• Some people know him as Dr. Abi. Others call him Dr. Rached. 

    “They have different names for me – very few people use my whole name,” explained Dr. Bassam Abi-Rached.

    While patients may not be able to agree on how they prefer to refer to his name, one thing many have agreed on is that Abi-Rached is one of the good guys when it comes to local healthcare. When The Town Talk asked local readers to nominate someone to be recognized as a local healthcare hero, Abi-Rached was the overwhelming choice, garnering twice as many nominations as the runner-up.

    “Oh my,” a clearly surprised Abi-Rached said when told he was selected as our 2017 Healthcare Hero. “I know my patients like me, but there are a lot of nice and great and caring doctors around here, so I am very surprised.”

    A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Abi-Rached is board certified in hematology, medical oncology, and internal medicine. Hematology is treatment of blood-related diseases while oncology is treatment of cancer. While he treats patients at both Rapides Regional Medical Center and CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, he primarily sees patients at his office at the Hematology Oncology Life Center, located across from the Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

    Abi-Rached has been practicing in Alexandria since 2003, when he moved here from New York. “It was a big change, but a good change,” he explained. “I was tired of the commute. I wanted to move to a small town to raise a family. At the time, I did not know where Alexandria was, I was just replying to a job opening.” 

    In addition to selecting an overall Health Care Hero, voters were asked to choose their favorites in 56 health care categories, including doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. 

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