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STAMFORD, CT, August 22, 2006 — AmeriCares has awarded $3.2 million in grants to address the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery needs of mental health care professionals and primary care providers in Louisiana. Working in collaboration with two established local foundation partners, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Community Foundation of Acadiana in Lafayette, the AmeriCares grants are supporting 33 different projects across the state.
With the support of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, AmeriCares was able to identify and evaluate local mental health service providers and their needs. The original grant application was mailed to more than 100 state agencies, with more than 40 submitting proposals. AmeriCares has awarded 19 grants totaling $1.85 million, ranging in size from $37,500 to $100,000. Among those receiving grants are the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center, Covenant House New Orleans, Kids in Crisis, and the Southern Law Enforcement Foundation, the latter which will use its funds to expand mental health benefits offered to police officers in the parishes most impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
AmeriCares’ primary healthcare grant program was launched with the help of Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA), which identified local primary care service providers in need, especially those who experienced an increased case load since last fall. AmeriCares has awarded 14 grants totaling $1.4 million to groups ranging from the American Lung Association of Louisiana to St. Thomas Health Services in New Orleans. The American Lung Association will use the funds to assist individuals who are suffering from abnormal lung function as a result of the mold, air pollution and other problems associated with Katrina and Rita. St. Thomas Health Services will use its grant to increase its pediatric services for its community health center serving the uninsured. For a complete list of grant recipients, log onto www.americares.org.
“After being in the Gulf region early on in the disaster, we recognized that the long-term efforts were going to be just as important as the immediate relief needs,” says Trish Tweedley, vice president of AmeriCares hurricane relief program. “Our program was developed to meet the immediate needs of the evacuees as well as address long-term efforts. Our collaboration with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Community Foundation of Acadiana was instrumental in letting us identify the local agencies that are doing their best to meet their community needs but are also in need themselves, lacking the physical, financial or human resources to provide service.” “Our foundation has discovered that more than 15,000 people in the area are suffering from the aftereffects of Katrina,” said John Davies, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. “Funding from AmeriCares will not only provide relief for the people in the affected areas but also for the agencies that have been stretched by the shift in population to Baton Rouge and other communities.”
AmeriCares has been working in the area since Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. Over the past year, AmeriCares delivered more than $10 million in in-kind donations of medicines, medical supplies and other aid to Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Earlier this year, AmeriCares awarded $1.6 million in grants to local agencies through its “small grant recovery program,” focusing on unmet needs throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. To learn more, visit the website at www.americares.org.