UMC expected to boost medical education, attract researchers

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The new LSU teaching hospital, University Medical Center New Orleans, opens its doors to patients August 1, and local health care professionals said it will be great for medical education and will help attract scientists involved in cutting edge medical research.

"It will more than double the number of patients that we have access to," said Dr. Larry Hollier, M.D., Chancellor of LSU Health New Orleans.

UMC New Orleans hopes to become a destination medical complex for people needing medical care from near and far.

Every inch of the billion dollar mammoth medical complex which has three patient towers is modern from the furnishings, and the best medical equipment around.

"Intra-operative imaging to make sure you have all of the tumor out right there on the table before the patient ever leaves that's an important element," said Dr. Hollier.

Dr. Hollier says all that UMC New Orleans offers will serve as a magnet for top notch researchers and physicians.

"They're sort of like in the sports world where you have the super stars they want to go to the best team and here they want to say that they can go to one of the best hospitals in the country," said Dr. Hollier.

Dr. Cheryl Myers, Ph.D., R.N., is Dean of the Delgado Community College Charity School of Nursing.  She is thrilled their students will get training at UMC.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students being able to learn in a first-class, world-class training facility like the new University Hospital. They have access to all of the state-of-the-art equipment that we're not able to actually provide in our labs," Dr. Myers stated.

She expects the new medical complex to affect the nursing school's already-robust enrollment.

"The opportunity that working in a first-class environment like University Hospital provides will definitely serve our population and increase our enrollment," said Dr. Myers.

And it's expected that groundbreaking bio-medical research and care will be a part of UMC.

"I think what you're going to see here is a transformation of New Orleans where this will be the magnet for bio-medical research and bio-medical care that's being done," Dr. Hollier stated.

And like its predecessor, the long shuttered "Big Charity" Hospital, UMC New Orleans remains the place where visiting dignitaries would end up should an emergency arise.

"We're the Level 1 Trauma Center for the region, so any head of state that would be here, this would be the designated site for emergency response," Dr. Hollier stated.

The business model for UMC includes both insured and uninsured patients.

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