University Medical Center of New Orleans
History of the University Medical Center
A History of Collaboration
Unanimous approval by both the LSU Board of Supervisors and the Tulane University Board of Trustees of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for governance of the UMC led to the signing of the MOU in New Orleans by Governor Bobby Jindal, DHH Secretary Alan Levine, LSU System President Dr. John Lombardi, and Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen on August 28, 2009.
The signing of the MOU moves forward the plan of LSU and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to pursue a partnership to build their respective hospitals side by side in downtown New Orleans, near the LSU and Tulane schools of medicine, on a 70-acre site bounded by Tulane Avenue, Canal Street, Claiborne Avenue, and North Rocheblave Street.
The close proximity of the two hospitals will continue the long symbiotic relationship of the staffs of the VA and LSU and Tulane medical schools serving the educational and healthcare needs of each other.
Governor Bobby Jindal had previously endorsed the building of the new UMC, and the joint announcement on November 25, 2008, by LSU and the VA to pursue this collaborative venture drew the support of U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
“The partnership of the VA and LSU will create a bio-medical corridor that will put Louisiana at the forefront of cutting edge medical research, diversify our economy and serve our veterans who have bravely served us,” she said in a press release the day of the announcement. “I will work with the incoming Administration to ensure that FEMA and other branches of the federal government do not shortchange the state, but instead honor their commitments with the appropriate funds to rebuild a world-class hospital complex.”
The joint project with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is an unparalleled opportunity. The VA is recognized as one of the best health care systems in the world. The city of New Orleans has also made the project a priority and committed to acquire the necessary land for the VA portion of the medical center.
A Successful Business Plan
In the spring of 2007, The Louisiana Office of Facility Planning and Control presented to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee a business plan for the UMC. The plan permits the UMC to attract the right patient mix, provide medical and allied health training, and continue the historic mission of healthcare for those in need.
The plan, which recommends 424 beds, relies on only a slight increase in the number of Medicare and private-insurance patients receiving care in the new UMC compared to the pre-Katrina 70-year-old Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans.
The plan projects that the UMC will attract these patients based on the historic activity of its expert faculty combined with twenty-first century facilities with the modern equipment and ancillary staff to perform procedures that the old hospital did not.
An Essential Tertiary Healthcare Center
The UMC will fill a unique and critical niche. The new facility will better serve the special clinical needs of the population with complex problems and chronic diseases as a destination of choice for the insured and for those unable to pay, while continuing the historic public health role of serving the special needs of the entire population through its critical services such as Level One trauma and disaster emergency response. In addition, it will greatly strengthen the state’s ability to train the skilled health care workforce needed to meet the growing demands for services. No other hospital in the region shares this combination of ability and responsibility to meet these critical public missions.
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