[StBernard] Governor Blanco, Health Care and Community Leaders urge VA to move forward on New Orleans hospital

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jul 27 22:01:37 EDT 2007

Governor Blanco, Health Care and Community Leaders urge VA to move forward on New Orleans hospital

BATON ROUGE - Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, along with health care and community leaders, sent a letter today to US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson, urging him to move forward on plans for a teaching and research hospital with Louisiana State University in downtown New Orleans. The Governor and all of the signatories are sending this letter in anticipation of an imminent decision by the Veterans Administration relative to the location of their new hospital.

"This letter demonstrates the united front behind this critical project," Governor Blanco said. "Health care remains one of our most urgent needs in the New Orleans area, and with the VA's partnership, we can fully restore this vital service to our people."

"In my opinion, the joint LSU/VA medical venture represents an initiative that is of immense importance not only to the economic development and recovery of New Orleans and South Louisiana but also to the future of quality health care delivery and medical education," said Dr. William L. Jenkins, LSU System president.

"Tulane University, along with the business community, the city, the state and the physicians who care for our veterans believe the best place for the VA hospital is in downtown New Orleans in the medical district. My colleagues and I are committed to do all that we can to ensure this outcome so that our veterans get the superior care they deserve," said Dr. Scott Cowen, President, Tulane University.

"The American Legion believes that veterans in the catchment area who are served by the Veterans Hospital will be better served if this hospital is located in proximity to the LSU and Tulane Medical Schools," said William Detweiler, Past National Commander of the American Legion.

"We're at a critical juncture in determining the future recovery of New Orleans. This has been a cloud over our heads and an impediment to structuring a quality healthcare system in this region. The expeditious decision to locate the VA/LSU Hospital in downtown New Orleans, as part of the biomedical district, will in and of itself signal a rebirth and energize the efforts to recreate a robust, a diversified and vibrant economy. The entire community is behind this effort to make the VA/LSU partnership a flagship for this community," said Sandra M. Gunner, President/CEO, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

"The Downtown Development District believes that the return of a new Veteran Administration hospital to downtown New Orleans is critical to the long term mission of the hospital to meet the health care needs of veterans across the region. The new facilities, in partnership with a new LSU academic teaching hospital will ultimately provide the rigorous, top-notch staff of physicians that our veterans deserve and which will ensure that they have access to the very best that this country can provide," said Byron Harrell, Chairman, New Orleans Downtown Development District.

Click here to read the letter. <http://www.gov.state.la.us/assets/docs/07%2027%2007-LSU-VA%20Joint%20Hospital%20Project.pdf>


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