Despite the challenges our region has faced in the past year, Thibodaux Regional Health System continues to move forward with the strength to provide high-quality care, and exceed expectations of growth. CEO Greg Stock said the hospital has been through it all, including Hurricane Ida which followed an unprecedented Covid pandemic, “I was really happy, honestly, with the way people stayed focused. They solved numerous problems and I didn’t see anybody lose their composure,” Stock said, describing the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. “They epitomized teamwork and there were moments when things could have gotten completely out of hand, but we handled it very well.”
As other hospitals closed due to Hurricane Ida damage, Thibodaux Regional had as many as 60 ambulances come through a day. “It was very challenging, but our purpose is to serve our area and the communities in which we live,” said Stock. To accommodate patients, the hospital built a 30-bed critical care unit in 45 days. “We had to have beds available for critical Covid patients along with other heart patients. The way we built it was unique to be able to treat patients in a more patient-specific manner and get better results,” he shared.
In addition to these unique challenges, the hospital is combating common challenges as well.
With a nationwide staff shortage, Thibodaux Regional has to maintain staffing to meet the patient load demand. Stock shared that while staffing is a challenge, Thibodaux Regional has the lowest employee turnover rate in the region. The staff actively works to improve clinical quality which has resulted in receiving many awards and recognition for superior patient care, technology, community involvement, education and outreach, and more. “I’m so happy with our staff, our doctors, our board, and everything that has contributed to these accomplishments,” he said.
Thibodaux Regional brings over 91 years of high-quality care to the bayou region. Opening in 1929 as St. Joseph Hospital with just 101 beds, the hospital has grown into a system that provides highly specialized services proving you don’t have to travel far to receive excellent care. Since then it has grown into a 180-bed regional medical center that employs over 1,200 staff members and more than 250 physicians. The healthcare system prides itself on providing care that not only is top-notch but extends into surrounding communities.
In the fall of 2019, the Thibodaux Regional opened the region’s first freestanding Cancer Institute, providing compassionate care along with the area’s best physicians. Not only does the institute provide superior care, but they also offer well-rounded services. Services include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, radiosurgery, and hormonal therapy. They also offer WellFit cancer care that integrates cancer care with wellness to give patients the education and resources needed to increase a healthier lifestyle. Stock said, “It has enabled us to provide more specific cancer-related care that we thought was needed in the region in a much larger capacity. That was completed during Covid and just the fact the building was built and dedicated during that time frame, to me, is a marvelous thing.”
Recently, Thibodaux Regional opened phase one of the Sports Complex, situated on 12 acres of land behind the Wellness Center. The complex offers extensive venues including beach volleyball courts, a basketball court, tennis courts with a viewing stand, a multi-purpose field and track, and a recreational pond. Thibodaux Regional is proud to offer a space for the community and athletes to gather and remain active, as well as provide a venue to host events.
Reflecting on his nearly 30 years with the hospital, Stock is proud of the growth that Thibodaux Regional has experienced. He especially is proud of their expansion of services, “We wanted to bring more specialty services to the people in this region.” The healthcare system has extended caring hands to Houma, Raceland, St. Mary Parish, and Assumption Parish, with the addition of clinics and 42 new physicians in the past two years. “Being able to operate the clinics, to be able to do the procedures some of these doctors were doing that were not being done in the region… It was really a big accomplishment,” Stock said.
Growth is key to successful healthcare and Thibodaux Regional Health System has proven that every experience aids growth. The system’s doctors will see 300,000 patients this year and payroll has gone from $10 million to $118 million. The number of active medical staff has gone from 40 to 160. The growth has led to the size of facilities being five times bigger than it was, and Stock said there’s more to come.
It’s the resiliency and strength of Thibodaux Regional staff that Stock says propels the system forward. He shared they will continue to use wisdom and experiences to grow. They are currently building four new state-of-the-art operating rooms which will be completed by October 2022 and will continue to grow in areas where they think they can do more to provide more accessible care, specialty services, and higher-quality care.
“Our purpose is to serve our community. We do everything in our power to provide high-quality healthcare to the people who live right here. Having a vision is a great thing. Where there’s no vision, people perish,” shared Stock. “Here, it’s also about having the skills and ability, the right people, the right places – all of those things that are needed to bring the vision to reality. I’m also very happy with the performance level. We greatly appreciate the support people have given us and the privilege we have to serve everybody.”