Happening Today: New Orleans VA hospital opens, will serve veterans in the region

Happening Today: New VA opens in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Since Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been working to build a new veterans hospital. The result will be unveiled Friday morning.

Among those expected to be in attendance to mark the opening are Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Senator Bill Cassidy and the Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald.

The new medical center is expected serve 70,000 veterans throughout the Gulf Coast region.

It is also estimated that the hospital will serve around 500,000 out-patients per year.

This new complex replaces the 50-year-old VA hospital that previously flooded.

"We'll have additional services for mental health patients, we'll have additional services for neurology and traumatic brain injury, which is one of the common injuries from our recent conflicts," said Fernando Rivera, Director of the VA Medical Center.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony begins 9 a.m. Friday, followed by a tour of the facility.

The hospital will begin serving patients December 5.

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