New Orleans – Thanks to ongoing funding from the Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant (PCASG) program, people in the Greater New Orleans area will soon have more convenient, local access to primary health care, mental health treatment and counseling, HIV/AIDS treatment and counseling and other health services.

For instance, these grant funds will allow Mercy Family Center – a multidisciplinary outpatient mental health clinic for children, adolescents and their families – to open a new facility in Algiers in February. This will provide improved access to mental health counseling and treatment to young people on New Orleans’ West Bank.

Meanwhile, the grant program has enabled the NO/AIDS Task Force, the oldest HIV/AIDS service organization in the Gulf South, to expand its primary care clinic operations to a full five days a week, while also enlarging its facilities, improving its equipment and hiring new caregivers.

“We were a very small clinic, but now we’re growing up,” said NO/AIDS Task Force Executive Director Noel Twilbeck. “The PCASG awards have allowed us to expand our capacity to serve those with HIV in the Greater New Orleans area, while also providing us the flexibility to improve the quality of the clinical services we offer.”

Through the grant, a second round of funding totaling $13,049,807 was recently awarded to 25 health care provider organizations in the New Orleans area. This supplemental round of funding follows an initial round of awards dispersed last September totaling $16,721,920.

                  *A full list of the clinics that have received grant funding is provided below*

The three-year, $100 million Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant is designed to meet the increasing demand for health care services in the four-parish greater New Orleans area, while decreasing the reliance on emergency room usage for primary care services. The grant was awarded to the Louisiana Department of Health (DHH) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year. The Louisiana Public Health Institute is administering the grant as the local partner of DHH.

Funds have been awarded to provider organizations in order to assist with stabilization, restoration and expansion of outpatient primary care services. Public and private non-profit organizations serving Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard or Plaquemines parishes were eligible for funding through the grant, including primary medical, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers.

In order to qualify for funding, public and private not-for-profit organizations were required to show that they had been providing eligible primary and/or behavioral health care services for at least 20 hours per week since June 18, 2007 to people regardless of their ability to pay.

Beyond its role as steward and distributor of grant dollars, the Louisiana Public Health Institute is charged with providing technical assistance to the grant recipients to link them with the tools they need to succeed. Some recipients have found that the process of applying and reporting for the grant has actually helped them improve the efficiency of their operations and, consequently, the quality of the services they offer.

“Reporting for the grant forces a clinic like ours to take a look at the people we serve and where they come from,” explained Stephen Engro, director of development for Mercy Family Center. “For instance, we found roughly a quarter of our patients were over the age of 18. Many had started receiving services during adolescence and simply continued to receive their treatment into adulthood. We have now taken this into account for our planning process and are looking into how we can assist these patients as they transition into other services.”

Data gathered since the primary care grant program began shows clinics that received funding provided medical or behavioral health care to approximately 24,000 uninsured patients during the six month period between March and September 2007.  An additional 20,000 low-income patients on Medicaid received care at one or more of these clinics during the same period.  Overall, more than 70,000 area residents received medical or behavioral health care at a grant-funded clinic during the period.

To find out where primary care clinics are located throughout the region, visit and look under the “Community Resources” heading for “Clinics,” or simply download a map and list directly at

PCASG-Funded Health Care Service Providers


Total Funding

(to date)

Community-Based Primary Medical Care Provider Organizations




Common Ground Health Clinic


Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (MCLNO)


NO/AIDS Task Force


Children's Hospital Medical Practice Corp


Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans


St. Thomas Community Health Center


Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic


New Orleans Musicians' Assistance Foundation


Tulane University Adult and Pediatric Clinics at Covenant House


EXCELth, Inc.


Jefferson Community Health Care Centers, Inc.


Odyssey House Louisiana, Inc.


St. Charles Community Health Center - Kenner


St. Bernard Health Center, Inc


Plaquemines Medical Center


LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (School Based Health Centers)


City of New Orleans Health Department


Leading Edge Services International, Inc. / Family Health Center


Community-Based Behavioral Health Services Provider Organizations


Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority


Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans


Mercy Family Center


Covenant House


LSU Healthcare Network Behavioral Science Center


New Orleans Adolescent Hospital and Community Services


Metropolitan Human Services District