Thursday, September 22, 2011
Portraits of the Stalwarts: K. Brad Ott
Brad Ott has been involved in the healthcare arena in Louisiana for years. He has long known of the "centrality and cachet of Charity Hospital" in the Louisiana health system. After Hurricane Katrina, he went around to field hospitals set up in tents and other locations in New Orleans - even as Charity was closed by the state - and ended up heading to testify in Baton Rouge.
Brad V: As one of the leaders of the Committee to Reopen Charity, how did you get involved with the Charity Hospital fight?
Brad O: Charity Hospital saved my life. I was a patient at Charity. I got involved because we needed the healthcare; people have died because Charity Hospital was closed. It was closed even though Interim (University) was more damaged. It was closed despite a case that I found that says legislative approval is needed before a hospital can be closed.
Brad V: Where do things stand today, from your perspective?
Brad O: There needs to be an investigation if all original services offered at Charity are not restored in the UMC. It'll be ten frickin' years before we have full healthcare restored because the Charity option was dismissed. Governor Jindal is not telling anyone, but 6-7 charity hospitals around the state will be on the chopping block - threatened with closure because of the LSU/VA project.