Rebuilding after Katrina, East New Orleans to get new hospital

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(NNPA) –  New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced plans to deliver a full-service hospital in New Orleans East. After renegotiating a flawed real-estate deal with Universal Health Services (UHS), Landrieu announced that the City will purchase the Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital site for $16.25 million – representing a cost of $23.75 million in savings for the real estate deal alone. Landrieu laid out a plan to renovate and open the hospital for a projected cost of $110 million – resulting in projected total savings of $53 million for the taxpayers.

“It has been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina, and it is shameful that more than 80,000 residents in New Orleans East, the 9th Ward and parts of Gentilly still have to drive up to 30 minutes to  an emergency room,” Landrieu said. “I understand that this is a matter of life and death. That’s why I’ve been so focused on putting together a plan that will give the people of the East a quality, full-service hospital as quickly as possible. And that’s why it’s so important that we put in place a hospital that is financially sustainable over time.”

Landrieu also released his administration’s Eastern New Orleans Healthcare and Hospital Report, which outlines a strategy to deliver quality health care in New Orleans East.

According to engineering estimates in this report, the full-service hospital is expected to open by the Fall of 2013, and an on-site ambulatory care facility providing emergency-room services will be completed in approximately one year. Mayor Landrieu and his team are in preliminary negotiations with a not-for-profit healthcare provider to operate the hospital.

During focus groups with physicians and community members held in the last 60 days, many expressed concern about emergency transport time from the eastern parts of New Orleans. To address this issue, as a new hospital and emergency room is being developed, the city will post an additional ambulance in New Orleans East.

Landrieu said, “We have laid out a comprehensive plan for health care in New Orleans East, from our vast network of primary-care clinics to a full-service hospital at the old Methodist site.”

Landrieu also released his administration’s Eastern New Orleans Healthcare and Hospital Report, which outlines a strategy to deliver quality health care in New Orleans East.

According to engineering estimates in this report, the full-service hospital is expected to open by the Fall of 2013, and an on-site ambulatory care facility providing emergency-room services will be completed in approximately one year. Mayor Landrieu and his team are in preliminary negotiations with a not-for-profit healthcare provider to operate the hospital.

During focus groups with physicians and community members held in the last 60 days, many expressed concern about emergency transport time from the eastern parts of New Orleans. To address this issue, as a new hospital and emergency room is being developed, the city will post an additional ambulance in New Orleans East.

Landrieu said, “We have laid out a comprehensive plan for health care in New Orleans East, from our vast network of primary-care clinics to a full-service hospital at the old Methodist site.”

Special to the NNPA from the Louisiana Weekly

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