P-1 Photo -- Jim Graves chairman.jpg

Jim Graves has served as chairman of the board for Riverland Medical Center for six straight years.

He is now beginning his first year as chairman of the Trinity Medical Board of Directors after being unanimously reelected Tuesday at the hospital’s monthly meeting.

“I am very thankful for the trust the board has in me,” Graves said. “And I am really thrilled with the responses we are receiving about Trinity Medical. From the start we’ve wanted to be the place people want to be and we are headed that way. The staff is doing an excellent job and everyone is smiling and happy to be here.”

James King will continue as vice-chairman.

Fred Marsalis will replace Randy Hoggatt on the executive committee. Hoggatt resigned last month after moving out of town.

Marsalis joins King and Dr. Kevin Ingram on the executive committee.

Trinity Medical CEO Nekeisha Smith said the hospital will be extending its visiting hours on Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We have been evaluating this each month,” Smith said. “We know COVID is still here. Everyone still must follow the CEC guidelines. And visits are limited to one person at a time.”

Smith said the volume of patients at Trinity Medical has increased tremendously.

“We are making out at 19 to 20 people over the last two weeks,” she said.

Trinity Medical posted a loss of $744,297 for the month of March, but Chief Financial Officer Spencer Holder said that is due to the donation of land from the old hospital campus to the new tenant — Sunrise Behavioral Center, which is expected to open soon.

Trinity had total revenue of $2,205,010 and expenses of $2,949,083.

“Without the donation, we would have had a profit of $50,224,” Holder said.

Graves said Riverland could not give the building away, and following guidelines provided by the state .

“Sunrise Behavioral is going to be a big economic boost for the Town of Ferriday,” Graves said.

Sunrise Behavior Center  CEO Paul Coburn told the Concordia Sentinellast month that the $4 million renovation work at the former Riverland hospital should be completed by July 1 for the company’s opening. 

As a result, Graves said Riverland, following guidelines provided by the state, formed a real estate company that will own the building and retain 15 percent ownership. 

Coburn said 20 more beds are being added to the faculty to bring it to 40 and that the company will initially employ 40 people. 

That number will steadily increase, Coburn said.

 In other business, Trinity board members unanimously approved medical staff appointments for Dr. Eric Teschke and Dr. Laura Richey in the emergency room, Dr. James Richey as a urologist and Taheera Forbes in Woundcare.

Smith also announced that in May, Dr. Geoffrey Flattman (general surgery) and Dr. Kellen Jex (gastroenterology) will be performing outpatient surgeries at Trinity Medical, and Dr. Thomas Chadwick Norton will be performing cataract surgeries at Trinity.

“We will have all their schedules posted soon,” Smith said.

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