Riverside board adds to legal team

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

After almost three hours in executive session in a special meeting Monday, Riverside Medical Center’s Board of Commissioners voted to hire Franklinton attorney Reggie Simmons as co-counsel.

Simmons will assist John David Allen with all hospital legal matters.

“The need for hiring Mr. Simmons is for ad hoc counsel, in addition to the hospital’s current counsel,” Ben Lott, Riverside assistant administrator, said after the meeting. “We’re working out the details.”

Riverside Medical Center and Family Medical Clinic, operating as part of St. Tammany Parish Hospital, are currently entangled in a dispute. The Washington Parish Council recently tabled a resolution that would have rescinded a July 7 resolution to keep Family Medical Center operating as part of St. Tammany Parish Hospital for the next 20 years. The clinic is located on Riverside Drive next to Riverside Medical Center.

Lott declined to address the matter with St. Tammany Parish Hospital when asked if the hiring of Simmons had anything to do with the dispute.

“(The hiring) is for all and any hospital business,” Lott said.

Simmons said he will work hard to represent the hospital.

“We’re going to do the best we can to represent the hospital in the manner in which it should be represented,” Simmons said.

Commissioners waited for late arriving board members to arrive and convened at approximately 4:40 p.m., with a quorum. Executive session concluded at 7:32 p.m.

In recent business, commissioners approved a $30,000 generator for the catheterization lab at the hospital. The price tag included installation by Louisiana Energy Solutions.

“The hospital will be ready to open the catheterization lab next month, pending approval from the state,” Lott said.

Riverside is also in the process of constructing a Rural Health Clinic where the Dialysis Clinic was situated.

“An effort to expand our rural health clinic is under way,” Lott said.

Lott said the facility should open by late fall, subject to state approval.