Ochsner, Iberville Parish extend hospital negotiations
PLAQUEMINE - Iberville Parish officials and administrators with Ochsner Health System have extended their negotiations to bring a hospital back to the parish.
Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso and Mitch Wasden, CEO of Ochsner Health System Baton Rouge Region, announced the extension to their letter of intent through June 30, 2011.
The two groups had previously agreed to explore opening a hospital that would be built and owned by Iberville Parish and leased to Ochsner, who will operate the facility.
Iberville Parish has been without a hospital since River West Medical Center closed in early 2009 following Hurricane Gustav.
"We have worked very hard to get a strong medical provider interested in coming to Iberville," said Ourso. "The negotiations on this partnership are proceeding well, but are very complicated and take time."
The parish is seeking approval to use part of $44 million in hurricane recovery funds to build the hospital. Still to be negotiated are the size of the facility, the number of employees and the scope of services Ochsner will deliver.