Neighborhood Clinics Replace Downtown New Orleans Hospitals as Providers of No Cost Primary Care, NPR Reports
Independent neighborhood clinics are replacing downtown hospitals and emergency departments in providing primary health care at no cost to low-income New Orleans residents, NPR's "News & Notes" reports. According to NPR, thousands of low-income New Orleans residents, many of whom are uninsured, in the decades before Hurricane Katrina visited downtown hospitals to receive no-cost care. After the hurricane destroyed hospital facilities and scattered medical personnel, residents sought care at clinics in tents and trailers, NPR reports. Now closed hospital EDs are directing residents to neighborhood clinics, such as the Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic, which operates out of a renovated house in a heavily damaged area. The segment profiles the Operation Blessing Clinic -- a project of Christian Broadcasting Network and Christian Coalition Founder and Chair Pat Robertson's Operating Blessing International -- which has provided care at no cost to approximately 10,000 New Orleans residents since it opened this spring. The NPR segment includes comments from Alice Craft-Kerney, founder of the Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic; Dorothy Davidson, a volunteer with Operation Blessing; and patients and staff at the clinics (Ballenger, "News & Notes," NPR, 11/10).
Audio of the segment is available online.