Trinity Medical CEO gives updates at Chamber meeting two years after opening new hospital

Published 2:37 pm Monday, June 19, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — In two years, Trinity Medical has ramped up the services it provides in the Miss-Lou community since opening and continues to do so, CEO Nekeisha Smith told Concordia Chamber of Commerce members this week.

The former Riverland Medical Center served patients in the Miss-Lou for over 55 years before moving into the brand new, 61,000-square-foot hospital and 17,000-square-foot medical office building at 6569 Highway 84 in Ferriday with the new name, Trinity Medical.

The new hospital officially opened in February 2021.

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Around that same time, the hospital announced its new CEO, Smith, who previously served Riverland Medical in various capacities for just over 20 years, beginning as the assistant records manager to the chief operating officer.

The Natchez native graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson in 1999, majoring in Health Information Management.

Trinity Medical is a designated critical access hospital, a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Smith said.

As such, “We receive specific funding such as cost-based reimbursement for Medicare services,” Smith said.

Trinity Medical has two rural health clinics, one in Vidalia and one in Ferriday, and an additional outpatient clinic on the campus of the main hospital in Ferriday.

“Our goal is to continue providing specialists to prevent our patients from having to leave our community to find the care they need,” Smith said.

In the last several months, Trinity Medical has expanded its services with a new MRI machine and implemented a team of PICC line nurses, or nurses who are generally more experienced and have more training in placing a central venous catheter.

Smith said the new hospital has allowed Trinity to increase the number of emergency room patients it sees on a monthly basis from between 600 and 700 patients to over 1200 or more patients.

“We’ve transitioned to being so busy that we’ve asked for some help, so we’ve now added a nurse practitioner in our emergency room to help with that volume.”

Trinity will also soon be adding an in-house microbiology lab — “to diagnose and treat patients a lot quicker” — as well as bone density testing to the list of services it provides, which will test patients for osteoporosis, Smith said.

Additionally, Trinity is also planning to start a transportation service to transport patients to and from their appointments who have no other means of getting there “free of charge.”

There will also be a certified Louisiana Medicaid Application Center on campus to enroll patients for Medicaid, she said.

“There is currently no Medicaid office in Concordia Parish and we felt this would help guide patients to the hospital and help the community,” she said.

The goal timeframe for starting those services is this August, she said.

“Once we have all of that information together, we will be sure to get it to the paper so we can get this publicized,” Smith said, adding, “All of the great news that we’ve had going on over the last two years has paid off.”

Trinity Medical won The Democrat’s Best of the Miss-Lou contest for two years straight in 2021 and 2022. Winners are nominated and voted on by readers of the newspaper.

“We were very excited and appreciative of this award,” Smith said. “It is because of our wonderful staff and physicians that this was possible. We are appreciative of our community for entrusting Trinity Medical with their care needs.”