Kindred Hospital New Orleans (3601 Coliseum St.) has re-opened and expanded its Intensive Care Unit. The hospital has invested $1.5 million in its re-construction and expansion, and specializes in treating medically complex patients, including ventilator dependent and pulmonary patients.

Obstetrical units in Greater New Orleans have been delivering a record number of babies, according to Dr. Alfred Robichaux of Ochsner Health System. As a result of the increased demand for obstetrical care, Ochsner has opened its well-baby nursery and Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Ochsner is expecting to deliver 700 babies by the end of 2008.

In 2007, an estimated 22,540 men and women in Louisiana are expected to be diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. As a means to assist those that are diagnosed, the ACS has created a Cancer Resource Network that provides patients with 24-hour access to the latest information, support groups and referrals to community resources. The network is accessible by calling (800) ACS-2345 or by

Liver transplant patient Bill West earned three gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal at the 2007 World Transplant Games in Bangkok, Thailand. He also broke three WTG records in his age group. West underwent surgery in May 2004 at the Tulane Abdominal Transplant Institute after being diagnosed in 1998 with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a disease affecting the bile ducts inside and outside the liver.

Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington has updated its surgical technology with new High Definition video equipment. The equipment will be used to view patients’ internal anatomy during laparoscopic surgery, a type of procedure intended to be minimally invasive. “Lakeview Regional Medical Center is committed to providing advanced medical technology to our physicians so they can offer the best treatment possible to our patients,” says Jason Cobb, CEO. The new imaging system will aid surgeons in fields such as urology and gynecology and will be available in four of the hospital’s operating rooms.

The Surgical Specialists of Louisiana have merged with Drs. Gary H. Stevens, Uyen B. Chu and Carson C. Cunningham in Lafayette. The merger has created a network of weight loss surgeons across Louisiana to help patients overcome health problems related to obesity. More than 1.2 million residents of Louisiana are considered obese and about 225,000 are morbidly obese according to the Obesity Action Coalition.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reports the ratio of physicians to residents in New Orleans has nearly returned to pre-Katrina status. A report released by the insurance provider states that about 75 percent of residents have returned to the greater New Orleans area. Though numbers of primary care physicians are up, patients may still have trouble finding the same doctors or specialists they saw before the hurricane.