Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Vern Baxter

Second Advisor

Shirley Laska

Third Advisor

Rachel Luft



Amidst the worst disaster to impact a major U.S. city in one hundred years, New Orleans’ main trauma and safety net medical center, the Reverend Avery C. Alexander Charity Hospital, was permanently closed. Charity’s administrative operator, Louisiana State University (LSU), ordered an end to its attempted reopening by its workers and U.S. military personnel in the weeks following the August 29, 2005 storm. Drawing upon rigorous review of literature and an exhaustive analysis of primary and secondary data, this case study found that Charity Hospital was closed as a result of disaster capitalism. LSU, backed by Louisiana state officials, took advantage of the mass internal displacement of New Orleans’ populace in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in an attempt to abandon Charity Hospital’s iconic but neglected facility and to supplant its original safety net mission serving the poor and uninsured for its neoliberal transformation to favor LSU’s academic medical enterprise.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.