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Local and federal officials on Tuesday announced plans for a 70-acre medical campus in the heart of New Orleans to replace two hospitals damaged during Hurricane Katrina, a $2 billion investment that supporters say will create thousands of jobs and begin to rebuild the city’s shattered health care system.
One of the hospitals, to be built by Louisiana State University, would replace the city’s landmark Charity Hospital, a lifeline for generations of the city’s poor, which has been vacant since the storm damaged its lower floors. The other would replace the vacant Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, also severely damaged by the flooding. The old hospitals and adjacent buildings will be abandoned under the plan, which officials here described as the foundation for a new economy for New Orleans, and the largest investment in the area since Katrina.