The creation of a new medical complex will be the largest economic development project in the city's history, yet decisions are being made behind closed doors, without transparency, and without citizen involvement. No public hearings have been held by the City Planning Commission or the City Council on the $1.2 billion project, because no evaluation of alternative proposals for the medical complex have taken plan by the Planning Commission staff. The decision to shutter Charity Hospital in the first place remains shrouded in mystery and controversy. When municipal, state, and federal agencies entered into cooperative endeavor agreements and binding memorandums of understanding to acquire individually-owned lands in Lower Mid-City, the decisions were made behind closed doors without any basic disclosure to the affected public, let alone the opportunity for input. Similarly, the impetus for the creation of the Greater New Orleans Biomedical Development District (GNOBEDD) to provide special tax status for an even wider area including almost all of Mid City remains unknown. Because the city is an active participant in the LSU/VA decision, citizens are increasingly disenchanted with the planning process. New Orleans City Council members have done nothing to lead on this issue and ensure that their constituents are heard. Citizens of New Orleans ask why they should remain involved in the planning process to produce the Master Plan to guide the city into the future when the hired planners have been told not to include the medical district in plan. It is becoming clear to many citizens that the most significant economic/health decision facing New Orleans is being made behind closed doors.

Below you will find a collection of articles pertaining to the government transparency issue:

Lawsuit: Thurman vs. Nagin

Petition filed for Thurman vs. Nagin, on July 14th, 2009. Lawsuit was filed in Civil District Court that argues that Mayor C. Ray Nagin repeatedly violated the New Orleans City Charter in authorizing the seizure of private property and the closure of public streets for the proposed Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Letter to President Obama corrects Cao's "False Assertion" about Charity Hospital

Letter to President Obama correcting Congressman Cao's assertion that Charity Hospital was "completely destroyed" by Hurricane Katrina. Signed by General Honore, Advocates For Environmental Human Rights, Louisiana Justice Institute, Doctors For Charity Hospital, Louisiana Healthcare Consortium

LSU President John Lombardi on Charity

On May 27th, 2009, LSU President, Dr. John V. Lombardi gave a speech entitled "A Case for the New LSU Academic Medical Center" at a LSU Health Sciences Foundation sponsored event in New Orleans. During his talk, he discussed many aspects of the new academic medical center.

You can listen to the entire talk at the LSU Health Sciences Center website.

Below, are several clips from Dr. Lombardi's speech.


Louisiana Legislators should "Get out of our way"



New Orleans is "Hung up on these historical things":


LSU has already presented "Five business plans":

"Are we going to preserve old New Orleans in amber?":

New Orleans could "End up like General Motors":

James Gill: "LSU hospital's prognosis gets worse"

LSU says its spiffy new medical complex, after gobbling up a vast tract of Mid-City, can be ready to open in 2013. If LSU says it, that should be good enough for anybody. It won't open in 2013 for sure. Whether it ever will is the question. The answer looks increasingly like no.

Perhaps this is a shame; with the up-to-the-minute plant envisaged by LSU, New Orleans could pack in more invalids than Lourdes. The streets would be thronged by doctors, medical researchers and students. The economy would just hum along, and the old town would enjoy new prestige across the land.

So say proponents of the new complex, and nobody can deny that we could use the boost that would come from a medical campus also incorporating the new Veterans Affairs hospital, which is due to open in 2012. That date is a real one, for the VA has its money lined up. Not so LSU.

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Picayune: "Planning Commission to hold forum on hospitals"

Times-Picayune: "Planning Commission to hold forum on hospitals: Panel urged to join debate though it lacks jurisdiction"

The City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting May 28 on plans for new Veterans Affairs and Louisiana State University hospitals in New Orleans. The session will begin at 4 p.m. in the City Council chamber at City Hall and is expected to run several hours.

The meeting is being termed a "special forum" rather than a public hearing because the commission has nothing on its agenda requiring action related to plans for the two hospitals. Commission leaders said the panel has no jurisdiction over the projects.

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