporating the latest innovations and technologies and expanding service offerings.

Although the future is uncertain, Phyllis feels that the team at Terrebonne General is prepared to face anything–noting their greatest professional risk during the hospital evacuation in response to Hurricane Ida. “”The primary focus during this challenging event was ensuring the safety of all patients, providing a secure place for staff and physicians to practice, and managing the unique challenges presented by Hurricane Ida,”” reads a statement from Phyllis. “”Despite the difficulties, the situation brought out the best in people, emphasizing the resilience and collaborative efforts that emerged in the face of such challenges.””

In regards to improving healthcare and enhancing people’s lives, Phyllis wishes to express two key values. “”First, I want to emphasize the importance of ensuring access to high-quality healthcare, highlighting the significance of providing excellent medical services to the community,”” explained Phyllis. “”I secondly want to acknowledge our continued respect for others’ differences. Diversity is a strength, and we believe that understanding and appreciating differences contribute to creating a high-functioning and unique culture–a commitment to inclusivity and recognizing the value that diverse perspectives bring to the community is paramount to our healthcare environment.””

As the Terrebonne General Health System celebrates their platinum jubilee, it is clear this is not the end of their service to the community– and Terrebonne Parish residents can count on many more years of exceptional care from this local team of healthcare heroes!”