The Future of Huey P. Long Hospital - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

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The Future of Huey P. Long Hospital

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- The LSU Board of Supervisors has approved a proposal to allow Rapides Regional Medical Center and Christus St. Frances Cabrini to take over operation of the Huey P. Long Medical Center.

But until a final decision is made the issue is filled with uncertainty- for both patients and employees. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton spoke with some of those employees today to find out how they're feeling about the upcoming decision.

Employees of Huey P. Long Medical Center stopped by the Pineville Community Center Tuesday morning for a breakfast, held by the Pineville Concerned Citizens, that was put on especially in their honor.

"They're working hard. They're working under a lot of pressure. There's a lot of uncertainty and we felt that we needed to do something to show our appreciation," says Angelina Iles, President of the Pineville Concerned Citizens.

Felecia Aaron is just one of those employees. Aaron says that although she has been a faithful employee since 1985, she can't say the same about her employer now that she could be facing what she says is an unfair retirement, with the hospital's possible closure.

"Our governor has only been in office for eight years and he'll go back to private sector but he'll get a full retirement whereas I will take a reduction in my retirement because I'll be penalized because I don't have the age of 55 or my 30 years even though I will be minus my 30 years by... seven months," says R.N. Felecia Aaron.

Until a decision is made by the Joint Budget Board, all of the hospital's few hundred employees will continue to work under a cloud of uncertainty.

"I'm going to stay with Huey P until the very end because I love working there. The employees- my co-workers- are wonderful people. Hard-working and dedicated," says L.P.N. Carrie Ferguson.

As they prepare to face the changes that come with the privatization of the Huey P. Long Medical Center.

"Try to look for a job. After being at one facility for 29 years. That's a big, big change," adds Aaron.

A hospital whose employees have faithfully served Cenla's community for decades.

"They've always been our neighborhood hospital and they've always been there for us," adds Iles.

Mayor Fields also declared Tuesday 'Huey P. Long Employee Appreciation Day' in the City of Pineville.

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