Letter To Our Community 2012

At the close of another year, I would like to take the time to issue this report regarding your hospital, Franklin Medical Center. Given the tremendous upheaval we have seen at the state and federal governments in the last year regarding health care, it is important for everyone in Franklin, Tensas, and Catahoula Parishes to stay as informed as possible about what is happening with your facility.

In a year where we treated almost 10,000 emergency room patients, over 23,000 outpatient clinic encounters, and upwards of 2,000 inpatient admissions, we are happy to report that Franklin Medical Center posted its second consecutive year of profit, finishing over $48,000 in the black. This is the first time your hospital has accomplished this feat in at least a dozen years. This news was somewhat bittersweet, though, since we already know that next year will bring over $1,000,000 in cuts to Franklin Medical Center, mostly from actions taken at the federal level. The Board of Commissioners, Medical Staff, and Administration are already forming plans about how to deal with the changing health care landscape.

In our continuing efforts to offer the best health care possible to our community, we have increased our efforts to enhance the quality of patient treatment in our facility, including participation in a program with the Louisiana Hospital Association specifically targeting high-priority patient safety issues. Please also note the following events:

  • Dr. Gary Baskin, a residency-trained emergency medicine physician and Franklin Parish native, is now engaged in our emergency room. He is the first physician with this sort of training ever recruited to Franklin Medical Center.
  • Dr. Teresa Minchew, a family practice physician will be arriving in the summer of 2013 to begin work in our community. She will be followed by Drs. Logan Atkins, David Aymond, Tommy Banks, and Mike Kitchell over the following two years.
  • The Crowville Health Center is now operational, with Dr. Joel Eldridge, Ms. Eula Coleman, NP, and Ms. JoAnne Meche, NP, available for all of your primary health care needs. The Health Center also has a pharmacy courier service to assist any patient with the pick-up of their medications.
  • Dr. Jed Robinson, a Franklin Parish native, has committed to returning to our community in 2014 as a urologist. He is currently enrolled in the residency program at Cook County Hospital in Chicago but is excited at the opportunity to come back to this area.
  • We have expanded our nuclear medicine program so that those diagnostics may be conducted five days a week, rather than two as was previously the case.
  • A glidescope was purchased to assist physicians and staff with managing difficult airways.
  • Franklin Medical Center now offers stress testing services, insuring that our patients do not have to travel to Monroe to have their heart’s performance level checked.
  • We have continued to renovate various parts of the hospital, especially our surgery waiting area.
  • Our mental health program now includes tele-psychiatry for patients in Tensas Parish, offering direct treatment from a psychiatrist that previously would have been unavailable.
  • Four of our current nurses trained and qualified for wound care certification, allowing for better treatment of patients who are admitted with bed sores or chronic wound issues.
  • Our emergency room now has 24/7 access to a neurologist by way of telemedicine. This will permit the ER physician to have an on-site consultation with a specialist in case of a patient suffering from stroke symptoms or other neurological problems.
  • A portable ultrasound machine has been acquired, providing a trained physician with bedside diagnostic capability that was not an option before now.
  • Franklin Medical Center met the federal standards and requirements for meaningful use and operation for our electronic health records under the Affordable Care Act.


These are just a few of the notable accomplishments from 2012. None of these would have been possible without the exceptional devotion and heart of the Franklin Medical Center employees. There is no way to thank them adequately for all that they do. Likewise for your Board of Commissioners, who perform their duties without compensation or complaint.

We hope that our progress has been satisfactory to the members of our community. Franklin Medical Center strives to be a hospital that inspires confidence in each and every one of our patients and their families by rendering the most outstanding level of treatment achievable. As always, I urge anyone who has had an experience that was problematic or even simply less than ideal to please contact us and let us know.

In conclusion, we acknowledge the efforts of our medical staff. We extend our gratitude to the medical staff for supporting our community hospital- Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Combetta, Vice-Chief Dr. Jimmy Coughran, Dr. Gary Baskin, Dr. Jay Busby, Dr. David Colvin, Dr. Tom Colvin, Dr. Joel Eldridge, Dr. Leigh Traylor Liles, Dr. Ron Morgan, Dr. Lee Pankey, Dr. Frank Sanfiel, Dr. Roger Smith, Dr. Tom Wooldridge, and Dr. Scott Zentner.


Everyone have a joyful Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Blake Kramer,