The Department of Health awarded grants to 11 health care providers throughout the state, giving them financial assistance to enhance or expand their community-based primary and preventive care services.

"Projects such as these fulfill the department’s mission of enhancing preventive and primary health care in communities throughout the state," said LDH Secretary David W. Hood. "I congratulate the applicants who are receiving a grant for their innovative thinking and commitment to improving health care."

The grants were awarded through a program within the LDH Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. Public or nonprofit health care provider organizations located in a rural area, federally designated health professional shortage area or any underserved area identified through legislation could apply for grant money to fund health care projects.

Forty-one Louisiana health care organizations applied for a grant under the program, and the office awarded 11 of these organizations grants that ranged from $17,000 to $50,000. The grantees are listed below, along with a media contact for each organization.

1. Riverland Medical Center – Vernon Stevens, 318-757-6551
2. LaSalle General Hospital – Mary Moffet, 318-992-9150
3. Morehouse General Hospital – Wayne Bing, 318-281-2431
4. Natchitoches Parish Hospital – Mark Marley, 318-214-4427
5. Allen Parish Hospital – Scott Barrilleau, 337-738-9489
6. Southwest Primary Health Care Center – Dodie LaMott, 337-942-2005
7. St. James Parish Hospital – Joan Murray, 225-869-5512
8. St. Charles Community Health Center – Mark Keiser, 985-785-3705
9. Springhill Medical Center – John Ponthie, 318-539-1001
10. East Jefferson Community Health Center – Anderson Gilmore, 504-464-0032|
11. Tensas Parish Police Jury – Linda Sikes, 318-766-6087

Each health provider will use the money to fund specific health care activities. Some of the projects agencies proposed include physician recruitment, purchasing technological equipment and establishing or expanding health care services in designated areas.

Applicants for the grant were asked to submit a description of their organization, along with an outline of the proposed project and funding costs. Applications were due Dec.16, 2002, and a panel of impartial members reviewed each one. Applicants were notified of the awards this week through a letter from DHH.