Sunday, June 27, 2010

More on NOLA VA Medical Care Campus

VA breaks ground for new hospital in Mid-City

June 25, 2010 Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki led a parade of elected officials who launched construction of a new veterans medical complex in Mid-City on Friday, with the secretary promising retired, active and future military service men and women that the New Orleans facility will serve them for generations to come.

{ Chris Granger, The Times-PicayuneHarry Pigman, left, points out details of a scale model of the VA medical center on Friday. At right, one of the main designers, A.J. Montero, talks with guests. ]

"We are keeping faith with those who have kept faith with us," said Shinseki, a retired Army general who served in Vietnam and rose to become U.S. Army chief of staff. "New Orleans is one of those great cities of America ... and of the world. We are proud to be part of your city."

The $800 million complex is slated to open in late 2013, more than eight years after Hurricane Katrina damaged the VA hospital in the downtown medical district. That facility currently houses limited clinic operations, while the VA has contracted with Tulane Medical Center to provide hospital care.

The 30-acre plus campus is bound by South Rocheblave Street, Canal Street, South Galvez Street and Tulane Avenue. The complex will contain 1.7 million square feet -- about 70 percent larger than Charity Hospital -- with outpatient exam rooms, 200 hospital rooms, 20 intervention and surgery rooms, an emergency department, a research facility, rehabilitation services and a mental health division. The campus also will include a 1,000-space parking garage. The hospital is slated to employ 2,200 people, with an average salary of $95,000. Continued

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