NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Crews are putting finishing touches on the new University Medical Center ahead of Saturday's opening.
It will be a carefully choreographed move to transport patients from Interim LSU hospital across Tulane Avenue to University Medical Center. Hospital staff will spend Friday making the final preparations.
Early Saturday morning, a team of doctors, nurses and paramedics will move about 200 patients in the old hospital to the new one. Hundreds of employees will help with the transition and get the patients settled into the new 2.3 million square-foot complex.
University Medical Center signals a new era in medicine in New Orleans. But inside you'll see tributes to the history of healthcare in the city. Designs in the lobby model the old Charity Hospital which closed after Hurricane Katrina.
However, UMC has a much different design because of what happened to Charity during the storm and in the aftermath.
"The first floor, which is this floor you're standing on, is above the Katrina flood line," Mackenzie Skene with NBBJ Architecture said. "But the second floor is above even the tidal surge, so this whole first floor is a sacrificial floor. You'll never see a cart or trash cart going through the lobby."
Business begins Saturday with the transfer of patients across the street. Clinic services begin August 10.