Baton Rouge – The Department of Health has awarded grants to 15 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 that are receiving a grant for their innovative thinking and commitment to improving health care."

The grants were made through the Community-Based and Rural Health Program within the Department of Health and Hospital’s Bureau 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. Grants were given in two categories.

Type I grant awards were allocated to support medically underserved communities in their efforts to attain a Federally Qualified Health Center designation and funding from the federal Bureau of Primary Care. Applicants were eligible for up to $150,000.

A Federally Qualified Health Center, or FQHC, is a community health center that receives special federal funding. They are intended to provide primary and preventive health care services in medically underserved areas. Typically, they are located in areas where there are financial, geographic and/or cultural barriers to primary health care for a substantial portion of the population.

Type II grant awards supported projects aimed at maintaining, expanding or enhancing access to primary and preventive health care services. Applicants could request a maximum amount of $50,000.

Thirteen Louisiana health care organizations applied for a Type I grant under the program, and the Bureau awarded four grants that ranged from $80,000 to $150,000. Twenty-three Louisiana health care organizations submitted Type II grant applications, and the Bureau granted awards, ranging from $24,000 to $50,000, to 11 of these organizations. The grantees are listed below, along with a contact person for each organization.

Type I Grantees

  • East Carroll Parish Hospital – Jennifer Gilfoil, 318-559-4902

  • Primary Care Providers for a Healthy Feliciana – Ginger A. Hunt, 225-683-5292

  • Riverland Medical Center – Vernon Stevens, 318-757-6551

  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Michael J. Acaldo, 225-383-7837

Type II Grantees

  • Bayou Teche Rural Health Network – Michelle Lemming, 337-828-5638

  • CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center – Sister Laureen Painter, 318-932-2199

  • City of New Orleans – Dr. Kevin Stephens, 504-565-6900

  • David Raines Community Health Center – Willie C. White, III, 318-425-2252

  • Iberia Community Health Center – Roderick C. Campbell, 337-365-4945

  • Jackson Parish Hospital – L. J. Pecot, 318-259-4435

  • Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Center Foundation, Inc. – Virginia Pelegrin, 985-345-1119

  • St. Helena Community Health Center – Linda Beauvais, 225-222-6059

  • The Health Enrichment Network – Donna H. Newton, 318-215-0613

  • Vermilion Community Health Center – Dr. Powlin V. Manuel, 337-893-6832

  • Ward 7 Hospital Service District – Velma Fletcher, 318-646-2205

Funded projects include Federally Qualified Health Center developmental activities, oral health service expansions, prescription medication assistance and pharmacy case management for mental health patients.

Applicants submitted a description of their organization and a detailed outline of the proposed project along with a work plan and budget. Applications were due August 31, 2003, and each application was reviewed by the grants committee. Applicants were notified of the awards this week through a letter from DHH.