News & Analysis: New Orleans might never be the same


By John Mugford

Katrina, Rita, Wilma… it looks as if 2005 will go down as yet another Year of the Hurricane.

Lest we all forget that just a year ago, in 2004, four major hurricanes crashed into Florida and caused millions of dollars worth of damage, including extensive damage to numerous hospitals that have since been repaired, according to Rich Rasmussen, a spokesperson for the Florida Hospital Association.

While 2005 also brought several major hurricanes to the Gulf Coast area of the United States, it will undoubtedly be the year in which a single storm, Katrina, had the power to change the makeup of a major city, New Orleans, and its healthcare landscape.

In fact, health system officials in the Crescent City expect to play the waiting game for quite some time – waiting to find out how many people decide to return or stay in New Orleans for the long haul.

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