VINTON — West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s CEO Janie Frugé, FACHE, told members of the West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce Thursday that the hospital conducts Community Health Needs Assessment every three years.

Frugé was the guest speaker at the Club’s October meeting held at Delta Downs Race Track and Casino.

“It’s very important to get input from the people we serve,” she said. Frugé then introduced WCCH Director of Business Development Anne Billedeaux to outline the results from the survey administered last fall.

The hospital partners with the Louisiana Health Institute to collect data from focus groups throughout the service district, online surveys, and telephone surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recent survey data shows that the top five leading causes of death in the hospital’s district are heart disease, malignant neoplasm (cancer), cerebrovascular disease, accidents, and chronic lower respiratory disease.

Local survey participants indicated that cancer, heart disease, diabetes, drug abuse, and addictions were their top health concerns. Vinton and Hackberry respondents placed mental health as their first priority. Westlake cited mental health and drug issues as their top concern. Sulphur’s main concern was heart disease and diabetes, and Carlyss tagged mental health resources.

“Calcasieu and Cameron parishes have a higher rate of suicide than both the State of Louisiana and the nation,” said Billedeaux.

Armed with the data, WCCH has developed a plan to address areas of concern. To ensure that a patient’s transition from the hospital setting runs smoothly, WCCH has set up an automatic feed from the hospital to primary physicians to assist in follow-ups. There are Nurse Navigators to guide breast cancer and heart disease patients through their care plan, and get patients in for screenings.

To address mental health concerns, WCCH has introduced telepsychiatry at the Hackberry Clinic. Accident prevention is the focus of the Sudden Impact program, put on in local high schools in conjunction with law enforcement and other emergency responders, to portray the potentially devastating consequences of drunk driving.

Billedeaux said complete survey results can be viewed at wcch.com.