Rural Health Practitioner of the Year and Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year

Every year, in conjunction with the Louisiana Rural Health Association Rural Health Care Conference, the LRHA recognizes outstanding individuals and programs that show compassion and commitment to their rural health community and demonstrates lasting contributions to the rural health care system; Franklin Medical Center had nominees for two of the LRHA’s honors: Rural Health Practitioner of the Year and Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year. Our community will be proud to learn that Franklin Medical Center brought home both awards.

Rural Health Practitioner of the Year: Dr. David Gutierrez

This award recognizes a direct health care clinical provider for leadership in delivering health services to rural populations. Factors taken into consideration include providing outstanding care, involvement in the community, and lasting contributions to the health care system.

Prior to pursuing a career in medicine and surgery, Dr. Gutierrez already loved aviation and so volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy. He served 4 years in our Nation’s Navy as an Avionics technician aboard the Aircraft Carrier, U.S.S. Saratoga, including a tour during the First Gulf War in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He has since become an avid private pilot. He still acts as a volunteer, now serving his local community of Winnsboro as a volunteer pilot for Pilot for Patients, LLC. This local, not for profit organization flies medically stable patients to facilities for health care not availablein the region. This service is provided completely free of charge.

Dr. Gutierrez is a native of Florida where he pursued his undergraduate degree with a Major in Biology and Minor in Chemistry at the University of Miami. He then went on to Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ (now known as Rutgers New Jersey Medical School). Once he graduated from medical school, Dr. Gutierrez underwent his surgical residency training at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL where he went on to become chief resident in surgery in his last year. Following his education and training, Dr. Gutierrez initially started his own independent surgical practice and did this for 3 years until he received an offer to join another surgeon in Northwest Minnesota where he practiced for nearly 5 years. At that time, Dr. Gutierrez and his family felt like the harsh winters weren’t for them, so they made the decision to take the position here in Winnsboro at Franklin Medical Center. Dr. Gutierrez and his family are very excited to be part of the Winnsboro community and BACK IN THE SOUTH!

Dr. Gutierrez is an Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon who has the skills necessary to do many previously open surgeries with far less cutting than the more traditional large open abdominal incisions. This type of surgery decreases post-operative discomfort and recovery time, significantly decreasing post-operative wound complications. Patients return to work much sooner and can return to their normal lives in a relatively shorter period of time. Dr. Gutierrez has a particular interest in treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Using the most advanced skills and technology, his efforts are actually directed to curing the disease, rather than just managing the symptoms. GERD is a significant problem that plagues upwards of 40% of the U.S. population and can even predispose the patient who suffers from this disease to the development of adenocarcinoma, a disastrous life threatening cancer of the esophagus that is exclusively attributable to reflux and is not prevented with the use of antacid medications. Dr. Gutierrez is passionate about this disease process and is qualified in the latest endoscopic and surgical techniques to eradicate and prevent this disease from becoming life threatening. Because of Dr. Gutierrez’s dedication to his practice and patients, Franklin Medical Center is one of only two hospitals in the state offering this procedure (the Linx procedure described here is discussed more fully below). Dr. Gutierrez is excited about having brought this service to Northeast Louisiana, right here in Winnsboro at Franklin Medical Center.

Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year (Dr. Blaine Borders)

This award recognizes a statewide or regional one-time or recurrent program/project that promotes the development of rural health care delivery systems, promotes and/or provides increased access to health care services for rural populations or that improves the quality of rural health care through educational outreach. Factors taken into consideration include coordination, networking, innovation, and lasting impact.

Dr. Borders, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, has served Northeast Louisiana for over twenty-one years, affirming high professional, ethical, moral, religious, and family values in all aspects of the medicine he has practiced. Those who know and respect this physician will be delighted to learn of his newest effort to serve our communities through the establishment of the Heart, Lung, and Vascular Clinic, LLC at Franklin Medical Center.
With a reputation for using the latest advances in technique and technology, and with his extensive surgical experience, Dr. Borders broke new ground in 2016 at Franklin Medical Center. At the Heart, Lung, & Vascular Clinic, Dr. Borders and his team now provide unique and greatly needed healthcare services to our region. However, it is more than his surgical skill that attracts patients to this physician – it is his devotion to God, his belief in prayer, and his commitment to address each patient’s physical and spiritual needs and to treat them with the utmost skill and compassion. Dr. Borders and the Heart, Lung, & Vascular Clinic team are dedicated to provide patients with better long-term results and fewer complications.

In addition, Dr. Borders provides a clinic for our community at the Franklin Medical Center campus every other Friday.

Franklin Medical Center would like to congratulate both providers for their hard work and continued dedication to the communities we serve. Both physicians recognized the many other health care providers/workers involved in bringing these awards back to our rural facility, listing everyone deserving of appreciation includes FMC’s Board of Directors; Administration; Medical, Surgery, Radiology, Nursing Staff; Environmental Services; IT; Engineering; Pharmacy; Central Supply . . . and last, but definitely not least, to our families and friends, THANK YOU! . . for understanding and supporting the long hours and dedication each employee has poured into making Franklin Medical Center a better place to receive health care.