25 Acting as One to Tackle Health Disparities Across Rural Louisiana

Multiple hands on top of each other

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Opelousas General Health System (OGHS) in Louisiana knew it would need to collaborate effectively with the community and local government to help manage the region’s response. OGHS is the main hospital for St. Landry Parish, a mostly rural area of 90,000 residents located about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.

As a member of the Healthy St. Landry Alliance, a consortium of more than 25 local health care providers, government agencies, faith-based organizations and community groups aimed at improving community health, OGHS was able to quickly identify health disparities further exacerbated by COVID-19 and provide necessary support and services.

OGHS and the Alliance set up a medical hub to coordinate patient care and wellness services for the region and a mass communications platform to share timely updates on the crisis with hospital and community leadership and stakeholders.

Through the communications pipeline and coordinated efforts, the Alliance is meeting local residents’ needs by mobilizing food banks, supporting local diaper banks, and more.

Read more about the coordinated community response to COVID-19 by OGHS and Healthy St. Landry Alliance in this AHA Members in Action case study.