New West Feliciana Hospital to open in one week

West Feliciana Hospital will open a new 53,000-square-foot medical facility in St. Francisville one week from today, providing access to health care services and technology area residents typically would seek elsewhere.

The newer and modern medical facility will replace the older, existing West Feliciana Parish Hospital, which will be repurposed for other uses at a later date.

The new critical access hospital sits on 12 acres behind the existing facility. A retention pond runs between them, says Howard Arceneaux, marketing consultant for the hospital.

West Feliciana Hospital officials broke ground on the new facility in January last year. The old hospital was much smaller, at just 18,000 square feet, had a greater focus on in-patient care and lacked many specialty health care services.

“The old hospital was built in the 1970s and health care has changed dramatically since the 1970s,” Arceneaux says. “At that time the whole mindset was to put people in the hospital and keep them there until they get well. Now the whole concept has flipped 180 degrees to where you treat the patient and get them out as quickly as possible.”

Costing roughly $27.7 million, the new facility will have fewer in-patient rooms—12 instead of 22—but will include a private triage area, six exam rooms, a full-service laboratory and two trauma rooms as well as newer imaging technology for MRIs, bone density testing and CT scans. A partnership with Woman’s Hospital provides for 3D mammography.

It will also offer expanded specialities like cardiology, podiatry, pediatrics and gynecology—services patients in the hospital’s target area would typically seek in Zachary, Baton Rouge or Natchez, Mississippi.

“We want to give them services so they don’t have to travel long distances,” Arceneaux says.

—Alexandria Burris

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