Subtitle Funding will help to close gaps with primary and behavioral health care NEW ORLEANS – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to New Orleans-based 504HealthNet, who will use the money to connect New Orleanians to primary and behavioral healthcare. The grant will fund outreach that connects those in need with primary and behavioral healthcare providers, regardless of their ability to pay. A number of studies have linked access to primary care to better outcomes for patients – especially those with chronic health conditions. Rather than waiting for symptoms to flare up, patients see a doctor regularly to prevent and manage health issues. Many in New Orleans are uninsured or underinsured, or have not yet connected with a primary care doctor to help them get and stay healthy. Having access to a primary care doctor largely depends on having health insurance, a challenge that is part of a complex system of disparities that take the biggest toll on the health of low-income communities and communities of color. “Low income families and communities of color in New Orleans deal with disproportionately high rates of chronic disease – particularly obesity, diabetes, and cancer – compared to others,” says Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet. “This grant will help us reach people where they are living and working and connect them with high quality care that will lead to better health outcomes,” she adds. Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross Foundation, believes that the project will have an effect on the health ecosystem of the region. “Our investment in this work follows national research that says if we can fill these gaps for people, they’re more likely to live longer, happier lives.” he says. “Those gaps include not just primary care, but mental healthcare and policy issues that often make it difficult for people to get the care they need.” For those in need of care in the New Orleans area, visit 504healthnet.org to find more information. Patients can also call (504) 658-2053 and get help finding a clinic. About the Blue Cross Foundation The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Together Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invest $2.5 million each year into Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits. About 504HealthNet 504HealthNet is a non-profit coalition comprised of 23 independent, non-profit and governmental organizations in the Greater New Orleans area. Membership is open to those who provide primary care or behavioral health services in a community setting irrespective of the client’s ability to pay, with a special focus on low-income, under-insured and uninsured populations. Our members independently operate over 70 service locations throughout Southeastern Louisiana ranging from comprehensive adult/pediatric primary care and behavioral health to medical mobile units.