On Monday, April 23, LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise will be in New Orleans to help celebrate the grand opening of two new community clinics, and the expansion of two existing clinics.  The clinics were made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA). Dr. Elizabeth Duke, HRSA director, will be on hand to present the grant checks.

These clinics are considered to be federally qualified health centers, and are eligible for grant funding under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.  The basic requirement to be eligible for the grant is that the clinic must provide health care services to all citizens, regardless of their ability to pay.

These are the first federally funded clinics that have opened in the New Orleans area post-Katrina.  A network of primary care, neighborhood-based clinics is key component of the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative’s final report.

Cerise explains, “As a result of Hurricane Katrina, the citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas have had difficulties finding access to primary care.  We appreciate what Dr. Duke and her organization are doing to help us improve health care in the New Orleans area.”

While she is in New Orleans, Dr. Duke will visit working community clinics and visit the sites where clinics stood prior to Katrina.