Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading association for the project management profession, announced on October 6 that Project Legacy – Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Replacement Medical Center Activation, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) has been awarded the 2018 PMI Project of the Year Award.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area including the existing Department of Veterans Affairs medical center and New Orleans veterans and their families lost their healthcare facility. The new facility, dubbed Project Legacy as a tribute to veterans, opened on time and under budget. In its first 18 months, it completed 500,000+ outpatient encounters, 1,000+ surgical procedures, and 10,000+ bed days of care.
Project Legacy was focused on identifying, planning and executing the logistical and operational requirements to bring the newly constructed Southeast Louisiana Veterans Medical Center facility, a tertiary care regional referral center that will serve over 70,000 veterans, into full planned operations. It was a highly complex project focused on transformation, change and preparedness to activate the operation of the new medical center. Its goal was to create a lasting resource for veterans and community. Twenty-two chartered integrated project teams were responsible for activation activities across 65 departments, headed by an internal activation steering committee. Keeping in mind lessons learned from recent audits of similar initiatives, the team utilized appropriate project management practices and tools, including sophisticated scope, cost, time and change management to deliver the project fourteen percent under budget and deliver the expected outcomes and benefits to its wide range of stakeholders.
"Professional project management is a skillset that should be more often available within a health care system's staff," said Fernando O. Rivera, Medical Center Director of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System. Rivera said, "It was critical for the complex activation of services that we had an experienced project managers to develop protocols, reporting structures, and manage large amounts of interfacing information. We have learned the value of having a trained PM and we have now hired a dedicated project manager to assist with other types of projects throughout the health care system."
Now in its 30th year, the PMI Project of the Year Award recognizes the large (budgets of US$100 million or more) and complex project that best delivers superior performance of project management practices, superior organizational results, and positive impacts on society. This year’s award was presented in Los Angeles, California as part of the annual PMI Professional Awards Gala at the 2018 PMI® Global Conference.