Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Published 12:41 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Lopez given #DAISEYAward

Beauregard Health System has presented Heather Lopez with the #DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.

Recently, a patient in the emergency department was experiencing abdominal pain. Through the course of her treatment, it was discovered the patient needed emergency surgery. The patient stated that “Heather is absolutely phenomenal. Her bedside manner, clinical expertise and empathy makes her the kind of nurse I’d want taking care of a loved one and have as a colleague.”

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The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Joyce-Wilson, Young honored

Leadership SWLA recognized its 2020 and 2021 Alumni of the Year at an alumni reception hosted by Tellurian at Crying Eagle Brewery. Christina Joyce-Wilson was named 2021 Alumni of the Year, while Matt Young was named the 2020 Alumni of the Year.

Joyce-Wilson is the human resources director for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, providing support for more than 600 direct employees and 600 indirect employees. She began her career in the banking industry before creating her own small business, Envision Learning, working as a performance consultant.

She is a member of Society for Human Resource Management, serving as the college relations chair for the Louisiana State Chapter.

Joyce-Wilson is a 2007-2008 graduate of Leadership SWLA and serves as the current chair of the Leadership Council. She graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration and a bachelor’s of arts degree in speech communication.

Young is the director of cultural affairs for the city of Lake Charles. In this capacity, he plans area fairs and festivals as well as provides oversight for Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center and Central School Arts and Humanities Center. Previously he served as public information officer to former Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach and current Mayor Nicholas Hunter.

He has been involved in a number of charitable causes and government task forces including SWLA Public Relations Officers, Louisiana Partnership for the Arts, Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission and SWLA Chamber. He was the founding chairperson of the Chamber’s Quality of Life Taskforce. He was selected as Family and Youth Counseling Agency’s 2019 Humanitarian of the Year. Young graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a bachelor’s of arts degree in public relations.

Previous Alumni of the Year recipients include Willie S. King Jr., Kay Barnett, Julio Galan, Tom Shearman, Lollian Elmer, Clair Marceaux, Denise Rau, Lynn Hohensee, Sara Judson and Cheyenne Boudreaux.

Bayou Services recognized

Bayou Services, a commercial and residential storage and transportation company, has been honored with a Customer Excellence Award by United Van Lines.

There are over 500 United Van Lines agency locations across the nation and Bayou Services is one of 27 agencies to earn the Customer Excellence Award.

The award criteria are based on customer survey results and van line star ratings in the areas of safety, claims revenue distribution and quality performance.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our entire staff especially after everything we have been through over the last year and half,” said Bayou Services general manager Vic Vicknair.

For more than seven years, Bayou Services has offered transport and storage solutions for business of all sizes with an unsurpassed commitment to customer satisfaction. As an agent for United Van Lines, Bayou Services has access to the largest integrated network of trucks, warehouses and relocation experts to handle local, regional and national transportation needs.

Credit union opens new branch

The Southwest Louisiana Credit Union branch inside SWLA Center for Health Services is now open — bringing financial services to an area that’s labeled a “financial desert” for lack of financial institutions and resources.

People can open accounts, make deposits and withdrawals, apply for loans and get free, one-on-one financial counseling at the branch.

The branch has an Interactive Branch Kiosk—an ATM-style device that handles transactions that are usually done in person — and a full-time financial education employee.

Anyone who lives, works or worships in Calcasieu, Cameron or Beauregard Parish can become a member of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union.

Rasul joins Imperial Health

Imperial Health has announced the addition of Effat Rasul, MD, FACP, internal medicine physician, to the group’s medical staff. Rasul will practice with Dr. Benjamin Williams and Dr. Errol Wilder at 771 Bayou Pines East, Lake Charles.

Rasul brings 10 years of experience in her field to Imperial Health. She received her medical degree at Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. She completed her internal medicine training at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Penn. After working as a hospitalist at St. Luke’s Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Rasul moved to Lake Charles in 2015.

She previously served as the Internal Medicine Section Chief at Christus Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital and then as the Director of Critical Care for Cornerstone Hospital. For the past six years, she has worked as a Hospitalist at Christus Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital and continues to serve as chairperson of the hospital’s Department of Medical Services.

Rasul is board certified in internal medicine and is a Fellow of American College of Physicians. She has a special interest in optimizing medical management of complicated medical conditions.

Bank welcomes Armentor

Bryan Armentor has been named a vice president/lending at Lakeside Bank.

Armentor brings over 13 years of banking experience to his new position with Lakeside. For the past eight years, he has held management positions at a regional bank where his responsibilities included business development, commercial lending and branch management.

Originally from Moss Bluff, Armentor earned a Bachelor’s of General Studies degree from McNeese State University.  He is also licensed as a banker by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Armentor will be working at Lakeside’s Main Office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. His office number is (337) 474-3766.

APG announces new officers

The Alliance for Positive Growth has named their executive board officers for 2022. Trey Hays, private banking manager with First Federal Bank of Louisiana, will serve as president for the organization. He has been an APG board member since 2018 and is passionate about smart development opportunities for the Southwest Louisiana region.

A Louisiana native, Hays attended the University of Southwest Louisiana and has lived in Lake Charles since 2008. At First Federal, he brings together wealth management solutions and innovative, personalized service for his clients. Hays oversees the operations and staff of the private banking department and has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, with the past 11 of those years as a commercial/private banking relationship manager.

Other officer of the APG Executive Board include:

Vice President: Tommy Eastman — Flavin Realty.

Secretary: Mary Kay Hopkins — Mary Kay Hopkins LLC.

Treasurer: Ryan Hess — Hancock Whitney.

Ex-Officio: Matt Redd — Redd Properties.

Officer: Bart Yakupzack — Jack Lawton Companies.

Officer: Joseph Banks — Liberty Plaza Properties.

APG is an organization of professionals in the fields of real estate, development, construction and all other interested parties, working together to promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana. The group conducts regular meetings and events for its members and has active committees addressing the most critical issues affecting business growth in our region.

Faith Hooks serves as the executive director for the organization.

Plastic surgery team lauded

The plastics and reconstructive surgery team at Christus Ochsner Lake Area Hospital, led by Suma Maddox, M.D., successfully completed the first microsurgical breast reconstruction procedure in Southwest Louisiana recently. The team also included breast surgeons, Amanda Ellington, M.D., and Hugo St. Hilaire, M.D.

The coordination of this expert group now allows women in Southwest Louisiana to obtain the breast cancer care they deserve closer to home.

The DIEP free flap breast reconstruction or “DIEP Flap” is an advanced reconstructive surgery for women with breast cancer in which excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen is transplanted to the chest to recreate the breast after a mastectomy procedure. The patient undergoes an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” in order to donate this tissue to her breasts.

The DIEP Flap is the most advanced breast reconstruction available and is a way to recreate a breast after a mastectomy in a very natural way while avoiding implants. Like with any procedure, each patient’s needs are evaluated to determine the best option for breast reconstruction.

Maddox practiced general and breast surgery with Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner. She discovered her passion for breast cancer reconstructive microsurgery while in fellowship training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at LSU under Dr. Robert Allen Sr., a pioneer of breast reconstruction, and Hilaire, chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery.