The United States Marine Hospital of New Orleans was part of the Marine-Hospital Service, a group of Marine Hospitals dedicated to caring for ill and disabled seamen in the United States Merchant Marine, United States Coast Guard, and other federal beneficiaries. The Service was created by an act of the 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798. It was the first publicly-funded health care and disease prevention federal agency in the country. In New Orleans the federal government created a marine hospital before the United States officially assumed control of the Louisiana Purchase. A flood inundated the hospital's original building on the river's western shore near Algiers, so it was moved to the Jackson Barracks, where it stayed until 1858. A new location on Tchoupitoulas near Children's Hospital was eventually chosen. Improvements were made on the hospital grounds in 1931, when seven new buildings were constructed, as well as a stable, a laundry, and a service center. Over time, the scope of the hospital's duties expanded and it was renamed the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service and later the Public Health Service. By 1954 the facility became known simply as the United States Public Health Service Hospital. Eventually, federal funding was cut, and in 1981 the state acquired the property. The following year, the site became the State Drug Addiction Center and, in 1983, the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital.
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