Health Center News, Uncategorized

Health Care After Katrina

Two years after Katrina struck, health care is still trying to recover in the Gulf Region. News headlines report that there’s shortage of health care providers in New Orleans with four hospitals that remain closed after the storm, and an overall shortage of primary care physicians. National Public Radio reported on the mental health care system in New Orleans. The number of adult psychiatric beds has dropped from 240 prior to Katrina to 30 currently in Orleans Parish, which has a population of about 300,000. According to NPR, the “crisis … is so intense that even mentally ill patients who were a threat to themselves or others are often turned away” from hospitals. But there is good news. In Biloxi, MS Coastal Family Health Center is springing back full force. Katrina destroyed two of Coastal’s seven permanent and school-based locations, its entire IT and billing system, two mobile healthcare units, and significantly damaged the buildings and/or destroyed the contents of almost all other locations. It also initially displaced sixty of Coastal’s 175-strong staff. Now Coastal will open three new permanent sites this fall, and recently recieved some much needed support from the Fed with a $1,393,902 grant from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) for electronic health record implementation.