McNeely and McBride address hospital issues
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – The Crowley Rotary Club held their weekly luncheon Tuesday at Crowley’s Town Club. The group hosted guest speakers Dr. Bo McNeely and Mike McBride, of American Legion Hospital, who spoke to the group about making improvements at the hospital and building community support.
Both expressed their displeasure about the hospital’s emergency room being closed after the hurricanes this past fall due to understaffing and other issues.
“We are the second largest employer in Acadia parish with over 500 employees,” said McNeely, the American Legion president. “For us to have to close our emergency room was completely irrational.”
McBride emphatically agreed with McNeely’s assessment and went on to mention several improvements that the hospital has recently made.
“We will never let this hospital go down,” said McBride. “We should never have to worry about keeping the emergency room open after a storm. We actually had to send a pregnant woman to another hospital because we did not have the staff available to help her.”
McBride then stressed the improvements that have been made at the hospital recently and noted a statistic that was quite impressive.
“Security, we’ve beefed it up everywhere from inside the hospital to the parking lot,” he said. “We were having a problem with anyone just walking in here but now anyone entering the building must check in with security. We are also the only hospital in the area to achieve a ‘zero tolerance for infections’.”
McBride also noted his frustration about not receiving the funding that hospitals in larger towns such as Lafayette and Lake Charles receive.
In other Rotary news, the fire last week at the Welcome House was addressed by Joe Freeland, director of the Rotary Club’s Community Outreach Organization who detailed the work being done at the shelter and asked for the community, churches, and organizations to get involved as well.
“Nobody was hurt and in the end the fire may end up being a blessing because the Welcome House will be building a larger facility in the near future,” he said. “The way the community has come together has had a positive impact.”