Aug 26, 2010 2:41 PM by Katie Durio
Governor Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu Announce Commitment of $30 Million in CDBG Funds to Clinics
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced today that the state has committed $30 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to ensure that a network of primary care and behavioral health clinics remain open in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, upon approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This $30 million will serve as state matching funds to draw down up to $100 million over the next three years. These funds are administered through the Office of Community Development's Disaster Recovery Unit.
Governor Jindal said, "We worked closely with the city to ensure these clinics have the funding they need to continue serving the people of New Orleans and we are glad to have reached this important solution to keep these clinics open. These health clinics are a vital link for citizens who need access to health care. They are important to ensure that people get the care they need without having to go to the emergency room for non-emergency care."
"These clinics are a national model, providing preventative primary care in neighborhoods across the city," said Mayor Landrieu. "Our network of clinics host 1.3 million visits a year, providing accessible, affordable primary care to 292,000 residents, approximately one-third of the metro area population. Bringing new hospitals on line and keeping these clinics will allow us to improve healthcare outcomes for the people of New Orleans. Today is a new day and we now have the funding in place to sustain this vital regional resource," said Landrieu.
The clinics have been supported in part by a $100 million federal grant made to the state to rebuild the primary care and behavioral health infrastructure damaged in the four parishes by Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding. The number of individuals served by this network has grown to almost 300,000 in the three years since the grant began and the funding is set to expire at the end of
Thirty-eight of the clinics in the network are recognized as Patient Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee on Quality Assurance - the largest concentration of such clinics in the United States.
The Department of Health and Hospitals worked with the City of New Orleans, surrounding parishes, clinic network leadership and the federal government for several months to write the request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to convert the grant to a "waiver" under the Medicaid program. Approval of this waiver and of the use of HUD approved CDBG funds is now pending at the US Department of Health and Hospitals.
"By committing these funds, our administration is not only ensuring that health care is delivered where it is most effective - in the community - we are investing in a nationally recognized model of coordinated health care and integrated behavioral health and primary care services delivered by a wide variety of public and private organizations dedicated to caring for underserved populations," said DHH Secretary Tony Keck.
The $30 million in CDBG funds announced today are in addition to a $411 million the state allocated to the city of New Orleans post Katrina through the Long Term Community Recovery Program. Louisiana was granted $13.4 billion in CDBG funds after hurricanes Katrina and Rita to rebuild housing and infrastructure, support economic development and restore neighborhoods and communities.