New Orleans East Residents Impacted By BP Oil Spill Celebrate New Community Health Center
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center (NOELA CHC) celebrates the Grand Opening of their brand new 9,000-square-foot facility. The new health center will serve more than 8,000 patients in the Greater New Orleans area this year alone.
The new health facility is a significant milestone for New Orleans East, which was hit hard by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. With one in three people living in New Orleans East working in the seafood industry, the impact of the spill has disproportionately affected the health and livelihood of local residents.
"Our new facility will allow us to increase our health care services for the deserving residents of New Orleans," said Diem Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer of NOELA CHC. "Our wonderful team of highly trained doctors, nurses and social workers will continue to provide high quality, affordable, primary and preventive health care services to the residents of this community."
The clinic is equipped with state-of-the art technology, employs trilingual workers, and will substantially expand services for patients.
The idea for a new and expanded health care facility grew out of Alliance Institute listening tours that were hosted in impacted communities along the Gulf Coast in 2010. These listening tours were the first step in an important journey for Alliance Institute that in 2012 resulted in the creation of the five-year, $105 million Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP), a groundbreaking effort to increase health care access in 17 coastal counties across four states that was part of the environmental and medical legal settlement with BP.
Knowing the heavy burden of the oil disaster on New Orleans East residents, Alliance Institute fought to ensure NOELA was directly written into the legal settlement. They understood that access to quality health care is essential in making sure communities hardest hit can recover.
Using their portion of the $105 million program, NOELA used this money to build a comprehensive clinic that provides primary and preventative care, behavioral, mental, and social services, pediatric care, Medicaid/medical enrollment, and language access.
According to Nguyen, NOELA CHC has doubled patient intake since opening the new and larger facility.
"The Alliance Institute is honored to be working with non-profit organizations like NOELA and others across the region as part of the GRHOP program," said Stephen Bradberry, Executive Director of the Alliance Institute. "We have made a commitment to residents along the Gulf Coast that they will receive access to high quality health care. NOELA's 9,000-square-foot facility is a testament to that promise."