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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NOAH Meeting Tonight

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 5:02 PM

The New Orleans City Council will be holding an after-hours meeting, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., to discuss the planned closing of the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (NOAH). The Council decided to hold the NOAH meeting during the evening in order to allow concerned citizens, who might not otherwise be able, to attend.

     “This evening meeting is an 'after-hours' opportunity for all citizens to come and state your feelings on NOAH,” says Council Vice-President Arnie Fielkow.

     As we pointed out in a recent commentary, Gov. Jindal and Alan Levine, secretary of the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals, would like to move NOAH’s 46 inpatient mental health beds across Lake Pontchartrain to Mandeville’s Southeast Louisiana Hospital in order to save the state $9 million. Local mental health experts feel this is a bad idea because it takes the family out of the healing equation. Many of NOAH's patients come from poor families who lack private transportation; there is no public transportation from New Orleans to Mandeville.

     Closing the hospital will also affect the local economy by taking skilled nursing jobs and other mental health positions and transferring them to the Northshore.

     Louisiana’s ACORN is organizing the meeting, which will include Judge Calvin Johnson, executive director of Metropolitan Human Services District; Cecile Tebo from NOPD’s Crisis Unit; Dr. Kevin Stephens, director of the city’s health department and other mental health care providers and experts.

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