Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Orleans Charity hospital- Dead? But not forgotten

Having grown up medically in halls and wards of Big Charity, news items and blocs about it attract me immediately.

The March 15,2006 issue of JAMA has a poem by a physician, Dr. Wayne F. Larrabee, Jr. who trained there. The poem states in part:

"Charity Hospital, New Orleans 1735-2005 ...Generations climbed her stone steps, disappeared for years inside gray walls, learned to live thirty-six hour days and then to sleep without dreams...

Our hands remember though how to wield a knife, separate good tissue from bad, preserve vessel and nerve and something more- how to touch a dying patient whisper a wordlessly benediction and receive a blessing in return. "

The Haversion Canal blog, authored by a Tulane med student is keeping us current on a planned rally at Charity to save the hospital which has sat unoccupied since Katrina and it seems the state of Louisiana has determined it cannot be repaired and must close permanently.

The featured speakers include LSU and Tulane faculty. I wish I could be there and I wish there were some hope to salvage the institution. It is impossible to think of LSU Medical School and Tulane Medical School without thinking of Charity. I think the med students and house officers who trained there all received a " blessing in return ".

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