NEW ORLEANS -- It was a milestone in the Road To Recovery when they cut the ribbon at the new $90 million St. Bernard Parish Hospital.
Among the 180 staffers going to work there are doctors and nurses who worked at the old hospital that was destroyed in the Katrina flood.
"I'm very excited, and you know one of the things I'm most excited about is the team of physicians we were able to pull together for this project," said Hospital Service District Chairman Wayne Landry. "Our emergency room physician, if I was ever to need emergency room care, he's the one I would want to go to. His name is Dr. Scott."
It features an emergency room open around the clock, 40 beds in the hospital, four operating rooms, an intensive care unit, a variety of medical services and a new medical office building next door that will have a free clinic when it is completed in about a month.
So exactly when does St. Bernard Parish Hospital actually open? Wayne Landry said the state will arrive Wednesday to begin the licensing process, and then later in the month of August, the hospital opens and begins treating patients. And then the accreditation team arrives for its inspection Sept. 5.
Hospital leaders predict the facility will become an economic development anchor for St. Bernard worth $60 million.
"I think this is a big shot in the arm, excuse the pun, as an injection of good will and great economic development opportunities for St. Bernard Parish," said Landry.
"We haven't had as hospital since Katrina, and it's amazing," said Amy Lightell of the Hospital's Food Services division. "I live in St. Bernard, and to work here in St. Bernard, it's great."