• 54°

Regional cath lab gets OK

NATCHEZ — Natchez Regional Medical Center has completed the first step toward re-opening a heart catheterization lab, but opening the doors to the cath lab could be a lengthy process.

The Mississippi State Department of Health Board received applications for a certificate of need for a cath lab from both NRMC and Natchez Community Hospital, and made a recommendation in favor of Natchez Regional.

“The purpose of it is that you don’t duplicate equipment that drives up prices,” NRMC Board Attorney Walter Brown said. “Before you spend a certain amount of money, you have to establish a need.”

Community Hospital has a 20-day window from May 17 to request a public hearing, and CEO Donald Rentfro said the hospital would request a review, so they can provide the best health care to the Miss-Lou that it can.

“We still believe that we are an appropriate site for a cath lab,” Rentfro said. “We want to continue the research process, and I believe that does include a hearing.

“It just gives all parties the opportunity to state their position.”

Brown said a public hearing could tie this matter up in court for a year or two.

Regional CEO Lana Morgan said this recommendation brings the hospital one step closer to being the regional care center that the hospital wants to be.

“(A cath lab would) keep people from having to go out of town for this test,” Morgan said. “Since more people will be able to stay in town, they will not end up shopping out of town.

“It will help keep people’s business in town.”

Cardiologist Dr. Brad LeMay said 60 percent of cardiovascular care is currently leaving Natchez.

“That is a good number of patients having or choosing to go elsewhere for things they see as important,” LeMay said. “This is the first step. If we can keep those patients, it helps both hospitals.”

Brown said NRMC had three points in its favor. The first point is that NRMC has all of the equipment in place. Secondly, NRMC has a cardiologist on staff and the backing of the Jackson Heart Clinic. Thirdly, the analysis reports that NRMC has larger community support for the project, based on 30 letters received by the board.

A cath lab scans images of arteries to determine if there is any blockage. LeMay said the hospital would provide the diagnostic services, but would not be able to provide the interventionist services, such as surgeries.

News

Trash collection one day behind schedule for Thanksgiving

News

Ferriday man sentenced to life for 2019 slaying of Natchez schoolteacher

Business

Mayor: Silver Street raising and dock plans moving forward

News

Tree lighting event is Saturday in Natchez

News

Former Natchez Alderman David Massey dies at 72

News

Stewpot ready to serve needy on Thanksgiving

News

Saturday high-speed chase began in Louisiana, ended with crash in Natchez

News

No print edition of The Democrat on Friday

News

Natchez school board cancels bid opening for new high school due to COVID-19

News

5 Miss-Lou residents die of COVID-19 over weekend

News

Remains found in Natchez neighborhood

News

The Dart: Natchez resident loves music

News

Coroner: A Natchez woman dies with COVID-19 Sunday

DEVELOPING NEWS

Suspect in high-speed vehicle chase arrested in Natchez

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez Police investigating Saturday shooting that injured two people

News

Coroner: Two Ferriday men died with COVID-19 Saturday at Merit Health Natchez

News

Natchez freedmen and women largely funded Emancipation Monument in Washington, D.C.

News

Adams County coroner loses 25-year-old granddaughter to COVID-19, urges compliance with health guidelines

News

35-year-old Ferriday resident dies with COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations continue rising

News

‘American Pickers’ star Mike Wolfe picks Natchez

News

COVID-19 numbers spike locally just before holidays

News

Norm Yvon resigns as lead administrator of Cathedral School

BREAKING NEWS

ACCS falls to Leake Academy in MAIS Class 5A state championship

News

Second suspect arrested in Tuesday armed robbery