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Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst &Gambit columnist

It's been a long time coming, but New Orleans East is finally getting the health care it needs.

The new city-owned hospital opened quietly one month ago today. Before that, New Orleans East had gone almost nine years without a full-service hospital. Hurricane Katrina shut down Methodist Hospital in 2005.

With 80 beds, the new hospital is much smaller than Methodist, but it nonetheless offers primary and pediatric care, as well as surgical services.

The new facility is managed by the same group that runs Children's Hospital, along with Interim LSU Hospital, Touro Infirmary and, someday, the new University Medical Center in Mid-City.

One reason the new hospital opened quietly is because it is not yet accredited. But that process is expected to begin soon, possibly this month.

In addition to bringing urgently needed medical care to New Orleans East, the hospital also will be an economic driver. It already has more than 170 employees, including more than 60 doctors.

All in all, the hospital's quiet opening speaks volumes about New Orleans East, and its long road to recovery.

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