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New Orleans Reshapes Future of Louisiana Healthcare

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Sep 2015
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Image: The new University Medical Center in New Orleans (LA, USA) (Photo courtesy LCMC Health).
Image: The new University Medical Center in New Orleans (LA, USA) (Photo courtesy LCMC Health).
Ten Years after Hurricane Katrina, the new University Medical Center (UMC; New Orleans, LA, USA) finally replaces the ravaged-beyond-repair Charity Hospital.

The new 446 bed UMC, built at an investment of USD 1.1 billion, will be the only level one trauma center in Southeast Louisiana, with 40 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, 19 operating rooms (ORs) equipped with interoperative imaging equipment that will allow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services during surgery, and a state-of-the-art emergency department with its own radiology area. The new UMC will offer a wide range of services focused on creating a healing environment to support patients and their families, including a 60 bed unit for people with mental health issues.

The hospital will also serve as the major teaching facility for the Louisiana State University (LSU; Baton Rouge, LA, USA) Health Sciences Center and Tulane University (New Orleans, LA, USA), and has several other partnerships for nursing and allied health. In addition, the UMC will become a key component of a biomedical corridor expected to become an economic growth engine for New Orleans, together with the future adjacent Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (New Orleans, LA, USA), scheduled to open in 2016.

In addition to inpatient services and trauma care, the center will host a cancer program including radiation therapy and a chemotherapy clinic, outpatient surgery clinics, outpatient imaging, and rehabilitation services. It will not, however, be offering labor, delivery, or non-traumatic pediatric care, leaving those services to the Touro Infirmary (New Orleans, LA, USA) and the Children's Hospital of New Orleans Children's (LA, USA), respectively. All three institutions are part of the LCMC Health (New Orleans, LA, USA).

“UMC New Orleans represents the future of healthcare in our community and beyond. Patients, families, staff and physicians have a better opportunity for healing, teaching and learning in this world-class, state-of-the-art medical center,” said Gregory Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “As we reflect on this historic day, we need to thank all of those who contributed their time and talents toward making UMC come to life. We are already off to a strong start and this City and State should be proud and excited for the future of UMC New Orleans.”

Given the area’s vulnerability to catastrophic flooding, the core concept that drove the design of the UMC is that no critical hospital functions occur at grade level. The ground floor was thus relegated to public and office functions. All mission-critical components, including the emergency department, are located at least seven meters above base flood elevation. In addition, design technology and emergency power will allow the hospital to operate after a category 3 hurricane for up to a week, with virtually no outside support or supplies.

Related Links:

University Medical Center
Louisiana State University
Health Sciences Center and Tulane University

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