Hurricane recovery plans for reestablishing critical health care services after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have been developed for Cameron, Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes.
These recovery plans are a product of a three-month planning process facilitated by the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, each involving hundreds of local community health care stakeholders.
“The goal of this health care planning effort was to ensure a coordinated approach to achieve comprehensive health care service delivery and optimize available funding in the areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise. “It is our belief that these well-developed, well-coordinated plans will ensure that the health care systems destroyed by the hurricanes have access to resources to rebuild.”
The document also contains a plan for statewide health care workforce development and the Baton Rouge area’s plan for providing health care in response to the population surge following the storm.
Each community plan is focused on a regional approach to providing coordinated health care services in the most efficient way possible. The major components of each plan include population-based needs assessments, health care needs, existing services, resource gaps and strategies while combining and coordinating existing plans and planning efforts. The plans for each area are online at www.pcrh.dhh.louisiana.gov. They will serve as a template for grant funding applications to federal, state and private sources.
“The plans are very thorough documents, which represent the tireless work and dedication of local community stakeholders in planning for health care recovery,” said Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health Director Kristy Nichols. “Many of these community representatives lost their homes and way of life because of the hurricanes but are dedicated to bringing back critical health care services, which they know is a key step in rebuilding their communities,” Nichols said.
Two members from Cameron, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and East Baton Rouge parishes have formed the Health Services Recovery Coordination Council to serve as the representative body of the planning effort. The council is responsible for communicating with the Louisiana Recovery Authority’s Public Health and Health Care Taskforce and for guiding the implementation of the recovery plans.
At the resource development and planning workshops held from January through March, officials 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 administers of the Social Service Block Grant and Community Development Block Grant Supplemental Appropriations met with local health care stakeholders. A resource directory of federal, state and private sources of funding for hurricane recovery was developed as a result and is available at www.scrcommunications.org/resource.
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