Gregory J. Ardoin, M.D., was happy in Ville Platte. He’d built a thriving internal medicine and pulmonary/critical care practice there. It’s where he and his children grew up. And, he was helping patients live their best lives. But Dr. Ardoin wanted to do more. “The new technology coming out for pulmonologists required that I be in a larger facility,” Dr. Ardoin said. “And because of the complexity of pulmonary medicine it has become very difficult to do primary care and pulmonary medicine at the same time.”
That’s why Dr. Ardoin still lives in Ville Platte, but works at Rapides Regional Medical Center’s new Lung Center. “The lungs are responsible for picking up oxygen from the air and getting it into the bloodstream and deliver it to every part of the body,” said Dr. Ardoin who sees patients Monday through Friday by referral. “They’re also responsible for getting rid of the carbon dioxide produced by the body. Every part of your body is dependent on your lungs. If you can’t breathe, you can’t live. If you can’t breathe well, you can’t live well and enjoy life.”
The Lung Center will function as an outpatient clinic and diagnostic center – offering bronchosopies, lung function testing, right heart caths and exercise testing – while also working with hospitalists to treat patients at Rapides Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Ardoin, who is a graduate of LSU and LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, will work in conjunction with other specialists as well. “In lung cancer, for instance, we work with oncologists and thoracic surgeons,” Dr. Ardoin said. “Pulmonologists also often work with ENT specialists, sleep specialists, allergists, immunologists, cardiologists, radiologists and pathologists. Together, we will be able to treat patients with any type of lung disease.”
That includes obstructive lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, vascular lung diseases such as pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung diseases, autoimmune lung diseases such as those associated with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, lung cancer, occupational lung diseases and infectious lung diseases such as tuberculosis.
Dr. Ardoin also hopes to bring navigational bronchoscopy to Rapides Regional by the end of the year, and endobronchial ultrasound to the hospital in 2011. He is very excited about starting a Pulmonary Rehab Program on campus for patients with chronic lung diseases. “As a pulmonologist, your goal is to heal those you can and optimize the health of those you can’t,” Dr. Ardoin said. “We want to catch people early, at a point where we can make them well, but lung diseases are very complicated.
“I’m just thrilled to be able to have a place close to home where I can practice a specialty I love.”
For more information about Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Lung Center, call (318) 769-5864.