By Darlene Denstorff
Ascension Section editor
June 07, 2012
Gonzales — A plush, white robe hung in the corner of the new Women’s Health Center bone density room.
Visitors to the new center said they were pleased to find a robe and not just the hospital gown usually found in treatment rooms.
That spa-like touch was purposely selected by St. Elizabeth Hospital staffers to give the new center “that not-a-hospital” setting, hospital Director of Marketing Jon Hirsch said during the center’s open house on May 30.
More than 50 people attended the event, which included a brief prayer service and blessing by a Catholic priest.
Hirsch said the focus of the new center is to provide a one-stop shop for women’s diagnostic health needs in the parish.
The center, at 1014 W. St. Clare Blvd., Medical Plaza II, Suite 1060, Gonzales, provides screening and diagnostic equipment “in one spot instead of scattered throughout the parish,” Hirsch said.
The 2,558-square-foot center includes two mammography rooms, a bone density testing room, ultrasound area and space for lab testing.
Hirsch said the goal was to design a center that was as “comfortable and relaxing as possible.”
“We were looking for a warm, welcoming environment,” Dee LeJeune, outgoing president and chief executive officer of the hospital said.
LeJeune, who is retiring at the end of the month, said the Women’s Center is one of the “final projects on my checklist, and I’m so proud of everyone’s commitment to getting it open.”
Since opening on April 16, the center has been “as busy as we expected,” Hirsch said.
LeJeune said the response from patients has been positive.
“There’s no better validation than from the patients themselves,” she said.
She said patients appreciate the one-stop approach to diagnostic services. While many of the services were provided in the hospital and by area physicians, LeJeune said, patients had to travel to different locations to obtain the services.
“No place concentrated on the specific needs of women,” she said.
The center’s creation was one of the hospital strategic planning goals set a few years ago, LeJeune said.
LeJeune pointed to the warm colors, plants and flowers as touches that make the center “not a sick place.”
Last week, the hospital announced that Robert Burgess has been appointed as its new president and chief executive officer. Burgess joined the organization on June 1, and his effective date as CEO is July 1.
St. Elizabeth Hospital is a member of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.