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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

JEFFERSON, La. -- Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich is now urging the parish council to re-boot the search for a private hospital partner.

East Jefferson Hospital is pushing for a lease agreement with HCA.

West Jefferson Medical Center wants to partner with Louisiana Children's Medical Center.

'I think that we're at such a stalemate now and the heels are dug in so badly, for so long, I think that choosing either one of them would be a disaster,' said Cvitanovich.

Dr. Cvitanovich said the choice of a hospital partner needs to be a winner with both hospital boards.

'Make a bold move. Eliminate both HCA and Children's because the choice of either one of them would be toxic for the other side of the river.'

There is also disagreement over whether each hospital should be allowed to go it alone.

The West Jeff board passed a resolution affirming their pick of Children's and urging parish council members to send the matter to a vote of the people, if it's their intention to split the contract.

'If they decide that it's best to go with one company on the east bank and another company on the West Bank, we think the citizens should have the opportunity to weigh in on that,' said West Jefferson Hospital Board Chairman Chip Cahill. 'That would be a terrible thing that we'd have both of our hospitals competing with each other, against each other and somebody would be a winner and somebody would be a loser.'

Cahill also opposes the idea of restarting the selection process.

'If we start this process over again, it could be two years before anything is done,' said Cahill.

Dr. Cvitanovich said the decision is too important to get wrong.

'These are the two biggest assets that the parish has and if it takes another six or 12 months to get it right. Whether it's going back to the drawing board or going back partially and re-evaluating the choices that were not made or not selected.'

At this point, a majority of the council appears to be against the idea of splitting the partnerships and ready to award the contract to Children's.

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