Today is October 1st and today is the first day of Biomedical Research Foundation's operation of LSU Health Shreveport under a new name, University Health.

It wasn't an easy transition and all happened in just a few months.

"What we had to do was make certain that we could continue to operate the hospital and then we had to transition over 3,000 employees to make certain when we come to work October 1st the lights come on, people get paid and recreate the infrastructure inside the hospital," Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana Board Chairman Steve Skrivanos told 710 KEEL.

All the LSU Health employees who wished to stay with the hospital had to apply for their positions and be rehired.  Biomedical Research Foundation is still looking to hire more employees.

"We're going to have competitive market based salaries," explain Skrivanos.  "Most of the salaries are going to be the same.  As a private institution, we're going to have more latitude to direct capital for the betterment of the institution and help the med school in the process through our operation of the hospital."

There were concerns about a cutback in either salaries or the number of employees in the privatized hospital.

"Keep in mind, there were 2600 levels of positions in both hospitals before we started," responded Skrivanos.  "And then as we transitioned, there are about 400 hundred levels now.  As we condensed all those levels some people may have gotten more money, some may not.  But, generally it will be the same."

Pay may be similar to what it had been, but Skrivanos admits, "the benefits will be slightly less, I'll grant you that under private pay, but the most is going to have to do with holiday pay."

LSU Board of Supervisors approved the agreement to privatize both of their hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to Biomedical Research Foundation on March 27th.