Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Charity in the News

State won't use FEMA money to renovate Charity Hospital

The State of Louisiana will not spend the $23 million it will be given by FEMA to renovate Charity Hospital, according to an official with the system.

The money is far short of the $700 million the LSU system is seeking to replace Charity with a more modern, but smaller hospital.

Iwo Jima's Damage Control Team Making an Impact in New Orleans
Armed with two of the ship’s P-100 and four electric submersible pumps, Iwo’s DCs have already removed 40,000 gallons of water from the flooded basement of the Medical Center of Louisiana’s Charity Hospital downtown.

“The waterline was almost at the top of the basement when they began dewatering,” said Charity Hospital Staff Member Dr. Jeff Johnson. “I am amazed at how fast they’ve been able to remove so much water. I didn’t expect this much progress for months. Amazing.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of these guys,” said Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) Fred Clemmons. “[Our Sailors] have the talent, desire and motivation to get this job done.”

The dewatering team will work through the night, Clemmons added, removing water from the hospital at a rate of 1,900 gallons per minute. The hospital’s basement is expected to be completely drained by Sept. 14.

Building repairs ranked by urgency

BATON ROUGE -- Prisons outrank charity hospitals, and repairing the Superdome is more urgent than fixing university buildings, according to a list that ranks the state's priorities for repairing government property damaged by Hurricane Katrina.....

Some buildings on the list might not get repaired at all. The federal government will pay to restore government buildings to their pre-storm condition, but won't pay for upgrades. "If you had a sorry facility before the storm, they will restore you back to your sorry facility," Jones said.

In the case of Charity Hospital, for example, there is broad consensus among administration officials that the building was in such disrepair before Katrina that it would make little sense to rebuild it as a hospital. The state could instead use the repair money toward building a new hospital.

"If I have anything to say about it, we're not going to rebuild Charity," Jones said.

Financing plan for LSU hospitals and health programs not complete

Dec 27, 2005 BATON ROUGE -- Financial relief for LSU's hurricane-ravaged medical school and public hospitals in New Orleans is a work in progress, despite earlier assurances from Gov. Kathleen Blanco's top budget adviser that a funding plan would be in place this month.

Charity given 11 days to vacate Convention Center

Tents serve as a mini-hospital and treat nearly 300 patients a day, but now the Convention Center wants the trauma clinic out so construction crews can move in and begin repairs.

Public health care system in N.O. nearly broke say managers

The State of Louisiana wants to tear down the buildings that housed Charity and University hospitals and replace them with a single, state-of-the-art building. The cost of that ambitious project is estimated to be $560 million and so far, FEMA said they system is only eligible for $23 million to cover equipment and damage Charity’s basement.

Some doctors have told Eyewitness News that the hospitals merely need to be fixed and renovated, but either way the negotiations are slow and no money has been sent by the government.


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