Ochsner Health announced a commitment of $5 million from the Brees Dream Foundation to support the creation of community health centers in Louisiana. The health centers will offer primary and specialty care to underserved communities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. This donation comes after Brittany and Drew Brees committed $5 million in March to organize and mobilize meal programs throughout the state of Louisiana for all communities impacted by COVID-19.
As Louisiana continues to experience the impact of COVID-19, health, wellness and preventative care are critically important. The community health centers will be in neighborhoods with limited health resources and tailor services and specialties to the unique needs of area residents. This significant donation supports Ochsner's long-term efforts to reduce barriers to healthcare by making services affordable, convenient and accessible to all.
"Brittany and I are constantly looking to address the greatest needs of our Louisiana communities. The past few months have made us realize the importance of access to health care and we are committed to making sure every family can receive these critical services," Brees said. "We are blown away by the strength and resilience of Louisianians and our family is dedicated to removing barriers and supporting our neighbors today and for years to come."
Brittany and Drew Brees and their foundation, the Brees Dream Foundation, have collectively committed more than $45 million to charitable causes globally. This spring, Brees announced a significant donation and collaboration that would provide 15,000 meals daily to Louisianans in need. This contribution also supported the families of Ochsner Health and other health-care front-line workers when New Orleans emerged as one of the country's first COVID-19 hot spots.
"On behalf of our team, patients and community, I'd like to express our profound gratitude to the Brees family and Brees Dream Foundation for their extraordinary generosity," said Warner Thomas, president and CEO, Ochsner Health. "As we experience the most significant health crisis of our lifetimes, we're humbled by the support of Brittany and Drew Brees as well as other leaders and organizations who are stepping up to ensure that we don't just survive COVID-19 but create a stronger and healthier community. Access to health and wellness resources has never been more important and these centers will provide care to those who need it most."
The Brees Foundation has supported Louisiana families for several years. Earlier this month, they completed a successful campaign to support the Women’s Wellness and Survivorship Center at Ochsner Baptist, providing comprehensive care for women of all ages. In 2011, the foundation funded the NICVIEW Web Camera System for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), giving families with infants in the NICU the opportunity to monitor their tiny ones. NICVIEW cameras were especially important for families during the pandemic when family visits have been limited.
Additional details about these community health centers including locations, anticipated opening dates and services provided, will be announced in the coming months. Funds from the Brees Foundation will support startup and operational costs for these facilities. This project was also made possible thanks to the support and collaboration of state and local leaders, including Governor Edwards, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Veneeth Iyengar, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng and countless others.