River West official meets with State Dept. Health and Hospitals

Tryve Brackin

Jim Cheek of Shiloh Health Services met yesterday with La. Dept. of Health and Hospitals officials and discussed immediate plans for Plaquemine’s River West Medical Center, which is currently under guidelines set forth by a U.S. Bankruptcy court.

Cheek told a Baton Rouge television station reporter plans are to reduce the hospital’s staff to the size that will adequately service the number of current patients and will continue to provide emergency room care to Plaquemine and surrounding Iberville Parish communities. No information was provided on what operations or departments could be reduced or closed by the hospital’s owner, nor was a number provided on how many of the facility’s 200 employees could lose their jobs as the result of the cutback.

A bankruptcy court hearing is set for March 20 and the hospital has been placed under guidelines until a possible decision can be made in the courtroom next month as to the future of the facility.

Department of Health and Hospitals requested that River West parent owner, Shiloh Health, keep the state, Iberville Parish officials, and the community informed of the expected cuts in staff and medical care being provided. It was announced that a job fair is in the works to assist in finding new work for the River West employees who could lose their positions in the current cutback.