NSU Athletics teams up with Natchitoches Regional Medical Center


The Northwestern State Athletic Department and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center have signed a four-year partnership agreement to make NRMC the “Official Health Care Provider for NSU Athletics.”

Announcement of the partnership was made Friday afternoon by NSU president Dr. Jim Henderson, director of athletics Greg Burke and NMRC chief executive officer Kirk Soileau. The agreement was approved Thursday by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.

“Partnering with the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center as the official health care provider for NSU ensures that a high level of coverage and care for our student-athletes will be maintained which has always been priority number one by our athletic department.  There will also be additional advantages to being aligned with a local health care facility. Our coaches and staff look forward to a wonderful relationship with NRMC going forward,” Burke said.

The Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) system is comprised of 229 beds; 96-bed acute care hospital,  a 112-bed skilled nursing facility operated as the Courtyard of Natchitoches, and 21 senior care apartments at Natchitoches Assisted Living.  NRMC offers an array of services that include orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, pulmonology, robotic surgery, women’s health and obstetrics, cardiology, advanced imaging, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, ENT, sleep studies, ophthalmology and general surgery.  In addition the system operates Natchitoches Comprehensive Wound Care Center, Natchitoches Imaging Center, North Natchitoches Medical Clinic in Campti, NRMC Walk-In Clinic, Natchitoches Parish Emergency Medical Services (ambulance) and PRISM, a comprehensive rehabilitation service with locations in Natchitoches and Many.

NRMC is a hospital service district and has served Natchitoches and the surrounding communities since 1956 under the direction of a seven-member Board of Commissioners. Soileau, assumed the CEO role of the medical center in 2013, establishing its three vision strategies; achieving the 95 percent of Patient Experience Scores in all services measured; to be recognized as a top 100 hospital; and to earn a Malcolm Baldridge Award for Excellence.

As part of the partnership, NRMC will provide many services to the NSU athletic program and its student-athletes. Two certified athletic trainers provided by NRMC will enhance coverage at all practices, conditioning sessions, and competitions.  They will join NSU’s current full-time athletic trainer staff, led by Jason Drury, who is in his 10th year as a member of the NSU sports medicine staff including the past three as head athletic trainer. Anita Miller is the assistant athletic trainer.

Orthopedist Dr. Steven Kautz, a member of the NRMC active medical staff, will assume the role of Head Team Physician.  Also serving as team physicians are Dr. James Knecht and Dr. Marc Stokes.

Student athletes will have access to regular clinical sessions at the NSU athletic training room and 24-hour medical assistance as well as fast-tracked services for care in the NRMC emergency room, imaging (MRI and x-rays) and other key services.

“The entire NSU Athletic Department is appreciative of the commitment made by NRMC to support the university and its athletic programs and to have them as a sponsor of our athletic events.  We appreciate the leadership of the NRMC Board, CEO Kirk Soileau, PRISM, and the NRMC medical staff,” said Burke.

Bringing all health care services for NSU Athletics back to the local community for the first time since the 1980s has many advantages. The opportunity was embraced by NRMC.

“We are pleased to be a part of the NSU athletic family, and we will take great care of all of NSU’s student athletes. Our Sports Medicine team focuses on prevention and wellness, and if an injury happens during a game, I can’t think of better folks to have on the sidelines than our trainers and doctors,” said Soileau. “Backed by the full services of the hospital, our Sports Medicine Team can provide medical care immediately and right here in Natchitoches so athletes are not traveling long distances after an injury. And PRISM offers the ongoing physical therapy that players will need to get back in the game.”

NSU-NRMC personnel

Thiels named student media coordinator at Northwestrn State

Daniel ThielsDaniel Thiels has been named student media coordinator at Northwestern State University. His appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

Thiels will manage the student newspaper, radio station and yearbook. His responsibilities include budgets, contracts, legal, personnel, recruiting, marketing, scholarships, event planning, professional and personal development for student staff, curriculum advising and collaboration with departmental and university communication faculty and staff.

A graduate of Northwestern State, Thiels was program director/digital media for for a local Radio Group, managing on air materials for eight radio stations along with online advertisements and audio materials. He also helped establish KWLA as an online radio talk outlet. Thiels also worked as a producer/morning show host, producing a daily morning news segment, weather and morning show, handled daily production tasks for two radio stations and produced Northwestern State sports broadcasts.

While an undergraduate, Thiels managed the campus radio station, KNWD-FM for two years, managing a staff of 12 students. Thiels coordinated and developed DemonFest, a music and arts festival, established live streaming of campus events and upgraded technical aspects of the station.

Thiels’ office is in Room 225 of Kyser Hall. He can be contacted at thielsd@nsula.edu.

Restoring Tradition: Northwestern State could be on track with early-season success

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Senior Cassandra Briscoe is reminded of Northwestern State’s soccer history every time she walks into the Lady Demon Soccer Complex.

On a fence to the side of NSU’s home bench are five banners to signify the program’s Southland Conference titles – tournament titles in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2005 and a regular season title in 2000.

The last nine seasons of NSU’s 20-year soccer history don’t have any banners, but early-season success for the Lady Demons (1-1-1) could signify a return to the championship tradition built in the early years.

“You come out to practice and you look at the (banners), and the last year it says is 2005,” says Briscoe, a member of the five-player senior class who hasn’t even played in a conference tournament at NSU. “That’s an extra push for me and motivates me in practice.

“I think (the early-season success) does a lot for this team. A lot of (Southland) teams have underestimated us and have kind of written us off, and I would like to see their expression when they see a 1-1 tie for us against a big school like LSU.”

NSU was in a scoreless deadlock with LSU on Tuesday until the 52nd minute, but freshman Kayleigh Phillips answered that goal in the 83rd minute that resulted in the 1-1 tie after two overtimes. The tie is the first non-losing result against a Power Five conference member in program history, which included 26 losses heading into this season.

After allowing three goals in the first 30 minutes (two goals in the opening 10 minutes) at No. 5 Texas A&M on Sunday, the Lady Demons held the Aggies scoreless for the final 60 minutes in a 3-0 loss. NSU won its opener 4-1 against LSU-Alexandria.

Coach George Van Linder tells his team that they’ve taken the first step in returning to the glory of yesteryear as Louisiana’s first program to make an NCAA tournament (2000) and the second-most in the state (three).

“We’re so proud of the program in its 20th year of soccer,” said Van Linder, who is in his fourth season at NSU after head coaching stops at Butler, Southern Methodist, Baylor and Stephen F. Austin. “We talk about restoring the tradition and the legacy that it has.

“To do that, you need to post results like the tie against LSU. To do something that’s never been done before in the program, it sure seems like a step in the right direction.”

NSU’s successful second half against Texas A&M and tie against LSU came with two different goalkeepers between the posts.

Senior Brooke Bourbonais started the first halves of both matches, holding LSU scoreless in the first half, which included a save on a penalty kick.

Sophomore Alex Latham, who started 17 matches as a freshman after Bourbonais suffered a severe finger injury that required surgery, held A&M scoreless in the second half and limited LSU to one goal in the second half and in the overtimes.

Even though no current player has played in a Southland Conference tournament, which includes the top six teams in a 12-team league, Bourbonais said the expectation is a conference title and NCAA tournament appearance. The Lady Demons haven’t appeared in the SLC tournament since 2008 after the program made three NCAA tournaments (2000, 2002 and 2005).

“I think we’re coming. The preseason polls said we were going to be 10th, but we’re coming for (the title),” Bourbonais said. “Everyone is so pumped and our confidence is so high – we feel like nothing can stop us.

“I talked to a girl that plays for LSU, and she thinks we can win conference the way we played (Tuesday) … I think we can play even better.”

Bourbonais mentioned the rarity of an equal timeshare between goalkeepers even in big matches, and Latham said the competition between the pair is beneficial.

“Competition is good for everybody. Knowing that we’re so close, it brings out the best in us,” Latham said. “(The team) came in early before school started, and we’re in better shape.

“We are taking extra steps to being like the team (NSU) used to be – restoring the tradition.”

The back line deserves credit for its improvement, and anchor Patry Carrion (junior) has meshed with sophomores Allison Palomo and Amy Renteria along with freshman Ysmina Smith.

A competition exists between a deep corps of NSU goal scorers for attempts, and Phillips has made the most of her opportunities with two goals and one assist.

NSU flaunts sophomores Esdeina Gonzalez (team-high seven goals in 2014) and Cache’ Haley with others like Briscoe, junior Camila Ardila and freshman Brittany Caserma. Briscoe, Ardila and sophomore Shelby Drope have been the leading ball distributors in the midfield.

“I’m honestly really blessed with opportunities my teammates have given me,” Phillips said. “I had just entered the game (in the last 10 minutes of regulation against LSU), and (Briscoe) gave me a beautiful through ball that completely split the defense.

“I was there to finish it … but I’ve never seen a more perfect ball than that.”

Now Van Linder must refocus his squad for the six matches before conference play, starting with a trip to Jackson State on Sunday at 1 p.m. NSU, which has three matches left on a five-match road swing, will return to its home stadium Sept. 8 to host Alcorn State.

“We haven’t had to worry about handling (success) and to build on it, so that’s a great problem to have,” Van Linder said. “Our players have the ability to do big things against big-time programs.

“I think that the coaches believed it for a while, but the players are believing that more and more. We’re talking about our legacy and what we want to do, and we have to approach every game like its LSU or Texas A&M.”

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Ponderings with Doug – August 28, 2015

dougthumbCane River Food Bank

You folks are so kind! Thank you for your kind remarks about these articles. I do enjoy writing them. Recently, it seems my Muse has been on vacation and left me bereft of witty or wise ideas. The Muse usually vacations at this time of year and will return as soon as the first Christmas Festival pole goes up on the Williams Boulevard side of the Cane River. I love Christmas Festival so much that I already have planned 2016! Hey fireworks people, watch your calendar in 2016 because Christmas Eve will be on a Saturday night, again! Don’t make me write another article about Silent Night going Boom Boom.

In a number of these articles I ask you to trust God for your future or I ask you to join us in one of the great churches in our area. Today I am going to ask you for money. You knew it, all we preachers do is ask for money. So I am going to be true to character. How can I accomplish this?

I have been pondering the Amazon delivery system. Amazon envisions a fleet of drones delivering their packages. Could you imagine the sky at Christmas time? I have a friend named Bubba who has already inquired about “drone tags” and the opening date of “drone season.”

I think the church should come up with offering plates on drones. That way if you miss a service we can fly the drone to your house and buzz you for the offering. Also we can install a camera on the offering plate drone to make sure you are a cheerful giver!

Sorry for the brief daydream.

Several Natchitoches churches have joined together to form the Cane River Food Pantry. Currently we distribute food on the second Saturday of each month. The Food Pantry is located on Edwina out by the Detention Center. You can’t miss it. Turn left at the concrete plant and the food pantry is on your left. If you get to the Detention Center you have gone too far, that is true of driving and living!

We need volunteers to help unload the truck from the Central Louisiana Food Bank and then to package the boxes that are distributed on the second Saturday. If you are interested in volunteering, you can call First United Methodist Church and we will put you to work!

If your church is interested in joining in this effort by serving as one of the sponsor churches let us know that. As a reward, your church can nominate two individuals to serve on the governing board.

Now let’s get to the money, currently the food pantry is operating on faith. We tried to pay our Natchitoches Electric Bill on faith, but they told us they couldn’t make change and could we bring cash. The food pantry has expenses. The majority of the food we distribute is purchased from the Central Louisiana Food Bank. We have other minor expenses to pay as any of these non-profit endeavors do.

I am asking you to pony up and help us with the startup costs. Would you, my faithful readers send a one-time check for twenty dollars and fifteen cents? I want it to be that strange amount so when the food pantry people see these checks; they will know it came from one of my readers. I want you to have this crazy amount in your records to remember that in 2015 you helped start something!

Make the checks payable to:

The Cane River Food Pantry
P.O. Box 120
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71458

And “wherever you go, go to church on Sunday!” Now where did I put that drone?

John Bel Edwards speaks to a packed house in Natchitoches.

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The answers and solutions to the problems in our State might just come from Amite, Louisiana… John Bel Edwards.

Last night John Bel Edwards spoke to a packed house at the Natchitoches Events Center in downtown Historic Natchitoches.  He covered Pro-Life, Christianity, Military Service, balanced budgets, healthcare, higher education and the need for Louisiana to move forward for its working families.

John Bel Edwards was born a leader! Whether quarterbacking the Amite High School football team, commanding a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division, serving as a lector at St. Helena Catholic Church or unifying Rebublicans and Democrats on issues that matter most to Louisiana families and businesses, John Bel has always been out front leading the charge.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from J.Q.
Collectif. The views and opinions expressed are those of writer and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

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ParishgovsealParish President Rick Nowlin has announced his intention to make an appointment to fill a vacancy on the 911 Communications District Board. Persons interested in serving on the 911 Communications District Board may submit their name and contact information by mailing it to the Office of the President, P. O. Box 799, 200 Church Street, Natchitoches 71458-0779; by calling Mrs. Lynda Vance, Executive Assistant to the President at (318) 352-2714; or by sending an email to admin@npgov.org. Mrs. Vance will provide all interested persons the application instructions.

NSU chartering fan bus to ULL

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The Northwestern State University Alumni Association is organizing a bus trip and tailgate party for Demon fans interested in traveling to Lafayette for NSU’s football matchup against University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, Sept. 12.

A charter bus will depart from the Sabine/Kyser parking lot at noon to transport alumni and friends to Cajun Field for a tailgate party from 3-5:30 p.m. and the 6 p.m. kickoff.  The tailgate party will be held in the Cajundome South Lobby entrance.  Demon fans not riding the bus are still invited to attend the tailgate party.

The cost to ride the bus, a game ticket and admission to the tailgate party is $70 per person.  The cost of the tailgate only and game ticket is $50 per person.  The cost to attend the tailgate only is $20 per person and free to children 12 and under.

To purchase tickets, visit northwesternalumni.com/ULLgame or call Vanner Erikson, associate director of Alumni Affairs, at (318) 357-4415.

Parish Posts Public Works Schedule for – August 27, 2015

The Natchitoches Parish Public Works Department announces that it has scheduled the following road maintenance work for August 27, 2015:

Campti Bayou Rd
Jack Lebrum Rd
Pardee Cut-off
Lake Loop
John Banks
Minnie Odom

Collins Rd- Pot hole patching truck
Kayla Drive- Pot hole patching truck
Longlois Rd
Robeline Streets
Goldonna Rd
Evergreen Church Rd
Mammy Trail

Harmony Rd
Eight Mile Loop

Note:  Two dump trucks are temporarily out of service for maintenance issues

Install school bus turnaround on Riverview Drive
Wet and pack Eight Mile Loop

NPSO Deputies, LSP, Fire and EMS respond to eighteen wheeler crash on La. Hwy 9 near Black Lake, Wednesday morning

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Haz-Mat, Natchitoches Fire District #9 and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics responded to a eighteen wheeler injury crash on La. Hwy 9 near the Black Lake bridge on Wednesday morning at approximately 10:42am.

The driver of the 2015 Mack eighteen wheeler hauling coal was transported from the scene by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Haz-Mat and fire units responded to the scene because of fuel leak.

The driver was wearing a seat belt.

The crash is being investigated by Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E Alexandria.

NPSO: Texas contractor worker killed during Industrial Accident at RoyOMartin Plywood Plant near Chopin, La.

Photo: Google

Photo: Google

On Wednesday morning August 26th at approximately 7:42am, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics responded to an industrial medical emergency at the RoyOMartin Plywood Plant, located in the 1600 block of La. Hwy 490 at Chopin, La. according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say a Texas contract worker working at the plant was transported by EMS to Rapides Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

According to Natchitoches Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Steven Clanton,  the deceased has been identified as Scott Randall Whitehead, 50 of Houston, Texas.

Routine Toxicology tests are pending.

Next-of-kin have been notified.

The investigation into the industrial accident is continuing by RoyOMartin officials, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office.

Dr. Henderson does it again – Northshore Technical and NSU!


Northwestern State University and Northshore Technical Community College will sign a memorandum of understanding that will allow qualifying NTCC faculty and staff to take classes at Northwestern State at a reduced rate of tuition.

The signing will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4 in the president’s conference room on the third floor of Caspari Hall on the Northwestern State campus.

The agreement between the two schools offers NTCC’s faculty and staff the on-going professional development and advanced educational opportunities needed to maintain accreditation standards. Full-time NTCC employees who meet admissions requirements can take up to six credit hours per term in undergraduate courses for $25 per credit hour or up to six credit hours per term in graduate courses at $50 per credit hour.

“Honoring a long standing tradition of education excellence, Northwestern State University will provide access to community and technical college faculty seeking advanced credentials that will broaden the scope of learning and training throughout the northshore,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College.  “By signing this agreement, Northshore Technical Community College faculty will benefit from reduced tuition therefore advancing expanded course offerings meeting high standards of programmatic, regional and national accreditation quality assurances.”

“My hope is that Northshore employees will take advantage of Northwestern State’s many online graduate and undergraduate courses in pursuit of their educational goals,” said NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson. “This agreement shows NSU’s continued commitment to providing educational opportunities in support of workforce development and Louisiana’s community colleges.”

NTCC has campuses in Bogalusa, Greensburg, Hammond and Slidell.

“Northshore students will greatly benefit from Northshore faculty and staff having access to obtain advanced degrees from Northwestern State University while continuing to serve the Northshore region.  We couldn’t be more pleased with leadership and vision provide by Dr. Henderson and Dr. Wainwright.” Dr. Daniel Roberts, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs