Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Orleans Helping the Disadvantaged

New Orleans is taking part in two efforts to help disadvantaged residents in the region. The New Orleans Charitable Health Fund (NOCHF) has just issued a Request for Application and in February, the Crescent City Beacon Community (CCBC) and the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) formed a transformative partnership to strengthen the New Orleans healthcare infrastructure.

The purpose for NOCHF is to help improve the mental and physical health of disadvantaged populations in the Greater New Orleans area. A large number of disadvantaged in the community have little access to primary care, behavioral health, and social services. Very often, there is the presence of co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions, such as depression that may aggregate diseases such as diabetes.

The NOCHF plans to include a community learning collaborative to improve the design of behavioral health services at the systems level. The plan is to provide for the integration of behavioral health, primary care, and provide referrals to relevant social services. NOCHF will also award five to six grants with total funding of $5,500,000 to go to non-profits to help them strengthen the delivery of services to the local community.

Eligible applicants can include private non-profit organizations, public non-profit organizations such as hospitals, educational institutions, or state and local government agencies. Eligible applicants must currently provide primary healthcare and/or behavioral health services in at least one of the parishes such as (Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard) located in the area.

The Request for Application was released March 16, 2012 and letters of intent are due April 5, 2012. The full application is due May 18, 2012. For more information email Shelina D. Foderingham, Program Manager, NOCHF at

In another program to help 50,000 underserved patients, the Crescent City Beacon Community in New Orleans announced an initiative to form a partnership with ten regional partners to improve the quality of care. The partnership is in place to introduce innovative health IT systems and tools to the community to improve quality, coordinate care, and lower care costs.

ONC awarded CCBC $13 million over three years to improve the quality of health services for populations suffering from Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) will provide curriculum and training to support 18 of the CCBC primary care practices, including community health centers.

The training will address four key topics such as risk stratification of patients by creating disease registries, care management protocols, care teams to manage patients with chronic diseases, and adopting clinical decision support systems.

The collaborative effort is also working with other local partners involved in the health system plus CCBC is also collaborating with the state’s HIE and REC initiatives which are led by the Louisiana Healthcare Quality Forum. In addition, BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana will provide a link to regional quality incentive programs.

For more information on CCBC, go to or for information on PCDC, go to