Ten years after the levees and floodwalls broke during Hurricane Katrina and flooded New Orleans, the Big Easy finally has a full-scale public hospital again – a new Charity hospital.
At 6 a.m. Saturday, the brand new 1.6-million-square-foot University Medical Center New Orleans, built with $1.1 billion of federal rebuilding money, opened its doors to ambulances and the general public.
In a complex move, medical staff will transfer 200 patients into the new hospital for its first day of operations. Orchestrating the move will require closing down streets as ambulances take patients into the facility, affectionately also called the “Spirit of Charity.”
In addition, the system’s 500-strong staff of doctors, specialists, nurses and office workers will move in too.
Since Katrina, medical services have been scattered across the city.