Construction has started in New Orleans on a $22 million, 60-bed medical and physical rehabilitation hospital by Cobalt Medical Development.
The two-story, 64,000-square-foot hospital will be located in the center of the Mid-City neighborhood in what the company described as a prime location for referrals from other medical facilities, including the new LSU Medical Center and Veteran Administration hospital currently under construction.
“We look at a rehabilitation patient as one who is not sick, but broken and our job is to get them mended,” said Richard Fiske, CEO of Cobalt, a Dallas, Texas-based private health care real estate development and investment company. Fiske, along with Erik de Vries, principal and founder, have together participated in nearly 25 percent of all the rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S., the company said.
The facility will create 165 permanent jobs in three years and support 165 construction jobs, with completion set for 2015. The facility will specialize in treating traumatic brain injuries, concussions, Parkinson’s Disease, in addition to providing other in- and out-patient services.
The permanent jobs will range from physical therapists to speech therapists to nurses and nurse assistants. There will also be a number of employees in the food service industries and grounds maintenance.
“Cobalt will create hundreds of new jobs for our citizens and bring a previously blighted property back into commerce. We welcome Cobalt to New Orleans and to our growing BioMedical Corridor,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
“Cobalt builds upon the strong health care infrastructure in New Orleans by adding a greater specialization of services to the BioMedical Corridor,” said Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance.
The project is aligned with ProsperityNOLA, the New Orleans Business Alliance’s five-year plan to drive economic growth for 2018 by fueling activity within the BioInnovation and Health Services cluster, he said. Cobalt will complement the services provided by the UMC and VA hospitals.
“This burgeoning sector is creating jobs, providing superior medical care to our citizens and making New Orleans a premiere health care destination location,” Miller said.
The facility’s first floor will consist of a kitchen, dining area, administration offices, materials management, loading dock, X-ray room, emergency room/department, lab, speech therapy area, lobby and a 16-bed traumatic brain injury unit.
The second floor will consist of 44 beds, as well as associated support and pharmacy. The patio will include a covered trellis area with an ambulation course.