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When It Happens to You: Nine-Term St. Francisville Mayor Contracts COVID-19

During his 36 years as mayor, Billy D’Aquilla has learned the value of quality local healthcare from every angle, including a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Mr. Billy has served nine terms as mayor of St. Francisville. He was not only present when West Feliciana Hospital’s new campus opened in 2017, he was also on hand when the original hospital opened in 1970.  Read more about Mr. Billy’s 4 decades in office from this article from The Advocate.

Throughout the years, he has been a patient at both facilities! If anyone knows the value of having high-quality local health care close at hand, it’s him.

“The hospital is a great asset for our community,” says D’Aquilla. “As one of the best rural hospitals in the country, a small town couldn’t ask for a better medical community.”

The Importance of a Nearby Hospital During COVID-19

In August, the 80-year-old collapsed in his home and was taken to West Feliciana Hospital by EMS. He was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The hospital team quickly jumped into action utilizing protocols developed to treat patients who have contracted the virus. Staff performed imaging and lab services to provide stabilizing care for D’Aquilla overnight.

Due to his declining condition, it was ultimately determined he should be sent to the Intensive Care Unit at Baton Rouge General Hospital where he stayed for six days.

Like many members of the West Feliciana community over the years, Mayor D’Aquilla has received care at the hospital for various illnesses and ailments, including a heart condition.

As he’s found himself needing the hospital’s services more frequently, D’Aquilla has come to recognize the vital importance of having access to exceptional care close to home—particularly during the seconds and minutes that matter most.

How West Feliciana Hospital Saved Mayor D’Aquilla

“The folks over at the hospital have helped me and my family tremendously, and saved my life more than a few times,” he notes.

In the early days of its existence, D’Aquilla recalls that the hospital struggled to attract top health professionals to rural St. Francisville.

Today, the hospital’s campus is a premier healthcare destination. The modern, 53,000-square-foot facility is almost three times the size of the original facility.

This new space enables the hospital to offer an expanded range of medical services including infusion therapy, imaging services, lab services, pediatrics, primary care, gastroenterology, and respiratory services.

They also offer a 24-hour emergency department and outpatient rehabilitation services—two areas heavily utilized by members of the community.

Need to visit the hospital for treatment or scheduled wellness care during the coronavirus pandemic?

No need to worry! With stringent COVID-19 guidelines in place, a visit to West Feliciana Hospital is as safe as it’s always been.

Everyone entering campus buildings is screened for symptoms and must wear a mask at all times. Click here to view all of WFH’s COVID-19 guidelines and click here to watch WFH’s COVID-19 safety videos.

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