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Hospital tax renewal on ballot March 30

Stephanie Guidry, chief executive officer of Franklin Foundation Hospital, spoke Tuesday to Franklin Rotarians at their weekly luncheon at the Forest Restaurant.
Guidry addressed attendees concerning the upcoming vote over the 10-year millage renewal for hospital funding, to be decided on this year’s ballot on March 30 with early voting taking place from March 16 through 23.
Guidry said she hopes the voters of west St. Mary Parish will vote “yes” to renew the property tax millage that assists in the everyday operation of FFH, as well as with improvements.
She emphasized, “This is not a new tax. It is a renewal. It is the same millage you have been paying for the last ten years; meaning that if you are a resident with a $100,000 home, you pay $2.08 per month for access to our services.”
According to Guidry, of the total number of patients who have utilized those services in the past ten years, 88.3 percent were from St. Mary Parish.
Guidry said the services provided at FFH in the last 10 years include: 125,000 emergency room treatments, 140,000 outpatients seen, 1,000 babies delivered and 950,000 laboratory tests performed, just to name a few.
She further stated that in terms of economic impact in the community, FFH has reinvested $115 million in local salaries and wages, as well as continues to employ 228 people.
“It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep us here,” Guidry said. “If you should vote down the renewal on the millage, it would be incredibly difficult for us to continue providing the same level of care that we have been providing.”
FFH currently serves as west St. Mary Parish’s only hospital, providing: an emergency department, imaging, labor and delivery, surgery, laboratory, inpatient and outpatient care, rehabilitation, nutritional services and community/patient educational services.
The hospital’s motto for the campaign to renew the millage is: Promises Made…Promises Kept; which is explained in their campaign brochure thus, “In the 2013 election, we promised that the funds generated would be used ‘exclusively for improving, maintaining and operating Franklin Foundation Hospital.’ This promise has been kept!”
Guidry closed by thanking Rotarians for their time and reminded parish residents to vote “yes” on March 30, on the 10-year millage renewal.

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