Projects across Louisiana include new approaches to public health issues

(Baton Rouge, LA) – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has announced five innovation grant awards to Louisiana organizations from its New Horizons grant fund. Each organization has proposed a bold, new idea for solving a persistent issue in public health:

  • Southern University Law Center will conduct a feasibility study on operating a medical legal clinic. In partnership with The Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation and Crescent Care Louisiana, SULC students and supervising attorneys will determine the civil legal needs of North Baton Rouge residents who are navigating legal issues related to the healthcare system
  • The Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge will study and develop and an education program focused on opioid abuse by teens. The Struggle Is Real is a partnership between MHA and the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s office. The education and awareness program will use video and social media messaging to reach teenagers and their parents with strategies to avoid opioid misuse and address addiction in families.
  • Family to Family Support Network will train healthcare professionals in providing neutral, compassionate care to those facing unplanned pregnancy. The Unique Families Program connects hospitals and community organizations together to create a support network and a pro-active approach to offering resources to address identified needs and better health and well-being outcomes for women, girls, and the children they carry.
  • Researchers at Xavier University will study the relationship between the reliance on alternative medicine and uncontrolled hypertension. Led by Dr. LaKeisha Williams the team will test whether an overreliance on complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), such as home remedies, leads to a higher mortality rate for those with hypertension, particularly among African Americans.  Researchers will also examine steps for boosting adherence to doctor-prescribed treatment.
  • The American Cancer Society will roll out Brother to Brother, cancer prevention program working with African American men in the Greater New Orleans area. In partnership with churches around the region, Brother to Brother will train health advocates and volunteers to speak and share information about the importance of prevention and screening for various cancers – particularly colorectal cancer, which is fatal 30 percent more often among African American men than white men in Louisiana.

“This set of awards includes organizations and people who we believe show the best of what Louisiana has to offer its citizens,” said Michael Tipton, Blue Cross Foundation president.

“We are confident that they will make a meaningful impact on the communities they serve, and we are grateful to be partners in their extraordinary good work.”

More information about these projects, the New Horizons grant program and the Foundation is available at

The Foundation accepts proposals for various grant programs on a quarterly basis.

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.

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