HEALTH 2019: Riverland moving to new location with new name
FERRIDAY — Riverland Medical Center will be moving to a new facility and changing the hospital’s name in the not-to-distant future.
Riverland broke ground on the $36 million hospital complex in March at 6569 U.S. 84, Ferriday, that will have a new name and all new equipment and furnishings, hospital administrators said.
Construction is expected to take 14-to-18 months, officials said.
“It’s a new location, new hospital and new name,” said Brandy Spears, head of marketing for Riverland. “We’re thrilled and excited.”
Spears said the hospital’s new name, however, is not ready to be released and that it would be released in a few months, first to employees and then to the public.
Spears said Riverland had been planning to move to a new facility for at least four years, and funding for the new facility had been procured from a United States Department of Agriculture grant for $30 million just last year.
“We’re currently in a medical facility that was built in 1964,” Spears said. “We are certainly showing signs of not being able to add on or reconstruct anymore. It was less expensive for us to purchase land and rebuild at a new location. We want to be able to provide to the community the most current technology and healthcare that we can provide in the area.”
Spears said the facility is expected to be finished within 14 to 18 months — with no weather setbacks — and plans to repurpose the old Riverland Medical Center located at 1700 E.E. Wallace Boulevard are well underway.
“We’ve been working for over a year now on repurposing the old hospital building,” Spears said. “We’re trying to identify companies who are interested in the building that would provide a good tax base to Ferriday. The interests we have received so far have been from drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities to inpatient life facilities. We are just now getting to a point where we could give a more definite timeframe of when we’d be leaving the building … so now we’re finally seeing more interest in it.”
The new hospital is contracted through Milton J. Womack Inc. of Baton Rouge, Spears said, and designed by a joint effort between GraceHebert Architects of Baton Rouge and Curtis Group Architects of Dallas, Texas.
Compared to Riverland, the new facility would be nearly 17,000 square feet larger, she said, and most of the additional space could fit into a medical office building on the campus of the new complex.
The office building would be comprised of eight exam rooms, administrative offices and additional clinic space that area doctors traveling to Ferriday may use weekly and would also house clinics for physical, occupational and speech therapy, Spears said.
The complete campus would be 61,000 square feet, she said, with 21 beds and an additional two intensive care units.
“We’ll have a lot more private space compared to the old facility,” Spears said. “When the first hospital was built, hospitals just didn’t have that luxury.”
The hospital would also have a triage center, where patients in need of emergency care can be identified and treated more quickly, she said.
The facility also will have two surgical suites and a private access bay that can hold at least two ambulances and a helicopter pad at the back of the facility.
Because of the larger space, the new hospital would also require additional nurses and administrators, meaning a few jobs would be created in Ferriday, Spears said.
Job listings would be posted at riverlandmedical.com as they become available, Spears said.
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