Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center: Barbara Feske, Vice President of Management and Support

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After 60 years in the same facility, multiple additions, and a shifting market, one hospital in Louisiana made the move to a new $211-million replacement facility.

In June 2011, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center opened its brand-new doors on a 45-acre campus across town from the original facility site.

“Our campus had been added onto about 17 times, and we had outgrown the facility,” said Barbara Feske, vice president of management and support. “The facility was located in an older area of Lafayette, but most of the growth was happening on the south side of town, so we chose a location that would better place us to grow throughout the Lafayette market.”

Lourdes didn’t abandon the original site. It still uses these medical-office buildings for imaging services, outpatient rehab, a fitness center, business-office functions, and doctors.

A mission to care

Our Lady of Lourdes serves patients in nine parishes through the hospital and 20 satellite centers and clinics. It is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System that operates four hospitals in the state and is grounded in the Roman Catholic faith.

The faith-based aspect of the organization drives much of the after-hours, primary-care, and specialty clinics Lourdes operates in the community.

“Caring for those in need is part of our culture,” said Elisabeth Arnold, director of marketing and communications. “We have beautiful clinics where we treat the underinsured, uninsured, and homeless. We find a need and bring healthcare services to those patients. We placed a school-based clinic in an area where high-school students had limited access to care. We also partner with churches to coordinate resources for parishioners.”

Being an active part of the community has been central to Lourdes’ mission and was reinforced by the building of its new facility, which was the largest building project in Lafayette history. Feske said the community welcomed the building project and appreciates the large investment that Lourdes has made in the community.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in Lafayette,” Feske said. “We have been here for 60 years, and this facility is our commitment to be here for 60 more years. Making this kind of financial investment in the community is important to everyone here.”

Building for growth

As previously noted, the Our Lady of Lourdes Replacement Hospital, located off Ambassador Caffery Parkway, establishes a larger market presence for the organization and prepares it for future growth. The nearly 400,000-square-foot facility opened with close to 200 beds and has the capacity to expand to over 300. In addition, the project included a 104,000-square-foot medical office building that is already 100-percent occupied.

The first level includes public functions such as the chapel, gift shop, administration, pharmacy, and prep/decontamination. Best practices in the medical industry drove the architectural design, resulting in a procedural platform on the second floor that saves valuable time in trauma cases, offers the highest patient-safety standards, and touts flexible-bed concepts for the most efficient flow of care. A 24-room intensive-care unit is located just above on the third floor.

A $28.5-million technology investment equipped the most advanced surgical and procedure suites available today, including the first surgical hybrid operating room in the region. The technology purchase also expanded the information-technology infrastructure to support expanded electronic medical record systems.

“We designed the facility with a logical plan for growth,” Feske said. “As we need increased capacity, we already have it thoughtfully planned.”

Patient-centered design

The replacement hospital includes numerous features designed with patient comfort and safety in mind. With vibrant colors, green space, and natural light, the hospital presents a soothing atmosphere for healing. The hospital has rooftop gardens, balconies, a meditation garden, and a family kitchen in some areas.

Arnold said even the angle of the hospital on the property was evaluated based on the best way to utilize natural light.

“In some ways we went back to basics, which are essential to patient safety,” Feske said. “These basics include location of sinks for hand washing as an infection-control measure and the placement of hand rails in the rooms. Corian countertops were used in patients’ rooms as an infection-control measure as well.”

To provide comfort for staff and patients, the facility was designed with a front-of-the-house/back-of-the-house concept. The front-of-the-house includes registration, the gift shop, the cafe, the chapel, and other patient and visitor areas. The back-of-the-house features staff access through a secure corridor that also has medical records, credentialing, and the physician lounge.

Technology integration

In addition to the hybrid surgical suite, the new facility features upgraded technology. Lourdes has management systems for pharmaceuticals and supplies and medical equipment that integrates with the electronic medical record in every room. Lourdes has a da Vinci robot and made investments to support its neuromedical services.

The procedural platform on the second floor features an all-digital program with a High Field 1.0 Open MRI and a 3-Tesla MRI in the medical office building.

Feske said Lourdes took advantage of the new site to add a pneumatic-tube system throughout the hospital as well. Along with smart- and automated-building systems, the hospital ensured it has enough generator capacity to run the facility for 12 to 14 days.

With the investment of a new facility, Our Lady of Lourdes is poised to serve its patient base long into the future as it grows alongside its community.

-by Patricia Chaney

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alan Kennemer December 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm


We are a fabricator of a full line of Corian products. I see that you used Corian for the patient room countertops. Have you or do you plan on conducting any testing on the bacterial growth or lack there of on the Corian countertops?

Thank you,


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