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Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Healthy dose of information

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Willis-Knighton Health System opened a new stroke unit at WK Bossier Health Center in early February. The six-bed unit is the second in the system that consolidates stroke patients into an area where a team with specialized training provide care.

The health system’s first stroke unit opened at WK Pierremont Health Center in 2016 and in 2017 it received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The certification indicates it is a facility that gives highly reliable care for stroke patients. The protocols developed by the WK PIerremont stroke team have been replicated for all Willis-Knighton emergency departments.

“The goal for the WK Bossier stroke unit is to provide the best possible treatment and care for stroke patients by applying best practices consistent with the guidelines,” says Todd Blanchard, WK Bossier Health Center administrator. “WK Bossier will strive to achieve recognition as an accredited center of excellence for stroke.” The benefits of consolidating stroke patients in one area will be immediate, Blanchard adds. “When patients are cared for by a staff trained in stroke care, their length of stay is decreased and their access to rehabilitation and recovery is expedited in a more efficient manner. Our team not only will provide individualized care but will make recommendations for the continued care of each patient.”

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Symptoms of stroke should not be ignored. Early recognition of stroke symptoms and prompt treatment will provide the most favorable outcomes. These are easily identified by the word “FAST.” FACE: Is one side of the face drooping? ARM: Is there weakness in the arm? SPEECH: Is speech difficult or unintelligible? If so, it is TIME to call 9-1-1. Emergency responders are trained to deal with these, so someone experiencing these symptoms should not risk a drive to the ER.


Shreveport-Bossier Health System has been named as one of America’s Best Hospitals by the Women’s Choice Award®, America’s trusted referral source for the best in health care. The award signifies that CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier is one of the top health-care providers in the country based on a review of nearly 5,000 hospitals.

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier was awarded one of America’s Best Hospitals for heart care, cancer care, bariatric surgery and outpatient experience.

“We are honored to be recognized for the effort and energy this system puts into ensuring our patients have the best possible experience and outcomes when they visit our facilities,” Isaac Palmer, CEO CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, said. “I want to thank all of our associates and providers who live our mission every day. They provide exceptional care to our patients, work diligently on their behalf, and they are proud to be a part of this team.”

In the last year CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier has grown heart-care services by adding a hybrid operating suite for high-risk cardio patients, opened the area’s first outpatient cath lab by partnering with the physicians at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, and expanded a dedicated cardiac stepdown unit at the hospital.

CHRISTUS Cancer Treatment Center team provides patients with comprehensive cancer care and the physicians remain dedicated to treating the patient and not the disease. The CHRISTUS Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for 29 years.

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier offers comprehensive bariatric programs that provide surgical solutions and continued follow-up care for long-term weight-loss success. CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center is accredited by MBSAQIP as a comprehensive center for bariatric surgery.

For more information on the America’s Best Hospitals visit https://www.womenschoiceaward.com/awarded/healthcare/


During February, which is Heart Month, Willis- Knighton Health System is offering special pricing for coronary calcium scoring. The 10-minute procedure combines a CT scan with an EKG to evaluate the presence of calcium plaque in the arteries. Calcium plaque can be a sign of heart disease and potential heart attack.

Willis-Knighton’s charge for the procedure during February is $25, and the radiologist reading fee is $25, for a total of $50.

Coronary calcium scans will be offered at Willis- Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute (North) and WK Pierremont Health Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout February.

A referral from a physician is required. To take advantage of this special pricing, contact your primary care doctor or cardiologist. If you need a cardiologist, you may contact Pierremont Cardiology at (318) 212- 3858 or Willis-Knighton Cardiology at (318) 631-6400.


WK Eye Institute surgeons Christopher Shelby, MD, and Wyche T. Coleman III, MD, are the first surgeons in Louisiana to perform cataract eye surgery utilizing Alcon’s NGENUITY 3D Visualization System. The stateof-the-art technology allows surgeons to operate by looking at a high-definition 3D screen. This provides the surgeon with additional precision, depth and detail to perform enhance the eye surgery procedure.

The NGENUITY 3D Visualization System consists of a high-definition video camera and workstation that magnifies images and acts as an adjunct to the surgical microscope during surgery. It enables surgeons to see at a greater depth with more clarity and color contrast. Surgeons can customize their view during each procedure, including the ability to increase magnification while maintaining a wide field view.

Because the system allows surgeons to lower the light levels in the operating room, the comfort of the patient is enhanced and light exposure to the patient’s eye is minimized. The technology also improves the surgeon’s ergonomics and reduces eye strain, helping to minimize stress fatigue.

Dr. Shelby noted that the technology offers a better view of the eye with finer details. “It’s a game changer,” he said.


Michael A. Banda, MD, FACS, and his long-time partner James G. “Jay” Howell, MD, FACS, have joined the Willis-Knighton Physician Network. The surgeons will continue to practice at WK Bossier Health Center under a new clinic name, WK Bossier Surgical Associates.

Dr. Banda is an alumnus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He earned his medical degree from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine in 1991, followed by a surgical residency at LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. He has been offering general surgery services in Bossier City since 1999.

A native of Natchitoches, La., Dr. Howell graduated from Northeast Louisiana University and earned his medical degree at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, followed by surgical residency at LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. He operated a general surgery practice in Natchitoches before joining Dr. Banda in Bossier in 2005.

Both physicians are designated Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and are certified by the American Board of Surgery.

Drs. Banda and Howell accept new patients and most insurance plans.


Joseph L. Fredi, MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist, has joined Willis- Knighton Cardiology after 20 years of practice at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Fredi graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University and with highest honors from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and then completed an internship and residency at University of Rochester- Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. He completed a cardiology fellowship and then remained as faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville. He co-founded the structural heart disease program and served as the medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt. Over the past eight years, he was honored by the cardiologists in training at Vanderbilt with the Cardiology Teaching Award. Dr. Fredi is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease as well as internal medicine.

“He is a great addition to our cardiology group and our community,” said Willis-Knighton Cardiology co-founder Phillip A. Rozeman, MD. “He not only brings great experience and innovation as a leader at a distinguished medical school but joins with Dr. Wenwu Zhang to give our group the two most experienced physicians in structural heart disease in the Ark-La-Tex.”

Willis-Knighton Cardiology also includes Phillip A. Rozeman, MD, FACC; Frederick J. White, III MD, FACC, FCCP; Ajaya K. Tummala, MD, FACC; Basel Kasabali, MD, FACC; Paul G. Cole, MD, FACC; William Britton Eaves II, MD, FACC; Wenwu Zhang, MD, PhD, FACC; Amber M. Shah, MD, MPH; Sai Konduru, MD, MPH; Jagan Beedupalli, MD, MPH, FACC and Michael Langiulli, MD, FACC.

These 12 physicians offer a full array of cardiovascular services at offices in Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Natchitoches, Vivian, Homer and Ruston, including general cardiology, diagnostic and interventional procedures.

The doctors accept new patients and most insurance plans.


John A. Fox, MD, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and scoliosis specialist, has joined the Willis-Knighton Physician Network and has established WK Pediatric Orthopaedics & Scoliosis in the WK Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center, 7925 Youree Drive in Shreveport.

Dr. Fox received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his internship and residency in orthopedics at Duke University and a fellowship at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, where he received special training in pediatric orthopedics and scoliosis.

Before joining the Willis- Knighton Physician Network, Dr. Fox was at Shriners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, where he served as chief of staff.

Dr. Fox has a special interest in growth-related orthopaedic conditions, particularly deformities of the pediatric and adolescent spine. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a member of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America.

Dr. Fox welcomes new patients and accepts most insurance plans.


Marlyn Langford, PhD, director of ophthalmology research at LSU Health Shreveport, was recently awarded the honor of Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in their 2019 Fellows Class. Dr. Langford will be recognized at the ARVO Annual Meeting held in Vancouver, British Columbia this spring. ARVO is the largest and most respected eye and vision research organization in the world, with nearly 12,000 members from more than 75 countries.


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