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DR. BEN ADAMS – CARDIOVASCULAR ANESTHESIOLOGIST & MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF ANESTHESIA AND SURGICAL SERVICES
Terrebonne General Health System
• Chief of Staff – Terrebonne General Health System 2017-2018
• Vice Chief of Staff – Terrebonne General Health System 2015-2016
• Chairman Dept. of Surgery 2011 – 2013, 2020 – current
• Beckers Hospital Review – 50 Healthcare Leaders Under 40 – 2016
• VCU/MCV Aliasghar Aghdami Award for Excellence in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology
• VCU/ MCV “Slickest Clinician” Award
My wife Tiffany and I actively engage in community support by volunteering and contributing financial assistance to a wide variety of non-profit organizations that we are passionate about.
What led you to the role you currently hold in your company? Did you see yourself in this position when you started out in the workforce?
I practice at Terrebonne General Health System, where I am a cardiovascular anesthesiologist and serve as the Medical Director of Anesthesia and Surgical Services. I also sit on the Board of Commissioners for the hospital and function as the Chairman of the Dept. of Surgery. Following completion of my residency in anesthesiology and cardiovascular fellowship, I wanted to pursue private practice in a small town, which ultimately lead me to Houma. I trained in KY, VA and New Orleans before settling in Houma. During my years of training, I didn’t see myself in Houma, but I knew that I would ultimately be back in South Louisiana as I love to fish and enjoy the outdoors. Houma and Terrebonne General provided a great place to live and practice medicine.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced over the years and how did you meet it?
The biggest challenges that I have faced would have to be split between the COVID pandemic and Hurricane Ida. COVID was a constant learning experience. When I wasn’t in the hospital working, I was reading studies to determine best practices concerning COVID and patients having procedures at the hospital. COVID mortality in the early stages was extremely high and was very stressful to everyone in healthcare. Ida damaged large sections of the hospital and largely limited the services we could provide. The team at Terrebonne General worked tirelessly to get the hospital back to a functional status to provide healthcare to our community, and did so in a very short timeframe thanks to our staff and excellent leadership at the hospital.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
From the time I was very young, I knew that I always wanted to be a physician, despite no one in my immediate family being involved with the practice of medicine.
What was your first job and what lesson did you learn from this job?
My first job was working at Baskin Robbins serving ice cream and decorating ice cream cakes. I ate so much ice cream the first week I was there — I never ate another bite for the duration of my time working there.” “What’s the one thing you can’t leave your house without each morning?
I have four things I need every day— watch, wallet, keys and phone. I usually grab a cup of coffee first thing when I get to the hospital each morning.
What piece of advice do you share with your team regularly?
I encourage my team to be professional, work hard and be thorough and accurate.
What is the best part of working here in the Bayou Region?
The best part of being in the Bayou Region is the abundance of outdoor activities. When I’m not working, I’m fishing, hunting or playing golf.
What was your most fulfilling career moment?
My most fulfilling moment in my career happened when I was a senior resident in Richmond, VA at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital. It was Thanksgiving day and I was on- call covering trauma. There was a 12 year old boy that had wrecked a dirt bike, that ultimately lead to a severe neck injury with a crushed trachea (windpipe) and cardiac arrest. I was able to perform procedures on the boy that others had failed and ultimately saved his life.
Who are your greatest influencers?
My parents — I watched the way they worked hard in life to accomplish the things they needed and wanted. I saw them struggle and still push forward. My parents are young and now retired because of their work ethic. My dad gave me one of the best pieces of advice when I was struggling financially during my residency training and debating whether or not to pursue a cardiovascular fellowship— he said “never trade short term gains for long term goals” — and I didn’t — I went on to further training in cardiovascular anesthesia which has been a very fulfilling practice and ultimately lead me to Houma and Terrebonne General.
How are you going to impact the Bayou Region in 2024?
I am constantly involved in various leadership roles within Terrebonne General and the landscape of healthcare is constantly changing. My greatest impacts are a function of my involvement with the hospital board and strategic planning with the other members concerning
the direction of the health system and its future.