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TRMC’s Wellness Center to be major benefit to entire region

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  • Eric Richey
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  • February 25, 2014 - 10:51pm

Photo by: Eric RicheyThibodaux Regional Medical Center CEO Greg Stock is all smiles during groundbreaking for a $63 million Wellness Center which is projected to open in late 2015.

In an era where sports medicine continues to become more a relevant part of the overall landscape of the sports community, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center broke ground Tuesday for a $63 million Wellness Center that will be the first of it’s kind in Louisiana, and one of the top such centers in the nation.

“This is a landmark day for us,” said Greg Stock, CEO of TRMC. “Wellness is a vision we have for the region we serve, which is a five-parish area and beyond that to some degree.

“When you look at the indicators of levels of wellness: like diabetes incident rates, cancer incident rates, obesity rates and other things, it’s alarming and it’s getting worse. It’s a great concern.  There’s a thousand different things you can do this center is just the beginning but it’s going to be a beautiful building.”

The Center is designed to improve the health and well-being of the region through prevention, fitness, education, rehabilitation, and focused sports and wellness services. The 230,000 plus square foot Center is expected to open in late 2015.

“You could say, why are you doing something like this in Thibodaux, and the answer is why the heck not?” said Mayfield Armstrong the Director of Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Services. “These folks deserve it. Like Greg (Stock) was alluding to during his presentation, there’s a lot of diabetes and heart disease down here, maybe we can turn it around a little bit."

Armstrong returns to Thibodaux after serving as the athletic trainer at Nicholls State from 1980-92. Since then he's worked as a trainer in NFL Europe, the Canadadian Football League, and worked alongside world renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

“I felt like I paid my dues in Thibodaux,” said Armstrong. “Uniquely enough, after kind of getting to know the CEO Greg Stock and his vision and what we’re planning on doing out here in this cane field, this is going to be a really special opportunity in my career.”

Hiring Armstrong is just part of the commitment Thiboadux Regional continues to make in sports medicine.

“We’ve recruited four orthopedic surgeons, three of which with fellowships in sports medicine.,” said Stock. “We’ve hired certified trainers. We’re looking to provide the very best of care of athletes. Prevent injuries and to treat injuries in the most effective manner when they occur."

Five of the eight River Parish schools; Lutcher, St. James, West St. John, East St. John, and Riverside, are currently participating in Thibodaux Regional’s Sports Medicine program. A big help in that department has come from a pair of longtime River Parish coaches Don Rodrigue and Laury Dupont who are now working in Thibodaux Regional’s Sports Medicine marketing department.

“We’re doing this for the community,” said Rodrigue. “(The Center is) a wish list for  a high school coach, a wish list for a high school athlete.

“I started coaching in 1972 and a certified athletic trainer, there were none. Coaches were trainers. Now we’re in 2014, and athletic trainers are as valuable or more valuable than another coach. Because they take the burden off the head coach, because when there is an injury working with the doctor, working with the parents and so on.”

“I think this building is ahead of its time in this area, it’s going to be something to see at five stories and 250,000 square feet,” said Dupont. “I think what this hospital, Thibodaux Regional has done for the river parish area is to make the awareness of the importance of trainers. Some schools have them; West St. John right now is a good example. They’re in and out with a trainer and (TRMC Sports Medicine is) covering their school.”

As impressive as the building itself will look from artist renderings displayed at the groundbreaking, it’s what will be inside the Center that promises to be even more of a “wow factor.”

“The orthopedic doctors and the trainers, and the therapists alone is impressive,” said Dupont. “Then to have a health club, and have a dietician program in there to teach you the right things to be healthy. It’s going to be a phenomenal building."

“We’ve got excellent rehab facilities here,” said Armstrong. “The imaging equipment we have is second to none. That helps you make a decision on an injury. So really we have all the integrated tools that you need to get somebody back to play, back to work, back to that lifestyle that you’re looking for.”

Eric Richey | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Eric Richey is an Emmy award-winning sports anchor/reporter who has been covering high school football for 25 years.