Letter To Our Community 2010

I write to you representing your hospital, Franklin Medical Center. As the end of the year approaches, we wanted to provide you with a summary of recent events in order to help you stay better informed of what is happening with your facility.

Our annual audit for the fiscal year 2009-2010 demonstrated a loss, despite our restricting expenses to an increase of only 1.8%. This was basically due to over half a million dollars in reduced revenue from certain government programs, specifically Medicare.

We also saw the retirement of a community icon in Dr. Vernon Baldwin. His skills and devotion will be greatly missed. Thank you, Dr. Baldwin, for all your years of service.

Much work has been done to adapt our facility to the coming standards of the recent health care reform legislation. We continue to switch from the old paper system of medical record-keeping to the electronic formats being required by the government. For any who may have experienced inconvenience as a result of this change, we appreciate your patience.

We have continued to provide and promote new services in order to better care for the Franklin and Tensas Parish community. Please note the following:

  •  For the first time in three years, Franklin Medical Center has the benefit of an experienced, full-time general surgeon in the person of Dr. Frank Sanfiel.
  • Women in our area had been without mammography services for almost a decade. We now offer the most state-of-the-art digital mammography system available today.
  • Our emergency room team and physicians were sent for high-tech simulation training at Tulane University in order to sharpen their skills in critical scenarios.
  • We have invested in upgrading our surgery equipment for urology to provide for a higher standard of care for those patients.
  • Our mental health program has undergone a rapid expansion, providing the assistance of licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers and a board-certified psychiatrist to people of Franklin and Tensas Parishes, a true rarity for a rural hospital.
  • Osteoporosis patients can receive an annual infusion treatment, rather than be tied to a daily routine of pills.
  • Our clinic system continues to provide the best in primary care, with Dr. Jeff Combetta being honored as the Rural Health Practitioner of the Year for the entire state. Our clinics now provide diabetic foot care not only on campus, but also to multiple nursing homes all over Northeast Louisiana.
  • All of our emergency room nurses received training and certification in Trauma Nursing and Emergency Nursing Pediatrics.
  • We have also moved to make our patient rooms more comfortable by remodeling the windows, improving our surgery area, upgrading our HVAC system, renovating the ICU waiting area along with adding new furniture, and replacing the older televisions with newer flat-screen models.
  • Future news and updates will be provided on our website at https://www.fmc-cares.com and on the Franklin Medical Center Facebook page.

We know the difficulties in being forced to travel to Monroe, Vicksburg, or elsewhere for the health care you need. Our job is to make sure that you don’t have to do that. We hope that our efforts over the last year have been satisfactory. If for any reason your experience with us was less than ideal, please let us know. We are here to help you.

To our staff, thank you all so very much for your efforts this past year. Nothing here would be possible without the dedication and commitment that you provide to our patients.

For our board members, who have assumed the responsibility for caring for one of our most valuable public assets for no compensation or reimbursement, we appreciate your service more than you can know.

In conclusion, we extend our gratitude to the medical staff- Chief of Staff Dr. Tom Colvin, Vice-Chief Dr. Roger Smith, Dr. Jay Busby, Dr. Jeff Combetta, Dr. Jimmy Coughran, Dr. Joel Eldridge, Dr. Lee Pankey, and Dr. Frank Sanfiel.

Everyone have a joyful Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Blake Kramer, Administrator