For immediate release:
June 20, 2013

The Louisiana Quality Foundation (LQF) is again honored to recognize Louisiana organizations for their achievements in the area of performance excellence.   Since 1995, nearly 50 Louisiana organizations have been recognized during their quality journeys.  The LQF administers the Louisiana Performance Excellence Award and recognizes applicants at three levels.  The Level I award is for organizations that are starting the Baldrige-based path to performance excellence and encourages them to continue down that path.  Level II recognition is for more mature quality programs working toward improving their performance results.  A Level III organization has a fully deployed quality program fully integrated in their overall organization.  These organizations are seeing excellent results in such areas as customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, finance, and process improvement.  On June 18 at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion, the LQF recognized seven Louisiana organizations.


Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales earned Level III recognition.  St. Elizabeth Hospital is a 78-bed acute care facility that prides itself on the delivery of faith-based healthcare.  The hospital is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.  In the nearly thirteen years since the hospital was purchased by the system, the hospital’s revenues have increased over 300%.  St. Elizabeth Hospital currently employs over 500 team members, an increase of 250% since 2000.  In 2007, the hospital purchased Lake Ascension Physicians, now St. Elizabeth Physicians, a primary care and specialist practice employing over 50 physicians and practitioners, and over 250 team members.

St. Elizabeth’s has twice been recognized as the Hospital of the Year by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation, has twice been named to the 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare® by Modern Healthcare Magazine, along with numerous other awards for quality.  The hospital has continued to strive to live out its mission to serve those most in need by providing the highest quality healthcare delivered in a compassionate manner.

According to St. Elizabeth Hospital, “The Louisiana Quality Foundation’s Louisiana Performance Excellence Award process has been a blessing for St. Elizabeth Hospital as we continue our journey toward excellence.  Although honored to receive the award, the true reward has been in the feedback that we have received throughout the process.  The true winners are our patients.”

DSC 0196: St. Elizabeth Hospital President and CEO Robert Burgess, center, holds the 2012 Level III Louisiana Performance Excellence Award.  He is joined by, from left, Paul Corde, Jason Jobes, Bill Martin, Craig Vitrano, Martha Speiss and Margareth McBeth.



St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe earned Level II recognition.  Over the past century, St. Francis’ mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to those most in need has remained constant.  From its modest beginning in July 1913 as a three-story red brick building with 75 patient beds, St. Francis Medical Center has grown to become Northeast Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider with 550 licensed beds.  One of the largest employers in Ouachita Parish, St. Francis has over 300 physicians and over 2,200 employees and an annual payroll of $100 million dollars.

St. Francis Medical Center is comprised of three campuses.  The main campus is located in downtown Monroe and is an acute care, inpatient and outpatient, that offers a full range of medical and surgical specialties.  The North campus encompasses outpatient services including the Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center and St. Patrick’s Behavioral Health Services.  And the Community Health Center, centrally located in the heart of Monroe on Oliver Road, is an outpatient facility housing the Convenience Clinic, pharmacy and various physician offices.  Construction of the new Community Health Center is underway and set to open in the fall of 2014 just around the corner on Tower Drive.

St. Francis is committed to providing quality care for the patients they are privileged to serve.  In 2012, St. Francis received a Bronze Medal of Honor from the Department of Health and Human Services for success in increasing the number of organs available and transplanted, earned NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) designation from the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University of Nursing, and was honored to have the Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center be designated a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence in the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program.  St. Francis Medical Center was also recognized as one of the best hospitals in Louisiana by US News & World Report and listed as one of Louisiana’s Top Hospitals by Louisiana Life magazine.

As its second century of service to the community begins, the mission of providing excellent healthcare with love, compassion, humility and respect for all entrusted to them will continue.  St. Francis is also in the process of applying for the LQF LPEA Level III award for 2013. 

DSC 0197: Sister Eileen Rowe and Franciscan Missionary of Our Lady Health System John Finan accepted the 2012 St. Francis Medical Center Level II Louisiana Performance Excellence Award.



Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette earned Level III recognition.  Founded by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady in 1949, Lourdes is based at a newly constructed 186-bed hospital located in Lafayette.  As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Lourdes has access to a great many resources – helping them to fulfil their mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to God’s people.
Lourdes employs more than 1200 people, in addition to physicians in a variety of medical and surgical specialties.  Lourdes also operates the nearby Heart Hospital of Lafayette, the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence and Neuromedical Services that feature a Stroke Center of Excellence, and one of the top orthopedic programs in the nation.  Lourdes also provides the only burn unit in southwest Louisiana, and the area’s first cancer network.  With multiple clinics, four imaging locations and a primary care physician network, Lourdes provides easy access to comprehensive care throughout the community.  Through Congregational Health Services, St. Bernadette’s Clinic and various other services, Lourdes provides care to the homeless and others most in need.
Lourdes’ focus on quality - both clinical and operations – helps to ensure that it will be able to continue its healing mission of caring for God’s people in Acadiana.

DSC 0199: Our Lady of Lourdes President and CEO Bud Barrow, left, holds the Our Lady of Lourdes 2012 Level III Louisiana Performance Excellence Award, joined by, from left, Sister Eileen Rowe, Tammy DeRouen, and Anthony Blalock.



Jefferson Parish Community Action Programs, or JEFFCAP, aims to drastically improve the lives of Jefferson Parish citizens through a variety of unique social programs.  Created in 1965, JEFFCAP was a product of the “War on Poverty” legislation spearheaded by Sargent Shriver and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.  As an agency receiving federal, state and local funds, JEFFCAP has a distinct mission of eradicating all poverty.

DSC 0201: Jefferson Parish Community Action Programs Director Jedidiah Jackson, center, holds the JEFFCAP 2012 Level III Louisiana Performance Excellence Award, joined by, from left, Jefferson Parish President John Young, Rochelle Rabathaly, Darcell Florence and Darryl Ward.




The Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter earned Level I recognition.  The Shelter’s East and West bank locations’ journey to performance excellence began in 2011 under the leadership of the new Director. Working closely with dedicated, compassionate staff and volunteers and their strategic partner, the Jefferson SPCA, the shelter’s established purpose is to “inspire and engage the community to end animal suffering” and their mission is to “improve the community through the practice of compassion by saving and protecting animals, and through education, advocate for animal welfare.”
From 2010 to 2012 the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter has reduced the euthanasia rate by 26 %, increased the adoption rate by 41.5 %, and increased release-to-rescue by a whopping 110 % to achieve its long-term goal of finding loving homes for all adoptable companion animals.

DSC 0203: Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter Director Robin Beaulieu, center, holds the JPAS 2012 Level I Louisiana Performance Excellence Award, joined, from left, by Jefferson Parish President John Young, Jamal Johnson, Erianne Vicks-North, Edward Haywood, Brooke Bourgeois, Melanie Manning and Ron Schulingkamp.



The Jefferson Business and Career Solutions Center is the one stop destination for employers and job seekers in Jefferson Parish.  This center provides multiple programs to help its members successfully obtain their workforce needs of the 21st century.  They provide employers’ access to the most qualified workforce while giving the workers of the region centralized resources for improving their job skills, developing new career paths, and locating the best opportunities the region has to offer.  The system is employer-based and demand-driven to help the needs of businesses.  The center is part of the local Workforce Investment area’s outreach to help residents of Jefferson Parish find jobs to obtain a better quality of life.  The Center also assists businesses with the development of a diverse workforce to be competitive in the global economy.

DSC 0205: Jefferson Business and Career Solutions Center Director Sharon Wegner, center, holds the 2012 Level I Louisiana Performance Excellence Award, joined by, from left, Jefferson Parish President John Young, Ron Schulingkamp, and Darryl Ward.



Jefferson Parish Community Development, directly or through its partners, provides a diverse array of programs and services to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Jefferson Parish.  From the Volunteers of America’s “Repairs on Wheels” Program for the elderly or disabled, to summer enrichment and tutoring programs for the young, First Time Homebuyer’s Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program, and homeless prevention programs for the most vulnerable population of the Parish, Community Development honors the dignity, individuality and rights of all persons, and is committed to meeting the needs of all who qualify to participate.

DSC 0207: Jefferson Parish Community Development Director Anatola Thompson, center, holds the Jefferson Parish Community Development 2012 Level I Louisiana Performance Excellence Award, joined by, from left, Jefferson Parish President John Young, Ron Schulingkamp and Darryl Ward.