Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Charity Hospital: Win!

November 17th, 2009 – The Commission on Streamlining Government, by a 7-3 vote, moved to order the first independent evaluation of the proposed LSU/VA medical centers, weighing all possible alternatives with regard to location, size and financing.

The vote is a stunning victory for advocates of Charity Hospital, Lower Mid-City residents and business owners, in addition to healthcare access activists. An independent evaluation of the hospital proposals represents a critical demand of a growing coalition of more than 80 organizations, and over three quarters of registered New Orleans voters in a recent Renwick poll.

The motion, offered by Commission Chair, State Senator Jack Donahue (R - Mandeville), would also require an independent evaluation of the business model guiding LSU's ability to repay the loans it needs to pay for the construction of the proposed Lower Mid-City facility.

The Commission on Streamlining Government is comprised of legislative leaders and other state officials and charged by the Governor and Legislature with eliminating wasteful projects and inefficient state programs. For years, there has been growing concerns regarding the fiscal responsibility of the $1.2 billion proposed LSU medical center. The concerns include the lack of financing for the construction of the project and the effects of federal healthcare reform on the operating costs. These are in addition to the external costs of relocating the medical district outside of downtown New Orleans and expropriating and destroying a recovering neighborhood in Lower Mid-City.

An alternative proposal to gut and rebuild Charity Hospital as a modern 21st-Century state-of-the-art teaching hospital, developed by the architectural firm RMJM Hillier, saves hundreds of millions of dollars and years of construction compared to the LSU proposal to level and build on Lower Mid-City. The current proposals has become a quagmire, attracting four lawsuits, escalating costs, and the return of needed healthcare facilities nowhere in sight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Someone invite me to something fancy

So the other day I received an amazing package in the mail - full of awesome clothes from my cousin Andrea in New York. This dress was only one of the fabulous things inside.

Now I just need an excuse to wear this out of the house! Anyone have any ideas?