Riverland Medical Center is requesting a credit line of $1.9 million for payroll through a new government program.

RMC officials will meet with the State Bond Commission in Baton Rouge by teleconference on Thursday.

RMC board members approved a resolution on Tuesday seeking up to $1,900,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Riverland Administrator Sam Ellard said governmental hospitals were included in a national program announced last Monday.

The new $349 billion PPP loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration is in response to the economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. All or part of each loan may be forgiven, according to Ellard.

The PPP forgivable loans are available through banks, credit unions, farm credit system institutions and some non-bank lenders.

"All businesses with under 500 employees can apply," Ellard said. "If you use the money appropriately, it will be forgiven after eight weeks. That is the path we are on. This is going to help a lot of folks. We won’t need quite that much. And they are going to give us the formula on how to use that money for salaries and benefits."

For the month of March, Riverland had net revenue of $1,505,760 and expenses of $1,413,502 for net revenue of $92,258.

The board also approved a resolution to renew signatory authority to Ellard and also approved a contract with Southern Healthcare Solutions.

"That's a group we've worked with which helped us get our clinics in Ferriday and Vidalia finalized," Ellard said. "We want to expand their contract."

Ellard said Southern Healthcare Solutions is working on licensing paperwork with the new hospital being built -- Trinity Medical Center.

"Health care is changing all the time," said Riverland board chairman Jim Graves. "And now we have two hospitals, so having Southern Healthcare Solutions enables us to walk right in and through procedures without interruption."

The board also approved policies and procedures for laboratory and quality improvement.

Courtesy staff privileges were also approved for Dr. John Fairbanks.

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