NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced more than $7.9 million in additional public assistance dollars to the Plaquemines Medical Center Hospital Service District #1 for their post-Katrina consolidated hospital project.
“Once completed, Plaquemines Parish will have a new, three-story medical facility in Port Sulphur,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “FEMA’s recent funding was provided for eligible scope of work items not previously included in the consolidated recovery project plans.”
Including FEMA’s recent grant, the federal agency has provided more than $24.6 million to date for the new hospital’s construction, which will combine medical services from two, pre-Katrina facilities—Plaquemines’ Medical Hospital and Medical Human Resources Annex building.
These two buildings were both destroyed during the storm. At the request of the owner, the Plaquemines Medical Center Hospital Service District #1, FEMA has agreed to allow the buildings’ replacement funding to be utilized to construct a combined hospital facility at 27136 Highway 23 in Port Sulphur.
“Without FEMA’s assistance, the construction of our new medical facility would not be possible,” said Plaquemines Medical Center Hospital Service District #1 Chairman of the Board Jimmy Cappiello. “Thank you to FEMA and to all those involved with this vital project, which will greatly serve the health care needs of our community for years to come.”
New project items funded by the $7.9 million grant include additional square footage for elevators, stairs and circulation space per codes and standards compliance rules, as well as constructing the hospital at a higher elevation per the latest available flood maps and National Flood Insurance Program regulations.
FEMA’s recent dollars will also support the building of a stronger facility, enabling roof construction designs that will help prevent debris in potential future storms from damaging exposed rooftop mechanical equipment.
Until the new facility’s anticipated completion in 2013, medical services throughout the Plaquemines Parish community are provided in FEMA-funded temporary facilities located in Port Sulphur.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant for eligible work completed.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations’ buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.