Community Health

The LSU – New Orleans EM Division of Community Health Relations & Engagement seeks to bring together clinical and academic medical professionals, community service and outreach organizations, civic leaders, and public and private groups to promote and strengthen the health of our community and its residents. Recognizing that well-being is firmly rooted in social determinants of health, we believe that clinical practitioners cannot fully care for their patients without attention to and action on behalf of the non-medical barriers to health care. Collaboration and engagement with non-health care professionals working on social determinants results in more efficient, cost-effective care.

The conceptual framework of population health is policy development, research agenda, and resource allocation. This framework is centered on the intersections of clinical care, community/social services, and public health. This junction is the focus of our efforts. By “centering at the margins” – putting attention on the most vulnerable, disenfranchised, socially complex individuals – we seek to make the greatest individual health gains, thereby ameliorating profound disparities at the community level.   


Community Health Relations and Engagement includes the following:

  • Direct service to those in need in our community
    • staffing of a basic needs clinic at the Rebuild Center
    • development of and participation in the New Orleans Street Medicine program
    • HIV/HCV “opt-out” testing for all ED patients, with on-site coordinators and real-time linkage to care
  • Partnerships with local, regional, and national service providers to better coordinate and deliver multifaceted care
    • medical direction/liaison for the Ceasefire New Orleans Violence Intervention program
    • coordination with 504 HealthNet to strengthen patients’ access to primary and specialty care, and to develop special pathways for victims of violence that reduce barriers to mental and physical health care
    • partnership with Health Guardians to identify and refer high-risk, high-utilizing ED patients who require intensive, patient-centered case management
    • medical direction of sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) program at UMC
    • collaboration with New Orleans EMS, NOPD, Metropolitan HSD, Unity, and other local service providers to streamline care for the most vulnerable mentally ill patients


Direct collaboration with partners such as Healthcare for the Homeless, Ozanam Inn, the New Orleans Mission and the Rebuild Center to provide emergency services for clinic patients

    • collaboration with the office of the New Orleans Health Department Medical Director to integrate UMC Emergency Department within the city’s strategic public health framework
    • Warm handoffs for at risk patients with Healthcare for the Homeless and St. Thomas Clinics
  • Education of health professions trainees
    • development of a Social Medicine elective and track for interested LSU EM residents
    • collaboration with service providers and governmental agencies to train LSU EM residents on issues of human trafficking
    • supervision of multi-institutional Hotspotting student teams, designed to introduce trainees from different health care specialties to the complexity of social determinants of health and their impact on care
    • Orientation for medical students volunteering at medical clinics for homeless healthcare
    • Joint support with the EM Division of Diversity for an Underrepresented Minority Visiting Student Scholarship
  • Research on best practices for innovative, high-quality programs within the Emergency Department and in collaboration with community partners
    • ongoing evaluation of the impact of an ED-initiated intensive case management intervention (Health Guardians)
    • research analysis on the impact of an ED-based violence intervention program using a public health model of violence as an infectious disease
    • QA/QI projects around timely access to specialty care for vulnerable patients
    • QA/QI projects around timely access to mental health care for psychiatric patients and the victims of violence
    • case studies and more rigorous evaluations of health care utilization by the most vulnerable, highest risk patients
    • evaluation of the ongoing effectiveness of Medicaid expansion with regards to health outcomes, emergency care, and access to care
  • Respectful and collaborative advocacy for vulnerable populations in identifying structural or policy barriers to efficient and effective programs
    • collaboration with public and private partners to develop and build a low-barrier homeless shelter with wraparound crisis, sobering, and other social services