New Orleans East Hospital
Backstory and Context
In 1958, a delicious pastry at a Methodist Church meeting brought two people together to Discuss the idea of establishing theMethodist Hospital. There was a lack of critical care hospitals in the New Orleans East area. Many New Orleans East citizens were of families with serious health conditions, who wanted change in their local health services.1
The person who introduced the idea of making the hospital was Kenneth Schor. Schor was part of a local Methodist Church group that helped him plan numerous ideas for the hospital. Since there were no accessible hospitals in the New Orleans East area, this made the urgency for hospital care in the area more prominent. Usually, “a wait of forty-five days for elective surgery was not uncommon” for the locals of the New Orleans East area. The idea of a new hospital gained support from the community and the Methodist Church. When Schor and the church began the foundation for the project, the hospital was originally given the name “Gentilly East Hospital;” however, the name was changed to Methodist Hospital in 1962.2
Construction costs for the Methodist Hospital began at 3.5 million dollars. With this large goal, Schor sought help. Reverend Koelemay played a pivotal role in this whole project as well. Koelemay “spearheaded the massive undertaking by challenging every Methodist Church minister in Louisiana, along with state and local government officials, business and civic leaders and citizens in the primary service area, to pledge their financial participation in this community service project.” 3 Koelemay’s assertive power allowed the project to acquire lots of financial help.
The purpose of building the Methodist Hospital was to establish faster and closer health services for nearby areas of the New Orleans East area. The only place possible for the construction of the hospital was on the eastern side of the industrial canal. This was a good site since many fatal accidents and heart attacks occurred around this area. Fortunately, Schor was able to acquire 22.5 acres for the hospital. Thus, Methodist Hospital opened in the year of 1968.4
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans, especially the East area. The New Orleans East community was not thriving. With this, Methodist Hospital closed down due to the horrific hurricane. The Methodist Health System Foundation made temporary offices in the meantime.5 Due to the devastating hurricane that had took place, the community was left in an unstable position. An outcome of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction was the closing of Methodist Hospital.6
Mayor Mitchell Landrieu took action in this community when he took office in 2010 and decided that having a hospital was absolutely necessary. Methodist Hospital itself did not re-open again, but another hospital took its place. The newly formed hospital was officially named New Orleans East Hospital. The hospital aimed “to serve the existing census base in its primary service areas, New Orleans East, Gentilly and the Lower Ninth,” said Hyma Moore, a spokesperson for the hospital. New Orleans East Hospital opened on July 12, 2014 and got accreditation on August 18, 2014. In the same year of its opening ceremony, statistics showed that the hospital treated more than 2,500 in the E.R department and admitted more than 140 patients that needed higher level care.7The New Orleans East Hospital is currently open and serving people around the New Orleans East Area. The Lack of care needed in this area is what drove the community of families around to advocate for this health system. There are over 120 physicians on staff at New Orleans East Hospital, all of whom are dedicated to improving the health of patients in New Orleans East and Gentilly.8
2 Tgg-Staff. "History." Methodist Health System.
3 Tgg-Staff. "History."
4 Tgg-Staff. "History."
5 Tgg-Staff. "History."
6 "HCD Mag." Health Care Design Magazine. Accessed February 22, 2019. https://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/architecture/bringing-katrina-devastated-hospital-back-life/.
7 Michael Patrick Welch. Louisianaweekly.com. Accessed February 22, 2019. http://www.louisianaweekly.com/methodist-hospital-reopens-with-new-name-fewer-beds/.
8 "Home." The New Orleans East Hospital - District A. Accessed March 21, 2019. http://www.noehospital.org/main/home.