Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ICF/DD?

ICF/DD stands for intermediate care facility for individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, such as mental retardation or autism.  An ICF/DD is licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Health Standards Section and conducts its business per Title XIX Rules and Regulations, while providing a protected residential setting, ongoing evaluation, and 24-hour supervision.  

How many beds are at St. Mary’s?

St. Mary's has three dormitories and ten group homes.  We are licensed for 202 residents.

What is the admission process?

Contact St. Mary’s at (318) 445-6443 or by our contact page to arrange for a tour of the facility and determine if you think St. Mary's is a suitable placement for your child or loved one.  Following the tour, you may request and complete an application for admission.  Our Admissions Committee reviews all completed applications and will schedule a predetermination meeting with the possible admit and his/her guardian, if they would like additional information. 

How is placement financed?

St. Mary's is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which provides these services at no cost to the family.  St. Mary’s receives Medicaid funding for those residents who qualify. Private payment is made for those who have funds which exceed the Medicaid requirements, until such funds are depleted and Medicaid can take effect. The accounting office can answer any questions in regard to finances.

What kind of training is in place for staff?

All of our staff attend an initial orientation, including topics identified by St. Mary’s, such as behavior management, HIPAA and confidentiality, and feeding precautions.  Annual training is provided on state-mandated topics, such as disaster preparedness, infection control, CPR, medication administration, and abuse and neglect.  

What kinds of safety measures does the facility have?

Our direct care staff are assigned to small, manageable groups of residents, with supervisors and mangers overseeing the daily care of each resident. A member of our professional staff is on call at all times.  The facility sits on 55 acres of fenced grounds.  The buildings are equipped with a fire alarm system, and in some cases, a sprinkler system. Routine fire drills and inspection of the equipment are strictly enforced.  A School Resource Officer is present at our main gate during school hours and St. Mary's employs off-duty Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies at other times.

How are dental and medical needs addressed?

Residents are seen semi-annually for dental visits and annually for physicals.  Our medical director and other specialists from the community conduct regular clinics on St. Mary’s campus.  Appointments are made for additional medical needs, with access to community hospitals and emergency rooms.  Two hospitals are located within 15 minutes of St. Mary’s with many specialists in the Alexandria area.  St. Mary's owns several vehicles that are used for transportation to and from these appointments.

What are the visitation and vacation policies?

Upon admission, guardians give St. Mary's a list of approved visitors and their permissions.  Family and friends are welcome to visit at any reasonable hour of the day or evening. If the resident leaves the facility, they are "signed out" by the person who will be responsible for taking them. We encourage our residents to continue to participate in family events, outings, holidays, and vacations. Each resident is allowed 45 days of leave time, per year, per state regulations.

What about guardianship?

St. Mary’s never takes guardianship of any of its residents. We encourage parents and guardians to take an active role in the care of their family member. Parents are welcome to pursue guardianship, tutorship, etc., if so desired.  We recommend that this process be completed before the family member’s 18th birthday.

What kind of activities does Alexandria offer?

The Alexandria/Pineville community offers many great activities and events for our residents and their families. Visit the Alexandria/Pineville Convention and Visitor's Bureau website to learn more!

Do residents have access to community resources?

The residents attend numerous programs, services, and events within the community and the surrounding areas. Movies, church services, dinners, plays, mall shopping, athletic events, festivals, and concerts are just a few of their various outings.  St. Mary’s owns multiple vehicles for transporting residents and staff to community events.