[StBernard] LRA Chairman Norman C. Francis' Statement regarding VAs Plans to Return to Downtown New Orleans

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Aug 21 21:08:07 EDT 2007

LRA Chairman Norman C. Francis' Statement regarding VA's Plans to Return to Downtown New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (August 21, 2007) - Louisiana Recovery Authority Chairman Norman C. Francis issued the following statement in response to today's announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding their preference for a downtown site for reconstruction of a VA Medical Center in New Orleans.

"Today's announcement from the VA is another dose of much-needed medicine for New Orleans and the recovery of our region. This announcement reaffirms the commitment made more than 18 month ago when LSU and the VA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint facility.

"As we have said from the beginning, this facility will help to anchor the bio-medical corridor in downtown New Orleans and ensure that the veterans of our region are provided with the highest quality care in a vibrant academic teaching and research environment.

"We applaud Secretary Jim Nicholson for renewing this commitment and we look forward to working with him to make this new, world-class facility a reality for the people of Louisiana."

Francis and three LRA committee chairs sent a letter to Secretary Nicholson in April calling on the VA to unequivocally commit to building its hospital in downtown New Orleans in partnership with LSU. Click here <http://www.lra.louisiana.gov/pr042607letter.html> to download a PDF of the letter.

LRA Board Member and Chair of the LRA Health Care Committee Kim Boyle also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations earlier this month to express the LRA's support for reconstruction of the new facility in downtown New Orleans. Click here <http://lra.louisiana.gov/assets/congress/BoyleTestimony080107.pdf> to download Boyle's testimony as prepared.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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