Iberville approves $19.6 million Ochsner Health Center

The audience broke into applause after the Iberville Parish Council unanimously awarded the construction bid for the new $19.6 million Ochsner Health System clinic to Lincoln Builders on Tuesday night.

If all goes according to plans, construction will get underway in the next month and the 43,000-square-foot facility, to be built along La. 1 in south Plaquemine, will be completed in about 14 months, officials said.

Ever since the parish’s only hospital closed due to damage caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, the parish has been working on getting a new health care facility.

In the meantime, emergency patients had to be transported to Baton Rouge hospitals and clinics.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of the parish,” declared Thomas C. David Jr., a facilitator for the federal government’s $3 million hurricane disaster funding, which is partially paying for the clinic.

Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. told the council and audience that since the process to being a new health care facility to the parish began in September, “over 12,000 man-hours have been put into this.”

Eric McMillen, CEO of Ochsner Baton Rouge, said, “We’re obviously excited to get started on it and we look forward to a great relationship with Iberville Parish and providing service close to home to patients. We’ll have emergency care and some clinics and laboratory testing and imaging as well.”

According to a published description, the clinic will also include 22 patient exam rooms, three primary care physicians, a nurse practitioner one OB/GYN and/or midwife and radiology, X-ray, CAT scan, MRI, ultrasound and mammography services for 10,000 patients a year.

Other business coming before the council included:

PASTOR RECOGNIZED: The council recognized the Rev. Cleo J. Milano, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church for the past 11 years, for his “dedication and service” because he is being called next month to serve at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Baton Rouge.

Milano also was declared parish president for a day by President Ourso.

ST. GABRIEL PROJECT: After a motion to discuss a $600,000 building project in St. Gabriel that was not on the original agenda was voted down, Council Chairman Matt Jewell set a special meeting for 6 p.m. May 30 to discuss the matter.