FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Beth Romig
Director of Public Relations
504.896.2759 504.606.8430 (cell)
Today, LCMC Health and University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC) applauded the work of Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Legislature in passing a budget that fully funds healthcare, including UMC. On Sunday, Governor Edwards signed new revenue measures into law which will stabilize the state budget. Without additional revenue and longer-term stability, the state budget crisis threatened the future of the UMC, home of the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Academic Research Hospital.
LCMC Health CEO Greg Feirn said, “We are grateful to Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Legislature for working together to ensure that UMC can continue its important mission for our community and our state. We also greatly appreciate our region’s businesses and academic partners for rallying to support UMC.”
Bill Masterton, CEO of University Medical Center said, “UMC is vital for our economy, our region’s healthcare and our state’s medical training. The Governor and our legislators ultimately heard that the critical healthcare services UMC provides are a top priority. On behalf of the more than 2,500 employees, 3,400 learners and thousands of patients who rely on UMC every day, we’d like to thank this community for rallying to support our important work. I particularly want to thank our employees who spend countless hours providing world class healthcare and who shared their experiences with their legislators in this effort.”
In May, in the face of massive projected cuts to healthcare, UMC undertook a comprehensive public affairs campaign, #UMCisVital, to educate elected leaders and the public at large. The effort included print, television, radio, social media, digital advertising, and a new website (umcisvital.org). An open letter to the legislature featuring 55 local elected, business, healthcare and civic leaders made the case for fully funding UMC. Employees, patients and concerned residents emailed or called nearly two-thirds of the Legislature, with over 3500 emails sent. A survey taken for UMC in April showed that the public opposed a budget that would have closed hospitals or dramatically impacted healthcare. Nearly 86% of respondents said they would be “very likely” or “likely” to vote for a state legislator who had voted for a budget that would keep hospitals open.
UMC serves as the largest primary academic training center for 3,400 learners, including 1,000 medical residents annually from LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University School of Medicine, and more than 2,400 future physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals from LSU Health New Orleans, Dillard University, Xavier University, Delgado Community College, University of Holy Cross, Loyola University New Orleans, and Nunez Community College. UMC is also one of the only hospitals along the Gulf Coast to have both a Level 1 Trauma Center and a licensed Burn Center. Additionally, UMC is a major economic driver for the region, is host to over 2500 good-paying jobs and maintains a Clinical Trials Unit that manages 300 trials and studies to support the research capability of the region.