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Riverland Medical Center names new CEO

RIDGECREST — Trinity Medical, a brand new hospital on U.S. 84 in Ridgecrest, will be opening on Feb. 23 under new leadership.

Medical personnel and office staff of Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday will be moving to the 61,000 square-foot hospital and 17,000 square-foot medical office building under the leadership of Nekeisha Smith, who was named chief executive officer last week after the resignation of Sam Ellard.

Ellard is pursuing a job closer to his home in Kosciusko, Riverland hospital board chairman Jim Graves told the Concordia Sentinel.

Ellard has been CEO of Riverland since 2018 and served as chief operating officer three-and-a-half years before that.

“Keisha knows the ins and outs of the hospital and has been working with Sam for a couple of years,” Graves said. “We’re excited to have her as CEO and know she will do a great job for us.”

Smith takes the helm of Riverland Medical — soon to be Trinity Medical — with 21 years of experience at Riverland. Riverland will be rebranded as Trinity Medical upon the move to a new hospital later this month.

Smith was working as the chief operating officer of Riverland for two years before being promoted to CEO on Feb. 5.

She started at Riverland as an assistant records manager and worked her way up to becoming director of medical records, medical staff coordinator and quality improvements director and has worked closely with administration over the past 15 years, she said.

Smith is a native of graduated from Natchez High School before attending Alcorn State. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson in 1999, majoring in Health Information Management and is a registered health information manager and certified coding specialist.

“It’s a challenge, but I am up to the challenge,” Smith said Friday. “I wasn’t expecting this to happen but it’s all in God’s plan. I’m a firm believer that if God brought you to it, God will bring you through it.”

Smith said she has a lot of ideas to help lead the new Trinity Hospital to being “the hospital of choice for the Miss-Lou area.”

Smith said for the time being, she is focused on making a smooth transition to the new Trinity hospital.

“We have an excellent staff here and we are working as a team,” she said. “My goal is to make sure that we are providing the best healthcare to our patients and the best customer service.”

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