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New Orleans East Hospital opening is another sign of recovery, officials say

Another milestone in the road to recovery for eastern New Orleans took place Wednesday (Aug. 20) as Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined hospital officials and residents to celebrate the opening of the New Orleans East Hospital, 5620 Read Blvd.

Officials said the new hospital will help push the area's recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans east in 2005.

The 80-bed hospital began offering patient services July 1. Hospital CEO Dr. Mario Garner said the facility will provide primary care, pediatric care, pharmacy services, rehabilitation and surgical services to residents.

"So somewhere in the continuum all of your health care service needs can be met," Garner said.

Most of the critical services of the $130 million hospital are on the second floor. Garner said that was to prevent major damage in the event of a storm.

"Our generators are on the roof and the skin of our building is actually built to withstand hurricane force winds," Garner said.

The construction of the hospital created 300 jobs and the hospital currently has 150 employees. The hospital also has received full accreditation from the Joint Commission, the nation's leading health care accreditation body.

"We had surveyors from the Joint Commission here with us for four days to assess our building, to assess our policies, and to assess our operations and we passed with flying colors," Garner said.

Garner said the hospital's mission is to give residents: courtesy, concern, kindness and compassion.

"I think that's bled over to our patients and I think we're going to establish a loyal patient base in this community," Garner said.

- By Prescotte Stokes III, | The Times-Picayune

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