Governor Bobby Jindal, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, LSU, Tulane, and business and healthcare groups applauded the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget's approval today of the construction and financing of the University Medical Center (UMC)
Governor Jindal said, "Today's approval represents a giant step forward towards building a hospital that is a safety net for folks who need access to healthcare services, a first-class teaching facility to train future generations of medical professionals, a regional center of excellence, and a vehicle for increased research and development and more economic development. The UMC Board has a business plan that lowers the overall construction costs, reduces annual expenses to the state, calls for no state bond debt financing and is a strong foundation to build a hospital that will move New Orleans and Louisiana to the forefront of modern medicine and medical research."
Mayor Landrieu said, "The University Medical Center will be a world-class research facility and teaching hospital that will anchor a biomedical corridor in the heart of our city. We have a unique opportunity to create a new knowledge-based economy and deliver high-quality patient care and clearing the way for construction is a major step forward. The UMC will create thousands of new jobs, additional research dollars and talent and a stronger safety net for our residents. The UMC, with its new business plan, has the potential to be the largest, most catalytic economic development project in this city's history and will place our city and state at the forefront of innovation and change in America."
President of the Louisiana State University System Dr. John Lombardi said, "Clearing the way for construction to begin is a major step forward toward realizing our long-sought goal of constructing a major teaching hospital and medical center that will ensure the future of world-class medical treatment, research, and graduate medical education for Louisiana. The new University Medical Center will impact the entire state, creating thousands of good-paying jobs both during construction and in the years to come. The approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget is a singular moment for academic medical training and health care delivery and LSU appreciates the support of Governor Jindal and legislators in bringing this facility to New Orleans and the state."
Tulane University President Scott Cowen said, "Tulane University strongly supports the University Medical Center, which will provide care for our citizens, educate our medical students and provide high-paying jobs for years to come. For almost two centuries Tulane has been a mainstay in health care in New Orleans, and the university believes the UMC will continue the tradition of providing access to quality care for every member of our community."
LSU System Vice President for Health Affairs Fred Cerise said, "Today's vote marks a milestone in the future of graduate medical education and patient care for LSU and Louisiana. It's time to move forward and begin the construction of a state of the art teaching hospital that will produce the next generation of medical professionals and will provide comprehensive healthcare to the region. LSU already provides the large majority of physicians and other healthcare workers for Louisiana and this university medical center will provide a modern environment to support the highest quality patient care, education and research typical of other top university medical centers in the country."
GNO Inc President and CEO Michael Hecht said, "GNO, Inc. applauds the approval of the financing and construction for the University Medical Center. Now, it is time to focus on how the UMC and the medical corridor will not only provide world-class healthcare for our citizens but also realize their great potential as engines of economic development. Specifically, there is great opportunity for job and wealth creation via destination healthcare, research commercialization, and support businesses for the medical corridor. GNO, Inc. looks forward to working with the UMC to ensure that this economic potential is fully realized."
President and CEO of the BioDistrict James P. McNamara said, "BioDistrict New Orleans has been a long time supporter of the University Medical Center's construction. In addition to its role as a major teaching institution for the next generations of our state's physicians and partner with the newest and most modern VA Medical Center in the nation, the UMC will be the catalyst for our world class biosciences and biomedical industries. The UMC will be the anchor of the State's innovative economy built on the foundation of a more educated workforce and commercialization of university research. All of this is in addition to the UMC satisfying a desperate need in our community for the most modern health care that will be possible now through the realization of this hard fought effort. Your decision today will benefit Louisianians throughout the 21st century."
New Orleans Business Alliance President and CEO Rodrick Miller said, "The UMC Teaching Hospital will be a center for innovation and learning that will dramatically increase the quality of care options for patients in New Orleans, and serve as a key economic engine to spur job growth and new investment in the community. Getting this hospital on-line will solidify Louisiana's long-term commitments to expand high quality healthcare options for New Orleanians and support a robust bio-medical industry."
NOLA Business Alliance Chairman Henry L. Coaxum, Jr. said, "The economic and health care future of New Orleans is brighter because we are moving forward on this important University Medical Center project. The new UMC business plan gives us an unprecedented opportunity to diversify and grow our economy."
New Orleans City Council- District C Council Member Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, "The UMC project is vital to the continued progress of our city. It will not only create jobs and a world class medical facility, but it will also be a major catalyst for economic development in the area along with the new VA Hospital, the redevelopment of Canal Street and the Iberville public housing complex."
Business Council of New Orleans Managing Director Bob Brown said, "The New Orleans Business Council is in full and enthusiastic support of the development of the University Medical Center as quickly as it can be responsibly done. The restoration of high-quality health care-particularly for low-income citizens and the indigent, is critical to the return to full health and vibrancy for the New Orleans region. Likewise, a robust higher education, research and medical education enterprise, led by Louisiana State and Tulane universities, will redound to the benefit of the entire state. This initiative is a key element in the attraction, retention and expansion of businesses and a highly qualified workforce. There can be no more powerful investment in long-term economic development for the New Orleans region."
President and CEO of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce G. Ben Johnson said, "The New Orleans Chamber of Commerce is publicly on record for its full support of the development of the BioDistrict in downtown New Orleans. The University Medical Center has and continues to be completely supported by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. The University Medical Center is the anchor for the BioDistrict. The University Medical Center, the VA hospital, the Cancer Research Consortium, and the BioInnovation Center are the beginning assets of the transformation of the City of New Orleans. The University Medical Center will attract doctors, scientists and pharmaceutical companies internationally to locate in the BioDistrict. The University Medical Center will dwarf the Convention Center and Superdome in terms of economic impact for New Orleans, the region and the State of Louisiana. This project is the largest economic development initiative in our lifetime. This initiative is preparing New Orleans and Louisiana to be on the cutting edge of a knowledge-based economy that will serve our residents for generations to come."
Downtown Development District of New Orleans President & CEO Kurt M. Weigle said, "The University Medical Center is the most important economic development project for Downtown in at least thirty years. Beyond its positive impact on healthcare and medical education statewide, for New Orleans it is an irreplaceable pillar of job & wealth creation for generations to come."