Squandered Heritage Vintage

LSU VA Public meetings

US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the State of Louisiana (State) announce

VA Medical Center (VAMC) and Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (MCLNO) Site Selection Public Informational Meetings

Meeting Date: Thursday, June 26, 2008

Location: Grace Episcopal Church, 3700 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Billygoat Park

    Will the public have any opportunity to have a meaningful discussion of hospital placement options, or is the community expected to question nothing, say nothing, and submit to a predetermined fate?

    Will the community merely be told, as they were at the November 29th meeting at LSUHSC, that they may neither ask questions nor have those questions answered?

    Are Thursday’s meetings subject to public meeting regulations? Will they be documented?

    Was the November 29, 2007 meeting at LSUHSC subject to public meeting laws? If so, are transcripts available?

  • Billygoat Park

    When, where, and how have these meetings been publicly advertised? There appeared to be no notice in today’s Times-Picayune.

  • Billygoat Park

    Why was a building permit moratorium imposed and why does it remain in effect for only one of the hospital sites currently under consideration and review by the VA? Since that moratorium is alleged to be a review process and not a ban, how many permits have been requested within the affected area and, of those, how many have been granted?

  • amy

    best quote from the nola.com comments about Charity today:

    Posted by jacquesass on 07/12/08 at 4:19PM

    “As a doctor who trained at Charity/UH before and after the storm, I have to say that nothing could make me happier than this headline.

    After Katrina, both UH and Charity took on water and were damaged. Charity’s physical plant was old (and not up to JCAHO standards), but after the tireless work of the ER attendings and residents (and the military assisting with the cleanup process) – Charity could have been reopened. UH also took on water, but it was mostly in the basement (kitchen, OR sterilization, some physical plant) and a little roof damage.

    Dr. Thomas, here, decided that it was time to con FEMA out of the money to build himself a brand new hospital. Both UH and Charity were declared “total losses” by Thomas. FEMA’s inspectors agreed with the assessment of Charity, given the overall age of the facility (which doesn’t mean it isn’t salvageable). UH was ruled repairable. Thomas went through 4 architectural inspection firms before he could find one that would agree that UH wasn’t fixable. FEMA, again, disagreed stating that they wouldn’t pay for replacing UH. Thomas then “resurrected” UH in a matter of months by upgrading/fixing very little, patching the roof and renaming it “LSU Interim Hospital” – but he only did this because his inaction at UH was starting to make the state legislators and the VA (rightfully) doubt that the new joint VA/Charity could succeed with this man at the helm.

    Why is this bad? This took almost a year and a half. During this time, the indigent of NOLA had to scramble for care – or didn’t seek care at all for fear of going to a private hospital and owing large bills. The private hospitals took huge losses to care for these uninsured. The med students and residents had to scatter all over the state to try and continue their training.

    In other words, nobody did more to hinder the revival of NOLA medical care than Dr. Thomas – and all because he wanted a bigger, newer playground to rule over. NOLA – and MCLNO – is better for his exit.”


    “Jacquesass brings up very important points regarding the atttempt to reopen Big Charity and UH following Hurricane Katrina. In the wake of this latest action, I believe we need to revisit the whole episode — that we essentially had a functioning if damaged healthcare facility closed, in favor of tents in the South Johnson Street parking lot, tents on the floor of the Convention Center, as well as cuurently makeshift conditions at Lord & Taylor — THIS IS THE SCANDAL THAT NEEDS INVESTIGATION which potentially Dr. Thomas, Dr. Smithburg, Dr. Butler, Dr. Cerise, Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Hollier may singly or collectively be held accountable.”

    We should see what’s up with these doctors.

  • Billygoat Park

    “The impartial adminstration of justice is the foundation of liberty. “

    Why has the city reprented hospital site selection as a done deal if other and, frankly, more viable options are on the table? The addition of the old Lindy Boggs (Mercy) site to those under consideration actually makes sense.

    Why does the building permit moratorium remain in place on the RPC footprint? Is it only residents and small business owners who are so encumbered? What about the City Hall annex and the old Claiborne Towers?

    Within the area bounded by Claiborne, Canal, Rocheblave and Tulane, how many permits have been sought and, of those, how many were granted?

  • Billygoat Park

    Why does the public comment period regarding history and cultural elements within the Regional Planning Commission’s preferred footprint end two days BEFORE Monday’s pubic meeting to discuss the Lindy Boggs site?