Pegitboard News

5 more closed hospitals of New Orleans: Vintage photos from The Times-Picayune

5 more closed hospitals of New Orleans: Vintage photos from The Times-Picayune

2. F. Edward Hebert Hospital in Algiers

In this 1984 file photo, neonatologist Harish C., Anand, at right, hosted a party for babies born under his care who were ill or premature at birth. The party was held at the F. Edward Hebert Hospital in Algiers.

 writes on Facebook that she was born at F. Edward Hebert in Algiers in 1979. "Haven't a clue if it's still there,'' she writes. "I'm pretty sure it was on the naval base, I think?? Or next to it? I'm not sure why I was born there since it was a scheduled c-section and neither of my parents were in the armed forces..."

Great questions, Jennifer. While I can't answer why you were born there, I can tell you that Hebert is definitely closed now, although the building still stands. According to a story John Pope wrote for The Washington Post in 1978, the hospital opened on Pearl Harbor Day 1976, and it cost about $7.7 million per year to operate.

After a surprise visit to the hospital in January 1978, U.S. Reps. M. Robert Carr (D-Mich.) and Thomas J. Downey (D-N.Y.) described it as "a beautiful, expensive and shamefully underused medical facility" in a letter to Navy Secretary W. Graham Clayton. When it built the hospital, the Navy was "incredibly inept in its planning projections," the congressmen said. Of the hospital's 250 beds, only 23 were occupied. 

"However, Capt. F.C. Gregg said that the facility is 'very busy' with 'extensive outpatient services,''' Pope wrote.

You're right about the hospital's location, Jennifer: The hospital was located on the Naval Support Activity Base in Algiers on Gen. Meyer Avenue, which is now Federal City. The Navy decided to lease Hebert to nearby JoEllen Smith Medical Center. Hebert eventually was used as a rehabilitation hospital, and helped people with brain injuries.

"By leasing the naval hospital, JoEllen Smith will save the $4 million to $5 million it had planned to spend on expansion, and the Navy estimates it will save some $2 million per year by fiscal 1980,'' Pope reported.

JoEllen Smith later closed.