A focal point of healthcare excellence, the new University Medical Center (UMC) will combine academics and science to provide comprehensive treatment and trauma services as well as graduate medical education programs for future generations.
Featuring the most advanced technology available, diagnostic and treatment areas of the new, 424-bed UMC, operated by a non-profit governing board, will encompass a wide range of services focused on creating healing environments that support patients and their families. Equally important, the new hospital will serve as a major training center for the education of medical professionals for generations to come.
Situated on 34 acres on a square bounded by Canal Street, South Galvez, Tulane Avenue and South Claiborne Avenue, the $1.2 billion medical center will be the cornerstone of a biomedical district that will attract the world’s top medical professionals while delivering high quality health care, advanced research and Level One trauma care.
In addition to the inpatient services and trauma care, the center will host a cancer program including radiation therapy and a chemotherapy clinic; outpatient surgery; outpatient imaging; and rehabilitation services. Treatment areas are being designed to maximize collaboration with the adjacent Veterans Affairs Medical Center by creating efficiencies through the location of adjacent diagnostic services and parallel outpatient services.
The UMC is sized to meet projected patient volumes and reasonable growth that accommodates the clinical needs as well as the medical education needs of the state. Filled with natural light, the facility will be easily accessible for patients walking, in wheelchairs, and in beds because of an intuitive layout that includes an easily understood signage system.
The new University Medical Center will be built with structural steel and designed to meet flood-resistant construction standards. First floors of hospital and medical office buildings that house critical functions will be built 22 feet above sea level, well beyond the five-foot Base Flood Elevation for the hospital site. Storm-proofing technology, including robust emergency electrical backup power, will allow the medical center to withstand up to Category Three hurricanes as well as tornadoes, nuclear or biological accidents, physical attacks, fires, chemical, biological and radiation hazards, all while remaining in operation for up to a week with virtually no outside support or backup supplies.
Communication systems for the UMC will consist of active electronic patient record systems that are part of dynamic Local Area and Wireless Data networks that include a variety of telephone, teleconferencing, and nurse call systems. The electronic records system also will connect to Louisiana’s new statewide electronic patient records system, which is in its initial deployment stage.
Construction is expected to begin in the late 2010 with tentative completion expected by the end of 2013. The combined UMC and VA medical centers are expected to generate an annual $1.26 billion economic impact and create more than 19,700 permanent jobs in the New Orleans area.
Beyond its economic impact, however, the UMC will serve as an important referral center for patients from community hospitals throughout the region. The only hospital in South Louisiana with a Level 1 Trauma Center, the UMC will take on the most severely injured patients. The UMC heliport will permit quick transport of those needing immediate attention because of traumatic injuries.
With treatment centers for complex and high-risk patients, the UMC will treat complex disease states with sophisticated healthcare services. Highly trained specialists will provide healthcare unavailable anywhere else in South Louisiana.
The UMC’s wide-ranging staff expertise will attract patients seeking the best possible medical services in the best possible environment whether they have robust insurance coverage, are uninsured, or somewhere in between. This model will more closely approximate the traditional model of academic health centers seen across the country in which the UMC will be a point of destination for those with options for their care while remaining available to anyone in need, regardless of financial circumstances, maintaining the enduring Louisiana tradition of compassionate, quality health care for all.