Elwood "Red” Guitreau, a charter member and former Vice-President of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, and his wife Belle, who was recognized by the Louisiana Nursing Home Association as a Pioneer Award recipient for her contribution to the nursing home industry's success, were committed to improving the lives of the patients they passionately cared for and the employees they were able to provide an opportunity to.
They began serving their community in 1958 by opening Our Home, a nursing home facility, which was one of the first to service the region. Our Home was located in the Hungarian Settlement just outside of Albany. This began Belle's unintentional lifelong work to provide an opportunity to underprivileged women to learn a trade as a health care assistant.
In 1961, Red and Belle purchased the Kemp Street Nursing Home in Ponchatoula. During this time they embraced the changes occurring in the nursing home industry. When an increased level of professionalism and modernization were called for they met this call by working to create a safer nursing facility by improving the physical plant, utilizing new equipment and technology, increasing staff levels and the amount of formal training the staff received. They also became active members of the local community through participation in numerous community and civic organizations, including the local Baptist church, Ponchatoula Rotary Club and the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce.
After almost 20 years in the industry, Red and Belle were given an opportunity they could have never imagined possible in 1958, when they began their commitment to compassionately service their community. In 1974, the opening of Belle Maison Nursing Home in Ponchatoula allowed them to service more patients than ever before in one of the most modern facilities in the state. Both Red and Belle were involved in an advisory position with the facility until the end of their careers. Red was an original member of the Belle Maison Board of Directors for 34 years until his death in 2008.