November 3, 2014

Transforming Primary Care in the Big Easy

Before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, New Orleans already had some of the worst health care statistics in the country, with high rates of infant mortality and chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. The hurricane shattered New Orleans’ already weak safety net, forcing clinics and hospitals to close, and dislocating some 4,500 physicians. New Orleans’s health care system was in shambles, putting its already vulnerable citizens at significant health risk.

Rebuilding the New Orleans health care system offered an opportunity to address some of the issues that plague many communities moving away from hospital-centered care, and investing in, patient-centered, community-based health services.