Faye Talbot doesn’t remember it, but she became an early patient of The Baton Rouge Clinic at 18 months old when a doctor there removed her tonsils.
“I remember my daddy saying I was probably the youngest child who was treated there at that time,” Talbot recalled. “They did not have pediatrics at the time, so an ear, nose and throat doctor took the tonsils out.”
Now, more than 70 years later, Talbot continues to seek care at The Baton Rouge Clinic. Talbot said the main reason her family has sought out the Clinic’s care for decades is the caring and professional nature of its staff. She recalled a particular event from last year involving a cancer scare, where she was impressed with the way her specialist handled the entire situation.
“He put me totally at ease. I felt comfortable with him,” Talbot said. “He ordered a biopsy and it was not cancer. Through the whole process, I had and continue to have a lot of confidence in him.”
Over the years, The Baton Rouge Clinic has become a mainstay for Talbot and her family. Her sister is a regular patient at the Clinic and is under the care of Dr. Michael Rolfsen, who has been instrumental in helping her maintain a quality of life after she was severely burned in a 2008 explosion. However, Talbot’s sister is not the only family member being cared for at the Clinic. Her toddler granddaughter is a patient and her mother also went to the Clinic for several years before passing away.
Julia Hawkins also sees Dr. Rolfsen, and credits him with keeping her healthy enough to remain a competitive athlete. Now 105, Hawkins has won events at multiple National Senior Games, where she has participated in running and bicycling. She even gave Dr. Rolfsen one of her medals in honor of his care.
“He’s always been so friendly and nice,” Hawkins said. “I was at the Clinic the other day and he came up to me just to say hello. I really appreciated that. He knows me as well as I know him. I hope he can continue to keep me healthy so I can keep competing.”
When her children were younger, Hawkins also brought them to the Clinic for treatment. Hawkins vividly remembers when one of her sons, who was about three or four at the time, came down with pneumonia. A physician from The Baton Rouge Clinic made a house call, treated the child and bonded with Hawkins’ husband over their shared background in the U.S. Navy.
“The Clinic has really been good to our whole family,” Hawkins said. “I was glad to go to a place where you could get treated for whatever you needed. I had four children, so it was a good situation for us. My life has been wonderful and a part of that was being able to go to a good clinic where all of our kids could be treated and taken care of.”
For Kelly Holland, her family’s experience with The Baton Rouge Clinic began when her son was born in 2007. Her son began seeing Dr. George Schwartzenburg, whom she was so impressed with that she has recommended Dr. Schwartzenburg to several of her fellow parents. Soon after her son started seeing Dr. Schwartzenburg, Holland turned to Dr. Todd Cooley for her own care. Today both of them have seen other Clinic specialists, when needed, and Holland has even referred her mother to one of the Clinic’s dermatologists, Dr. Stephanie Frederic, and her husband to both primary care and specialty services as well.
“One of the biggest reasons we started going is because I felt like the quality of care would be superior,” Holland said. “To me, they make you feel like family. I’ve gotten to know several nurses there, and they always add that personal touch. Dr. Cooley is funny and can lighten the mood even when you aren’t feeling well. Dr. Schwartzenburg has treated my son since he was an infant and now he’s a teenager, but it’s been a seamless transition. I always feel like they take their time. I’ve never felt like they are trying to rush me out.”
Dorothy Rogillio also credits The Baton Rouge Clinic with keeping her healthy and independent at age 91. She estimates she has been a patient there for more than 40 years, most recently with Dr. Roy Kadair. Over the years, Rogillio’s son, husband and many friends have also turned to the Clinic based in large part on her recommendation.
“I feel like Dr. Kadair is a part of the family. He’s always been very honest with us,” Rogillio said. “I am completely satisfied with the whole situation. I’ve had to see other doctors there for various issues over the years, and they make it a simple process. I have always been happy there and I’ve always told people they should go to the Clinic because they can take care of any of their needs.”
Mary Coles recalled that it was her husband, a pharmacist, who first decided to see Dr. Kadair at the Clinic several decades ago. On his recommendation, Coles and their children also eventually became Clinic patients. Today, Coles still sees Dr. Kadair for her needs.
“I remember my husband saying that without a doubt, Dr. Kadair was the most knowledgeable diagnostician he had ever met,” Coles recalled. “That was enough to convince us. He is very professional and likes to make you as comfortable as possible. He doesn’t keep you there any longer than you need to be. My middle son now goes to him as well and he likes that he can even call Dr. Kadair and discuss something if it’s not serious enough to go in.”
For Sister Kathleen Babin, her relationship with Dr. Kadair stretches back several decades. Babin recalls him as one of her students at Sacred Heart when she taught there. When he became a physician, Babin decided to turn to him and has now been one of his patients for nearly 30 years.
“He is very friendly and it’s always been easy to talk to him,” Babin said. “He really listens and has a personal approach.”
Babin said another reason she has continued to use the Clinic is the efficiency and friendliness of its staff.
“I never have trouble getting in touch with them to make an appointment,” she said. “They have always been responsive. When I go, I don’t think I have had to wait more than 30 minutes. That makes a big difference because it shows they respect people’s time.”
Bryan Post also complemented the Clinic on its efficient operations and charismatic staff. She noted that Dr. Rolfsen has become like a family member to her. He first treated Post’s father several years ago. When Post married, she and her husband continued in his care. Today, they are joined by their daughter, Post’s son-in-law and a granddaughter.
“It’s a smooth operation. They make it easy for you and take good care of you,” Post said. “When I go see Dr. Rolfsen for a visit, he has all of my information right in front of him so nothing is missed. If I call to check on something, the nurse calls back quickly. That makes me feel reassured. Everybody I have encountered is eager to help. I feel very comfortable over there.”
More than two decades ago, Delores Price decided to put her trust in the Clinic with Dr. Richard Lieux after suffering with neck pain for five years. Her physician at the time, who was not affiliated with the Clinic, brushed off her concerns, but Price knew something was wrong.
Price said Dr. Lieux quickly diagnosed the issue and placed her on a regimen of shots to treat her condition. She noted how Dr. Lieux and his staff have been continually patient, helping her stay calm and allowing a friend to accompany her to some appointments. They have also kept her informed about the exact treatment she is receiving and dosage amounts.
“I have bragged about Dr. Lieux so much that my son, my sister-in-law and several of my friends are now his patients,” Price said. “He has always treated all of us like a good friend. When he sees me, he always has a smile. He has a beautiful bedside manner. Everybody I know loves him.”
Holland said she shares those feelings and often hears similar sentiments from others.
“The physicians are top notch,” she said. “The Baton Rouge Clinic would not have lasted this long if they did not have great physicians and great quality of care. When you think of everything that has changed over the years in our world, our community and the world of health care, it’s amazing that they have continued to adapt and grow. They’re always striving to do the best.”
To read more Baton Rouge Clinic Anniversary Stories by The Advocate, please click here.