BATON ROUGE- Health care stakeholders from Cameron, Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes will meet Thursday, Feb. 9, to develop regional health care plans and competitive funding proposals to access federal and state resources to rebuild the primary health care systems destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The Department of Health and Hospitals, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, will host the workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard in Metairie. The workshop will be held in the Esplanade Room on the first floor of the hospital.

“It is critical that both the federal and state governments work hand-in-hand to position affected communities to take advantage of as many hurricane recovery resources as possible to bring health care services back to these communities,” said Kristy Nichols, M.S., Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health director.

The workshop, Acquiring Additional Federal and State Health Care Recovery Resources: A Workshop for Building Successful Community Proposals, was designed as a follow-up to a session held in January for a limited number of participants from the hurricane-affected parishes.  Following the January meeting, the need for a regional planning session with expanded participation and a strong focus on competitive funding proposal development became evident.

“By hosting this workshop and working directly in hurricane-affected parishes to develop local health care recovery plans, we hope to make significant progress in the recovery process for the entire region,” Nichols said.

At the workshop, presenters will provide information about health care capacity building resources available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Social Services Block Grant Supplemental Appropriation.

During the afternoon session, local planning groups will develop strategic plans for restoring or building new primary, preventive and behavioral health care services, pharmacy services and dental services in the area. A major focus of each plan will be health care workforce recruitment and retention and service integration.

“At the end of the day, communities will be equipped with information about federal, state and private funding sources, a comprehensive, coordinated regional health care plan and a template proposal to use in the application process,” Nichols added.