What You Don't Know About the $2 Billion Tulane Avenue Hospitals

By Robert Hand
August 11, 2014

The largest new hospital development in the United States is the New Orleans 70 acre $2 billion combination of a new Veterans Administration hospital and, just on the other side of South Galvez Street, the new University Medical Center that will replace Charity Hospital which was rendered obsolete by Hurricane Katrina and time.

University Medical Center is 6 Teaching Schools

The University Medical Center will be anchored by LSU, Tulane, Dillard, Xavier, SUNO, Delgado, and other healthcare training schools throughout South Louisiana and 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.

 Map of VA and UMC Hospitals

map street tulane avenue hospitals

map street tulane avenue hospitals


Situated on 34 acres on a square bounded by Canal Street, South Galvez, Tulane Avenue and South Claiborne Avenue, the University Medical Center will be the cornerstone of a commercial real estate biomedical district that will attract the world’s top medical professionals while delivering high quality health care, advanced research and Level One trauma care.

University Medical Center Competitive Advantage

In addition to the inpatient services and trauma care, the University Medical 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 University Medical Center 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 University Medical Center 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.

The combined University Medical Center 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 University Medical Center 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 University Medical Center will take on the most severely injured patients. With treatment centers for complex and high-risk patients, the University Medical Center will treat complex disease states with sophisticated healthcare services. Highly trained specialists will provide healthcare unavailable anywhere else in South Louisiana.

 UMC Run By Non-Medical Financial Contributors

The University Medical Center is run by an entity called the UMC Management Corporation with 11 members from mostly political sectors. Only 2 of the 11 board members are in the health industry, with the balance on the board due to large financial donations to the nominating entity. For example:

  • the governor has 4 nominations to the board, with 3 of the 4 from businesses who donate to the governor's political campaign.
  • LSU has 4 nominations to the board, with all 4 not affiliated with the medical industry but large contributors to LSU, and one in the meat business.
  • Tulane has only one nomination, a large contributor and real estate developer.
  • Xavier's one nomination is a contributor and bank president.
  • Delgado's one nomination is one of the two in the health field, as dean of their Health Division.

Here is the list of board members:

Governor’s Selection

T.A. “Tim” Barfield

Louisiana Secretary of Revenue

Baton Rouge, LA


Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger

Chairman/CEO Bollinger Machine Shop Shipyard,Inc.

Lockport, LA


Dr. Christopher Rich

Mid--?State Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center

Alexandria, LA


David R. Voelker

Frantzen--?Voelker--?Conway Investments

New Orleans, LA


LSU’s Selection


Elaine D. Abell

Fountain Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery

Lafayette, LA


Dr. Byron R. Harrell

Baptist Community Ministries

New Orleans, LA


Stanley Jacobs


Jacobs, Manuel & Kain

New Orleans, LA


Robert “Bobby” Yarborough

Manda Fine Meats

Baton Rouge, LA


Tulane’s Selection:


Darryl D. Berger

The Berger Company

New Orleans, LA


Xavier’s Selection:

Alden J. McDonald, Jr.

Liberty Bank & Trust

New Orleans, LA


Delgado's Selection:


Mr. Harold Gaspard

Dean, Allied Health Division

Delgado Community College

New Orleans, LA

Louisiana Commercial Realty

Commercial Real Estate Experts
Robert Hand, MBA, CCIM, SIOR
Licensed in Louisiana & Mississippi
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