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Tuesday, May 18, 2021



Ochsner LSU Health to Open Community Health Centers

Ochsner LSU Health announced plans for four new Community Health Centers across North Louisiana that will open by the end of 2022. The Community Health Centers are designed to address health needs in underserved communities as part of Ochsner Health’s 10-year vision for a healthy state.

Ochsner LSU Health will make an initial investment of $15 million in the Community Health Centers. The locations and services of the centers are determined based on the area’s highest needs. Three will be located in Shreveport, and one will open in Monroe on Louisville Avenue. The centers will offer a combination of health screenings, primary care, chronic disease management and digital medicine programs, and other services, such as pediatrics, behavioral health, smoking cessation, nutrition counseling and specialty care to fit the community’s needs.

The first location is at an existing clinic at 6670 St. Vincent Ave. in Shreveport that was fully renovated and opened in July 2020.

The new Community Health Centers are part of Ochsner Health’s 10-year commitment to a healthy Louisiana, announced in November, which includes an initial investment of $100 million during the next five years. These investments are supporting projects that eliminate barriers to health care.

Cyndi Phillips is ANECA Federal Credit Union’s newly appointed director of community development

She comes to ANECA with decades of experience in the finance industry with a passion for helping others improve their financial well-being. Her goals including making business relationships in the community and reaching out to the underserved who need assistance with understanding how to create a successful financial future.

She is a Louisiana native and has been a Bossier City resident for the past 15 years.

Brakta Performs 1,000th da Vinci Robotic Surgery

Kamel Brakta, MD, surgeon and founder of WK Robotic & Laparoscopic Surgery, has performed his 1,000th da Vinci ® robotic surgery. Dr. Brakta, who offers general and bariatric robotic-assisted procedures, has used the da Vinci technology for seven years at Willis-Knighton, following training with this advanced technology during his residency.

The da Vinci robot dramatically reduces the time a patient stays in the hospital.

Dr. Brakta gave the example of a colon resection surgery. “Where once a patient having a colon resection would have a stay of a week or more and experience significant discomfort, the patient now has a typical stay of two to three days and greatly reduced pain.”

Patients can be up and walking the day of surgery, Brakta says. Hernia and gallbladder patients generally go home the same day.

The da Vinci surgical system gives surgeons 3D vision, enabling them to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures with more precision, control and dexterity than traditional surgery allows. In addition to shorter stays, other benefits to patients include less pain, smaller incisions, reduced risk of infection and a quicker return to a normal activity.

Many surgeries once performed open or laparoscopically in the past may now be performed with the assistance of the da Vinci robot, including a wide range of hernia repairs, colon and bowel resections, colectomies, foregut and bariatric surgeries, among others.

WK Robotic & Laparoscopic Surgery is located at Willis-Knighton Medical Center’s Medical Arts Building, 2551 Greenwood Road, Suite 311. A second location has opened at WK Pierremont Health Center, 8001 Youree Drive, Suite 500.

Hobley named new Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair

Dr. James Hobley, a gastroenterologist with GastroIntestinal Specialists (GIS), has been named the new American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair. ACG is a medical association of gastroenterologists that consists of more than 14,000 physicians from 86 countries.

ACG’s Legislative and Public Policy Council engages in policy development to help tie any policy changes to everyday practice management and patient care. The council will work closely with the ACG Board of Governors and other committees within the organization who work directly with Congress and the Food and Drug Administration. For GIS patients, this position gives Dr. Hobley a powerful voice in directing policy so that it has the best impact on patient care and services.

Dr. Hobley is a board-certified gastroenterologist who has practiced in Shreveport. He is currently a partner with GastroIntestinal Specialists and serves on the board of directors. Dr. Hobley graduated from Pennsylvania

State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa. He completed his internal medicine residency and his Gastroenterology/Hepatology Fellowship at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa.

Institute First with Shockwave Coronary Lithotripsy

Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute is the first in Northwest Louisiana to offer a new life-saving procedure Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy for coronary arteries. The first procedures were performed by Jonathan M. Davis, MD, and Robert Martin, MD, of Pierremont Cardiology.

The transformative technology is used to treat severely calcified cardiovascular disease by opening clogged heart arteries that are especially difficult to unblock due to hard calcium deposits in the arteries.

The minimally invasive procedure, which takes about one hour, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in late February to treat blocked coronary arteries. The Shockwave IVL System is based on the same technology used to destroy kidney stones to more easily pass through the urinary tract.

Shockwave works by threading a catheter through the femoral or radial artery to the location of the blockage and inflating a special balloon. An electrical discharge from emitters on the catheter vaporizes the fluid within the balloon, creating a rapidly expanding and collapsing bubble that generates sonic pressure waves. The waves pass through soft tissue and create micro-fractures in the calcium inside the vessel and embedded within its walls. After the calcium is cracked, a balloon fully expands the vessel, and a drug-eluting stent is safely implanted to improve blood flow.

Calcium deposition in the blood vessel wall represents the most difficult impediment to successful placement of a stent in a heart artery. People are living longer with heart disease. Historically, this has been accomplished using devices that require a rotating burr that “sands” or modifies the calcified plaque. Intravascular lithotripsy offers the same plaque modification without the risk associated with these devices. The procedure optimizes patients’ stent result and improves their symptoms and quality of life.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.


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