East Jefferson General Hospital

baby-sleeping-on-mom-webFor more than 2 years, East Jefferson General Hospital has been promoting maternity practices from Baby Friendly USA's "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" and striving to meet these goals for designation in 2015. The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a global program launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund to designate hospitals that facilitate informed maternal decisions, breastfeeding and mother-infant bonding.

Baby Friendly USA surveyors will visit our campus on February 9th and 10th to evaluate the progress EJGH has made in implementing these steps which are associated with improved outcomes for mothers and infants. The Baby Friendly "Ten Steps" include skin to skin contact and rooming-in, which allows mothers and infants to remain together throughout their hospital stay, a practice associated with many physical and psychological benefits for both mother and child. As a community hospital, EJGH also supports the Baby Friendly promotion of community resource partnerships for family and breastfeeding support beyond the EJGH birth experience.

To learn more about EJGH's journey towards Baby Friendly USA's goals, visit ejgh.org/womanandchild.

For more information on the Baby-Friendly USA Initiative, visit babyfriendlyusa.org.


Dr. Sidney "Beau" Raymond (center), Chair of East Jefferson General Hospital Chapter for Gulf South Quality Network, presents Dr. Blaise Angelico (left) and Dr. Robert Pollock (right) with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana 2014 Highest Achievement in Kidney Care in Louisiana award.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) has awarded East Jefferson Internal Medicine with the 2014 Highest Achievement in Kidney Care in Louisiana distinction during its recent Quality Blue Primary Care Statewide Collaborative ceremony. Physicians from East Jefferson Internal Medicine highlighted for their effectiveness in treated kidney disease were Dr. Blaise Angelico and Dr. Robert Pollock. This first-time event honors clinics throughout Louisiana that demonstrate clinical excellence and higher levels of patient outcomes in the most prevalent, chronic conditions including kidney disease, vascular care, hypertension and diabetes.

"We always look for innovative approaches to improve the care we deliver to our patients, and I congratulate our physicians, and in particular, Drs. Angelico and Pollock. As a group the physicians of East Jefferson Internal Medicine performed well on this particular measure and Drs. Pollock and Angelico led the way. By implementing the medical treatments and protocols that are most successful in managing chronic diseases, we are able to improve the quality of life and health of our patients. We are extremely proud that our approach places us as a state leader and look forward to continual improvement in providing quality patient care," said Dr. Sidney "Beau" Raymond, Chair of East Jefferson General Hospital Chapter for Gulf South Quality Network.

CareChex w_tagNational patient safety organization CareChex® rates hospital #1 in for Patient Safety in Overall Hospital, Medical, Cardiac and Surgical Care.

According to the 2015 CareChex® ratings, East Jefferson General Hospital is number one in this market in 12 key clinical categories regarding patient safety and placed in the top 10% in the nation in 16 key patient safety categories. Dr. Mark Peters, EJGH President & CEO, is justifiably proud of these rankings, says that “This is yet another independent rating service confirming that EJGH is a national leader in healthcare and that we are providing the finest care possible to the community we serve.”

CareChex, a Division of COMPARION, is an independent hospital rating service who bases their rankings on hospital data regarding safety and outcomes.


“I was so lucky they
found it when they
did because I would
have dropped dead at
some point,” 
Sidney Vicknair

By: Keith Darcey


East Jefferson General Hospital is dedicated to remaining a national leader, in not only the treatment of routine cardiac care, but also the complex cardiac surgical cases that require advanced care. To accommodate the rising number of patients who need specialized treatment and surgical procedures, EJGH has now opened one of the most advanced hybrid surgical suites in our region. The hybrid surgical suite combines elements of a cardiac catheterization lab and an operating room to allow surgeons to perform cardiac and surgical procedures in the same operating room without moving the patient. This is a tremendous advantage for the patient and the surgeons, as the suite can accommodate all the technology and diagnostic equipment needed for even the most complex and delicate surgical procedures.  

“The new hybrid suite at EJGH allows our cardiovascular physicians to combine state-of-the-art imaging with a world-class operating room,” says Dr. James Perrien, Cardiologist with East Jefferson General Hospital. “It opens the horizons for us to be able to do more advanced procedures safely and with greater efficiency. This is a major addition to our array of cardiovascular services that we offer to the community.”

The first patient in the hybrid suite was Sidney Vicknair, for the repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Tod Engelhardt. Vicknair has a history of heart disease and has been a cardiac patient at East Jefferson since 1998, when Dr. Engelhardt performed coronary artery bypass surgery. In 2012, he required placement of a coronary stent.

After feeling good for over a year following the stent, Vicknair went to his annual cardiology physical and believed he was going to “ace it.” During the physical however, an ultrasound revealed an abdominal aortic aneurysm and a stress test further showed he had a blockage in his heart. Both needed intervention, but Dr. Engelhardt and his cardiologist, Dr. Luis Soto, decided to fix the aneurysm first and then take care of the blockage when he recovered from the aneurysm surgery.

Melissa Lorio_rnEast Jefferson General Hospital has named Melissa Lorio, RN, BSN, MBA, Senior Director of Perioperative/Surgical Services. With over 25 years of experience, Lorio is responsible for one of the highest volume surgical departments in the region and oversees the day-to-day operations of Same Day Surgery, Pre-Surgical Evaluation Center and the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. Prior to joining East Jefferson, Lorio was the Assistant Vice President of Perioperative Services at Ochsner Medical Center.

Lorio received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University School of Nursing and earned her Master of Business at the University of Phoenix. She is a member of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and was previously awarded the Alumni Award from Louisiana State University.

“I am so impressed not only with the quality of the team and surgeons that work here, but with the facilities and technology available to us,” says Lorio. “I have been around medicine my whole life. My biggest teacher in life has been my mom, who has been a nurse for over 42 years. So to be part of a great place like East Jefferson, where there is such a family atmosphere, makes me proud to come to work every day and care for our patients.”

Lorio is married to her husband Andy and has two children, Justin (16) and Kyle (13).