LACOMBE – A major medical void in the New Orleans area caused by bankruptcy is being filled.

Covington-based Sterling Properties purchased the former Louisiana Heart Hospital in Lacombe in May for $22 million.

The facility on Highway 434 had been shuttered since its abrupt closure in February, leaving dozens of employees without work and forcing patients to travel further for treatment.

Sterling leaders say they will keep the building operating in a medical capacity and have a few inquiries from the community about leasing possibilities.

The Louisiana Heart Hospital announced in January that it planned to file for bankruptcy because the hospital faced “significant financial challenges.” The hospital, which specialized in heart health, opened in 2003 and had 134 beds.