Health & Wellness

Before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, health outcomes were bleak for too many residents. New Orleans had one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation. Care for most of the region’s uninsured population was delivered through the Medical Center Louisiana New Orleans Charity Hospital. This led to extensive waiting time in emergency rooms and limited primary and preventative health services.

With only three of the nine hospitals remaining open after the storm, local officials and hospitals saw an opportunity to rebuild a stronger infrastructure and transform the way healthcare services are delivered. The New Orleans area now boasts world-class clinical care through new and refurbished hospital facilities and expanded access through a network of neighborhood-based community health centers. Billions of dollars have been invested in the development of New Orleans’ Biomedical Corridor, fostering enhanced research, healthcare delivery and the development of stable, high-paying jobs for healthcare professionals.

In addition to high quality health care, health in New Orleans today is about the prevention of disease and promotion of health and wellness. A broad spectrum of partners from across the community are working together to improve population health by making healthy choices easier, creating environments that promote health, and addressing factors that impact health outcomes. As a result, the New Orleans ranking in the County Health Rankings—a report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute—has improved for three consecutive years.

Key Recovery Data


Neighborhood health clinics in the region offering primary care, mental health and other services


Working-class individuals in Greater New Orleans receive healthcare services through the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection.

95+ miles

Bikeways and trails in New Orleans now compared to 10.7 miles in 2004.

Biomedical Corridor Investments

A new, thriving regional biosciences and health industry covering 2.4 square miles in the heart of the Downtown Medical District.

$1.1 billion

University Medical Center (opens August 2015)

$800 million

Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System (opens 2016)

$90 million

Louisiana Cancer Research Center

$38 million

BioInnovation Center

New Programs & Initiatives

Smoke-free New Orleans
To ensure the health of local workers, smoking and vaping were banned in all businesses including bars and casinos.

PHAB-SEAL-COLORNational Accreditation
In 2014, the New Orleans Health Department became one of the first 50 departments in the nation to receive national accreditation, a recognition of the City’s commitment to excellence in public health.

The City’s Fit NOLA initiative is an award-winning partnership to promote physical activity and healthy nutrition. As a part of Fit NOLA, over 200 partners are working to make New Orleans one of the nation’s top ten fittest cities by 2018.