charity's blog

The illusion of momentum: state sets premature "groundbreaking" ceremony for UMC hospital

Bobby Jindal and company, aided and abetted by local media figures, would have you believe that all is well with the proposed University Medical Center - that there's momentum, there's progress.

Well, here's the deal.  The second hospital in Lower Mid-City is no done deal.  The so-called "groundbreaking" ceremony apparently planned for the UMC on April 18 at 11:15 a.m. is entirely premature.

While we want healthcare back online here in New Orleans, and we'd like to see the regeneration of jobs, those things would not come solely via the poorly planned disaster in Lower Mid-City.  They would come even if the hospital re-opened in the old Charity Hospital building.  And they would have come sooner if the state had simply gone back into Charity at the beginning.

Let's look at the math first and foremost.  They don't have the money.  The state has $800 million for a project that, if built as designed, would cost $1.2 billion.  The UMC Board has not acquired HUD mortgage insurance to cover that $400 million gap as far as we can tell.  At this point, all signs appear to indicate that the UMC will not get the funds - (our guess: UMC will frame the failure to attain funds as merely a decision to "not apply for funds" at all, claim that the first rounds of its application efforts were merely "pre-applications", and therefore claim that it was never rejected).  Governor Bobby Jindal and Jim McNamara, President fo the BioDistrict, have both recently appeared on tv suggesting other ways forward than via HUD funding for the full project.

The state's chief reason for shuttering Charity hospital was it needed land and space for a larger modern hospital (and shared facilities with the new VA hospital - which was long ago revealed as an illusion).  Now, figures like Jim McNamara - (who is strangely fixated on the fate of the UMC hospital these days despite saying at a January public meeting that it's not crucial to the success of the BioDistrict) - say that the UMC should simply build a smaller hospital in the existing UMC Footprint - where much of the property was acquired via expropriation. 


The state and the UMC should go into Charity Hospital if a smaller hospital is ultimately what's in the works.  Experts showed it was possible with even a larger hospital.  Jindal's vague talk of junk bonds and third party developers contained absolutely no details about how that would work or what developers would be involved.  This thing stinks to high heaven.

The groundbreaking is also premature for other reasons.  It is premature because the state still does not have title to all of the parcels in the UMC Footprint, as far as we can tell.  The state has not resolved legal claims with the Blood Center or the Orleans Parish School Board, among other landowners.  There is still no finalized plan for the fate of McDonogh No. 11 School.  And it doesn't seem clear if any historic houses will move off the site as the state promised.

Most importantly, though, is this fact: the City of New Orleans has yet to revoke the public streets in the UMC Footprint - a legal step that is necessary if the project is going to proceed as planned (the hospital buildings will be crushing what is now street grid).  Revocation of the public streets is seemingly the last bit of leverage that the city has over the state on this project.  The City Planning Commission will consider revocation of ALL of the streets in the UMC Footprint at a hearing on April 12, 2011 at 1 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall.  We encourage you to attend and advocate for the retention of the streets so that the city retains control over the project in some way - perhaps a phased revocation that actually ties to the state's ability to fund the project.  As far as we know, the City Council also needs to approve the street revocation...and it's unclear that the council will be able to do that before the projected April 18 "groundbreaking."  There is no regular council meeting scheduled for the window between April 12 and April 18.

Here's another meeting you might want to attend: April 7, 2011 at 1 p.m. in the LSU Health Sciences Center Lions Clinic Building, 2020 Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana in the Isadore Cohn Student Learning Center, 6th floor.  At this next UMC Board meeting, we may finally learn something about the attempt to procure HUD mortgage insurance funding.  If you want to give public comment to the board - urge them to keep McDonogh No. 11 School in place or not revoke all the streets, for example - be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes early to sign up as required.

Bottom line: the state and UMC - - (read: LSU) may be quite adept at convincing media sources that everything is peachy with respect to the proposed hospital.  But oh, it is not. 

Author of BioDistrict legislation to hold town hall meetings this week

Senator Karen Carter Peterson is hosting 4 town hall meetings in New Orleans this week. [More information below]

At yesterday's meeting in the Irish Channel, a participant asked representatives from the State Department of Health and Human Services, if their agency has any kind of oversight over the BioDistrict.  The representative for the state replied that she had never heard of the BioDistrict. 

Senator Peterson offered to answer the question as she is the person who, in 2005, authored the legislation designating the boundaries of the Greater New Orleans BioSciences Economic Development District [GNOBEDD].  The act recognizes the 1500 square foot area bounded by Earhart Boulevard, Carrollton Avenue, Loyola Avenue, and Iberville Street. 

Unfortunately, the person who asked the question left before an answer was given but that the representative from DHH had not heard of the BioDistrict is an affirmation of what we have been saying for the last six months regarding the dismal outreach to the community about one of the largest economic development projects in the history of New Orleans.  Hardly anyone has heard about it.

If you have been following our blogs and share our concerns about the BioDistrict, please consider attending one or more of the following remaining meetings: ***[Note: the Broadmoor meeting is the closest location to the BioDistrict]

Central City
Date: March 15th
Location: Dryades YMCA, 1746 Jackson Avenue
Time: 5:30pm

Date: March 16th
Location: Andrew Wilson School, 3617 General Pershing
Time: 6:00pm

Date: March 17th
Location: St. Matthews, 1337 S. Carrollton Avenue
Time: 6:00pm

District 5 Town Hall Meeting with Senator Karen Carter Peterson: Central City

Event Description

District 5 Town Halls


– Senator Peterson will host a series of neighborhood town halls to solicit comments and concerns from her constituents prior to the legislative sessions this spring. The town halls will take place across the Senator’s district, from Central City to Carrollton, and will provide a forum for New Orleanians to speak out on their priorities in the coming sessions. Senator Peterson has also invited representatives from several state agencies, including Revenue, Education, Insurance and Health and Hospitals to attend and answer questions. Representatives from Council Districts and State Representatives’ offices have also been invited.


“Our state faces serious challenges that will affect us all, so before I speak as our voice in Baton Rouge, I want to hear yours. That’s why I am hosting several town halls during the week of March 14th in neighborhoods all over Senate District 5. Representing District 5 begins with listening to my constituents and their concerns.”



Open to the Public


Waking up and smelling the devastation

Unfortunately, it took the complete razing of a neighborhood for the national media to begin paying serious attention to the tragedy playing out in Lower Mid-City.  But now that attention has shifted, it's encouraging to see just how well some observers understand the significance of what has played out.

Photo via:

In a previous post, referenced links to some earlier national media stories.

Here's Philip Langdon at New Urban News, a national outlet for urban planners:

After all that New Orleans has suffered in the five-plus years since Hurricane Katrina, who would think that yet another of the Crescent City’s character-rich neighborhoods — one that had recently been repaired with federal dollars — would be ripped apart, this time at the behest of the state and federal governments?

It’s shocking, but an enormous volume of gratuitous destruction is under way in a city better known for celebrating than subverting its architectural character. New Orleans is at this moment sacrificing a distinctive working-class neighborhood to land-hungry medical institutions that insist on huge footprints for their future campuses.

Since last spring, more than 60 buildings, many of them charming little shotgun houses that contribute to a National Register historic district, have been demolished so that a new Veterans Affairs hospital can be built on 30 acres cleared of its inhabitants.

The City, State and Federal governments are putting New Orleans through some major contortions to turn it into a "model 21st century city". In other words, they are putting a lot of time and energy to force a square peg into a round hole. By placing a suburban-style hospital complex on top of a distinctive urban environment, will New Orleans still be New Orleans?

In the 5 years that it has taken to entertain LSU, GNOBEDD and the State's planning and design teams, we could have re-opened Charity Hospital as a vibrant, refurbished, modern facility that meets the programmatic needs of the proposed UMC hospital.

Blinded by the mere thought of "over a billion dollars," local, state, and federal officials have abdicated their responsibility to do what's best for our city and our region in terms of dollars spent in the name of health-care.  Economic development doesn't justify forgetting all other interests in a complex city.  Economic development projects don't always pan out as promised.  And economic development projects have negative externalities - consequences like the senseless devastation that's now become clear in Lower Mid-City.  Kids at Priestley Charter School should not have to switch schools mid-school year until the UMC Board can show it has the funds to build its new hospital.  Many residents, sadly, will not even be forced from their homes to make way for the UMC Hospital, but instead for the vague possibility of future expansion alone.

Why were demolitions underway today in the UMC Footprint?

It was our understanding, according to an article in yesterday's Times-Picayune (, that the state intends to move houses on the UMC side of the hospitals footprint.

To our disappointment, after yesterday's story, the state's contractors actually ramped up dismantling of homes today in the UMC Footprint.  Salvage and demolition operations now underway are being conducted in a manner that leaves the houses unfit to move.

This is unacceptable!

Please join us in calling upon our city, state, and federal officials to stop the unnecessary demolitions and salvage operations that are eliminating the historic attributes of these houses, which defeats the purpose of moving them. 

We also ask you to demand better treatment for the people living in the UMC site - especially after the mistreatment of so many people in the VA Hospital Footprint.

Federal, State and City contact resources listed below.

The state and city would not be facing nearly as many contentious issues at this juncture if they had simply considered reusing the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Charity Hospital building.

The Honorable Karen Peterson <>,
"The Honorable Neil C. Abramson" <>,
"The Honorable Edwin R. Murray" <>,
Contact Rep. Helena N. Moreno,
Contact Rep. Cedric L. Richmond

City of New Orleans Mayor’s Office
Mitchell J. Landrieu, Mayor
(504) 658-4000
/ (504) 658-4900

Scott Hutcheson, Advisor on Cultural Economy
(504) 658-4000
City of New Orleans Council Members

At Large:

Arnie Fielkow
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1060

Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077

District A

Susan G. Guidry
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1010

District B

Stacy Head
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658 -1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025

District C

Kristin Gisleson Palmer
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037

District D

Cynthia Hedge-Morrell
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048

District E

Jon D. Johnson
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058

# 1 Icon of an Envelope   Senator A.G. Crowe
# 2 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Cynthia Willard-Lewis
# 3 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Jean-Paul J. Morrell
# 4 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Edwin R. Murray
# 5 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Karen Carter Peterson
# 6 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Julie Quinn
# 7 Icon of an Envelope   Senator David Heitmeier
# 8 Icon of an Envelope   Senator John A. Alario, Jr.
# 9 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Conrad Appel
# 10 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Daniel "Danny" Martiny
# 11 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Jack Donahue
# 12 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Ben Nevers
# 13 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Dale M. Erdey
# 14 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Yvonne Dorsey
# 15 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Sharon Weston Broome
# 16 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Dan Claitor
# 17 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Robert "Rob" Marionneaux, Jr.
# 18 Icon of an Envelope   Senator "Jody" Amedee
# 19 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Joel T. Chaisson, II
# 20 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Norby Chabert
# 21 Icon of an Envelope   Senator D. A. "Butch" Gautreaux
# 22 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Troy Hebert
# 23 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Michael J. "Mike" Michot
# 24 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Elbert L. Guillory
# 25 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish
# 26 Icon of an Envelope   Senator "Nick" Gautreaux
# 27 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Willie L. Mount
# 28 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Eric LaFleur
# 29 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Joe McPherson
# 30 Icon of an Envelope   Senator John R. Smith
# 31 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Gerald Long
# 32 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Neil Riser
# 33 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Mike Walsworth
# 34 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Francis Thompson
# 35 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Robert W. "Bob" Kostelka
# 36 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Robert Adley
# 37 Icon of an Envelope   Senator B.L. "Buddy" Shaw
# 38 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Sherri Smith Cheek
# 39 Icon of an Envelope   Senator Lydia P. Jackson

Abramson, Neil C. 4, 5, and 6
Anders, John F. "Andy" 32 and 34
Armes, James K. 30
Arnold, Jeffery "Jeff" J. 3 and 7
Aubert, Elton M. 17, 18, and 21
Badon, Austin 2
Badon, Bobby G. 24, 26, and 28
Baldone, Damon J. 20 and 21
Barras, Taylor F. 22
Barrow, Regina 14, 15, and 17
Billiot, Robert E. 3 and 8
Brossett, Jared 3 and 4
Burford, Richard T. 38
Burns, Henry L. 36 and 37
Burns, Timothy G. 6 and 11
Burrell, Roy 37 and 39
Carmody, Thomas 37 and 38
Carter, Stephen F. 14 and 16
Champagne, Simone B. 22 and 26
Chandler, Billy R. 31 and 32
Chaney, Charles R. 32, 33, and 34
Connick, Patrick 3 and 8
Cortez, Patrick Page 23
Cromer, George Gregory 1 and 11
Danahay, Michael E. 27 and 30
Dixon, Herbert B. 29
Doerge, Jean M. 36
Dove, Gordon 20 and 21
Downs, Hollis 33 and 35
Edwards, John Bel 6, 11, 12, 17, and 32
Ellington, Noble 32 and 34
Fannin, James R. 31, 35 and 36
Foil, Franklin J. 14 and 16
Franklin, A B 25 and 27
Gallot, Jr., Richard "Rick" 33, 35 and 36
Geymann, Brett F. 27 and 30
Gisclair, Jerry 8, 19, and 20
Greene, Hunter 13, 15, and 16
Guillory, Mickey J. 24, 25, 26, and 28
Guinn, John E. 25
Hardy, Rickey 23 and 24
Harrison, Joe 20 and 21
Hazel, Lowell C. 29, 31, and 32
Henderson, Reed S. 1 and 2
Henry, Cameron 6 and 9
Hill, Dorothy Sue 28 and 30
Hines, Walker 4, 5, and 6
Hoffmann, Frank A. 32, 33, 34, and 35
Honoré, Dalton 14 and 15
Howard, Frank A. 30, 31, 36, and 38
Hutter, Nita Rusich 1
Jackson III, Girod 3, 7, and 8
Jackson, Michael 14, 15, and 16
Johnson, Robert A. 28 and 32
Jones, Rosalind D. 32 and 34
Jones, Sam 21 and 22
Katz, Kay 33, 34, and 35
Kleckley, Chuck 25 and 27
LaBruzzo, John 6 and 9
LaFonta, Juan 3 and 4
Lambert, Eddie J. 18
Landry, Nancy 23 and 26
LeBas, H. Bernard 24 and 28
Leger, Walt III 5
Ligi, Anthony V. 9 and 10
Little, Samuel P. 33 and 34
Lopinto, Joseph P. 6 and 9
Lorusso, Nick 3, 4, and 5
McVea, Thomas H. 6, 12, 13, 15, 17, and 32
Mills, Fred H. Jr. 22
Monica, Nickie 18 and 19
Montoucet, Jack 25 and 26
Moreno, Helena 4 and 5
Morris, James 36, 38, and 39
Norton, Barbara M. 37, 38 and 39
Nowlin, Rickey L. 31
Pearson, J. Kevin 1 and 11
Perry, Jonathan W. 25 and 26
Ponti, Erich E. 13 and 16
Pope, J. Rogers 13
Pugh, Stephen E. 6 and 11
Richard, Jerome 19, 20, and 21
Richardson, Clifton R. 13, 15, and 17
Richmond, Cedric 2 and 3
Ritchie, Harold L. 12
Robideaux, Joel C. 23 and 26
Roy, Christopher J. 29 and 30
Schroder, John M. 6, 11, and 12
Seabaugh, Alan 37 and 38
Simon, Scott M. 1, 11, and 12
Smiley, Jr., M.J. "Mert" 13 and 18
Smith, Jane H. 36 and 37
Smith, Jr., Gary L. 19
Smith, Patricia Haynes 14
St. Germain, Karen Gaudet 17, 18, and 21
Stiaes, Charmaine Marchand 2 and 3
Talbot, Kirk 9 and 10
Templet, Ricky J. 1, 7, and 8
Thibaut, Major 17 and 32
Thierry, Ledricka 24 and 26
Tucker, Jim 7 and 8
White, Mack "Bodi" 13, 15, and 17
Williams, Patrick 38 and 39
Willmott, Thomas P. 10
Wooton, Ernest D. 1, 7, 8, and 19


Utilizing Lessons Learned: Concerns for the UMC Footprint

Lately, the VA Hospital Footprint is growing increasingly bleak as more and more homes are demolished and moved off the site.  As that process comes to a close, what lessons can we take from the experience and apply to the UMC Footprint below S. Galvez Street?

Our chief concern is for the treatment of residents of the UMC/LSU Footprint, the area bounded by Tulane, S. Galvez, Canal, and S. Claiborne.  Several people still live in the VA Hospital Footprint, and after several of them had to file local and federal lawsuits to obtain just compensation and avoid having their utilities cut off prematurely, it's important that residents on the other side get treated fairly and justly. 

The State of Louisiana needs to do a much better job of reaching out to residents and informing them of what's going on around them.  It also needs to provide them with offers that constitute just compensation from the start - and, while it's too late in many cases, expropriation should be an absolute last resort.

It must be remembered that these residents are facing mistreatment due to the State of Louisiana's failure to consider reusing Charity Hospital in any meaningful way. 

Meanwhile, that building continues to sit vacant, like a neglected member of the family, a hollow space looming in the CBD.

We're also concerned about the housing stock in the UMC Footprint.  While the City of New Orleans heroically moved the houses off the VA Footprint, there are no plans to move houses off the UMC/LSU Footprint (at least at this point).  Not only is that unwise in a historic preservation sense, it's indicative of a terrible plan and it's simply a waste.

Finally, we're concerned that even after the Mayor has raised concerns about the design in the UMC/LSU Footprint, the design is not yet guaranteed to be improved when it is implemented.  What about the Goody Clancy study?  What about the street grid?  What about the acres of unnecessary parking lot that is somehow worth forcing people from their homes?

Given all of these concerns, we call on citizens to contact their local, state, and federal representatives to let them know about the situation in Lower Mid-City.

Mayor Landrieu Meets with Save Charity Advocates at City Hall, Accepts Over 10,000 Petitions

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu met with a delegation of concerned citizens today at City Hall to accept over 10,000 petitions urging him to restore, renew, and reopen historic Charity Hospital.


The delegation represented a cross-section of life in New Orleans.  Ministers, a prominent jazz musician, a civil rights lawyer, a small business owner, Charity Hospital Babies, social justice advocates, and concerned citizens presented the petitions, which were collected over the course of two months.

The delegation urged the Mayor to halt the demolitions that began two weeks ago in the footprint of the proposed UMC hospital.  Adequate funding to build the UMC, which will ostensibly replace Charity Hospital, is not presently in place.

Please contact Mayor Landrieu to thank him for listening to the voice of the majority of citizens in New Orleans.  Urge him to halt further demolition of Lower Mid-City - tell him reopening Charity is the better approach for the long run.

Mayor: (504) 658-4900

Urgent: Call for a moratorium on demolitions in the LSU/VA Footprint

Given the continuing uncertainty surrounding the financing for the proposed University Medical Center (UMC) in Lower Mid-City, we ask you to call upon Mayor Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council to stop demolitions in the LSU/VA Hospitals Footprint:


Mayor Landrieu: (504) 658-4900

Jackie Clarkson: (504) 658-1070

Arnie Fielkow: (504) 658-1060

Susan Guidry: (504) 658-1010

Kristin Palmer: (504) 658-1030

Stacy Head: (504) 658 -1020

Cynthia Hedge-Morell: (504) 658-1040

Jon Johnson: (504) 658-1050


LSU and the State of Louisiana do not have adequate financing lined up to complete their half of the project at this time - yet they are continuing with expropriation and acquisition of properties.  The state's fiscal difficulties are coming increasingly into focus.  Other state-funded health facilities around Louisiana are being shut down or funded at significantly lower rates - all at a time when it is now known that operating LSU's proposed replacement for Charity Hospital in New Orleans would require a hefty state subsidy of approximately $100 million annually.

Additionally, the UMC Corporation Board is pursuing federal HUD assurances for hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowing that is necessary to even complete the hospital proposed for the LSU Footprint.  There is no guarantee that the UMC Board will succeed; historically only 25% of applicants are successful.  If the application is rejected, the project's credibility in the bond market will be ruined.

All of this uncertainty renders the continued push to dismantle Lower Mid-City irresponsible.  Destroying a neighborhood of historic homes is unacceptable without even minimal guarantees that the project will come to fruition. reported to the Council that more than 10,000 people have signed a petition asking Mayor Mitchell Landrieu to re-open the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Charity Hospital.

Contact your public officials and tell them: no demolitions in the LSU/VA Footprint until the full legal and financial ramifications of the project are known to the citizens of New Orleans.


Additional Resources:

Panel gives Nucor priority for funding

Hospital plans defy the state's budget realities: A letter to the editor

Charity Hospital advocates hope for fresh start with seating of new board

Video: Treasurer Kennedy's On The fiscal Realities Of The Proposed UMC Hospital

More than 26 neighborhood and community organizations hosted a presentation on July 26 where State Treasurer John Kennedy explained the fiscal realities of the proposed UMC Medical Center.  For those of you who may not have been able to attend, we are pleased to bring you the Treasurer's opening comments via video.

Much information was revealed during the evening.  The Treasurer devoted most of his time taking questions and comments from the audience at the well-attended two hour meeting. It was truly a breath of fresh air for many attendees to finally have their voices heard by a public official who was forthcoming with all the facts and figures that people requested.

No dog and pony show here folks!

Audience comments and questions will be added as soon as the video is processed.

Call Speaker Jim Tucker! HCR 59 Pushed To Today - Tuesday June 21, 2011‏

Dear supporters,

If you have already taken action on HCR 59 - thank you so much!  There's one more important thing you can do:

Just to give you a quick update, In the race to address all bills up for debate before this legislative session expires on Thursday, lawmakers have pushed HCR 59 to Tuesday June 21, 2011. 

Last Thursday we sent out an email asking you to contact your legislators to ask them to support HCR 59.  The bill requires that funding for the new UMC Academic Medical Center in New Orleans must be approved by the full house and full senate.   This bill will bring much needed oversight to a process that has been neither transparent nor accountable to citizens of the State of Louisiana.


If you haven't already, Sign The Petition to ask State House Representatives to pass HCR 59.
Then, take a couple of minutes and Call Your Legislators - and - Speaker Jim Tucker and let them know you want them to support HCR 59!

As this project will be partly State funded and State subsidized, the issue effects us all.  Unnecessary money that is spent on building and sustaining a design that will not cash flow takes other money away from much needed projects to return and improve healthcare to New Orleans and other hospitals as well as other important capital outlay needs around the State.

There are still many uncertainties surrounding the University Medical Center [UMC] proposal to build a new teaching Academic Medical Center in New Orleans. Of concern is:

1.  The publicly accountable UMC board is at least 400 million dollars short of the stated goal of 1.2 billion dollars in financing.

2.  After six years, both LSU and the UMCMC have FAILED to produce a business plan - likely jeopardizing HUD mortgage backed financing which will reduce the UMC board to having to sell junk bonds to make up the $400 million dollar shortfall.  The State would be on the hook to make up for bond defaults -- potentially imperiling our ability to issue bonds for other important projects.

3.  Kaufman-Hall, a well respected financial consulting firm that deals specifically with healthcare issues, recently released a report at the behest of the independent and publicly accountable UMC board. It said that the LSU/UMC project as presently proposed is unsustainable in the long term. Kaufman-Hall said that the idea for a 424 bed hospital will not cash flow and is fiscally unsustainable in a market that is already over-built with more hospital beds per capita than the national average.

4. There are more fiscally responsible plans that exist which deserve to also be considered. In addition to the Vitter/Tucker/Kennedy proposal - [PDF attached] - the RMJM / FHL Medical Center of Louisiana-Charity Hospital plan should also be considered. This $600,000 study to determine whether Charity Hospital could be transformed into a 21st century academic medical center was conducted in 2008 under authorization of HCR 89, 2006 Regular Louisiana Legislature Session and will be of great benefit to any new study.

Take Action Now!

Thank you so much for your continued support!

Your friends at

Action: Not too late! HCR 59 pushed to Tuesday June 21, 2011

Dear supporter,

The debate over where to rebuild the new replacement hospital for the "LSU/State shuttered" Charity Hospital is raging and puts retrofitting Charity Hospital back on the table!  [Letter from the Governor asking the UMC board to consider all options for the new hospital - "beyond those in existing studies" - is attached].

Part of the renewed efforts to retrofit the new hospital inside the existing shell of the Reverend Avery C. Alexander Charity Hospital is House Concurrent Resolution 59.  In the race to address all bills up for debate before this legislative session expires, lawmakers have pushed HCR 59 to Tuesday June 21, 2011.  We have created an easy one stop shop form that explains the bill and that you can use to ask all House Representatives to pass HCR 59.

On Thursday we sent out an email asking you to contact your legislators to ask them to support HCR 59.  The bill requires that funding for the new UMC Academic Medical Center in New Orleans must be approved by the full house and full senate.   This bill will bring much needed oversight to a process that has been neither transparent nor accountable to citizens of the State of Louisiana.

As this project will be partly State funded and State subsidized, the issue effects us all.  Unnecessary money that is spent on building and sustaining a design that will not cash flow takes other money away from much needed projects to return and improve healthcare to New Orleans and other hospitals as well as other important capital outlay needs around the State.

Take Action Now!

Thank you so much for your continued support!

Your friends at

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