Hazel Hebert *
Inducted on March 23, 2002
Julia Hazel Duplechian Hebert was born January 2, 1925, in Elton, LA. She was adopted at age two, moved with her new family into the Vermilion parish area, and graduated from Erath High School in 1943. She married the late Eldridge Hebert in 1942 and followed him as a war bride working and living throughout the United States. While her husband was working in Army hospitals, Hazel became interested in the health business and began working as an admittance clerk at Longview Harman Hospital in Texas.
In 1950, Hebert returned to Erath and began working in the office of Erath's longtime resident doctor, Bernard Lahasky, serving him as an interpreter in addition to her other medical duties. Because Dr. Lahasky could not speak French and the many Cajuns who came to see him could not speak English, Hebert became proficient as his interpreter. Lahasky later opened a drug store in Erath and named her as his office manager. By 1952, her interest in medicine was so great that she decided to return to school and obtain her license as a surgical nurse.
In 1952, Hebert was instrumental in planning and operating the newly built Erath Memorial Hospital. The hospital opened with 16 initial beds which was then increased to 26 and then to 64 beds. She began work at the new Erath hospital as office manager. While there, she took classes at LSU-E, obtaining her administrative license in 1971. The Humana Corporation purchased the Erath Hospital in 1971, and Hebert began taking their Administrator Training classes.
In 1958, she did a needs assessment in planning the construction of the original 16-unit Erath Housing Development Project. In 1964, she applied for 20 more units, and in 1996, she was instrumental in the construction of 6 additional units.
In 1965, Hebert was involved in planning and operating the 16-bed nursing home in Erath. In 1976, she was instrumental in developing a partnership to expand the nursing home to 130 beds and naming it the Morris Lahasky Nursing Home, after the father of Dr. Bernard Lehasky.
In addition, Hebert worked closely as liason with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the new highway by-pass in Erath and the subsequent demolition of 6 units of the Housing Authority.
Her service to the community includes Trustee of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, catechism teacher, Board of Directors of Louisiana Nursing Home Association, Board of Directors of Erath Memorial Hospital, and member of the Catholic Daughters Society. She is listed as honored professional in the national Register of Who's Who in Executive Business.