Community meeting called on River West

Deidre Cruse

At the request of local doctors, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. will host a community meeting on the future of River Wet Medical Center at 6 p.m.Thursday  at the Carl F. Grant Civic Center.

The group of local doctors want to address concerns about the future of the financially-troubled facility, and to fin out “if they come up with some kind of package, are they wanted here, Ourso said.

“They do have an operating [emergency room], which requires other divisions,” Ourso told the Parish Council last week as he announced the meeting. The hospital’s pharmacy, laboratory and radiology departments are still functional.

James Cheek, owner and CEO of Shiloh Health Services, said the hospital is still open with in-patient services, as well. Although the owners cut the staff by half, River West’s services are “still excellent.,” he said.

“We have no intention of closing the facility. We have never had any intention of closing the facility,” Cheek said, asking parish officials to get the word out that the hospital is still open.

Recently, River West laid-off 100 members of its staff, and it has been forced into involuntary bankruptcy.