The Lower Ninth Ward Community Wellness Consortium will release its Strategic Plan for Community Wellness at an open meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 at the Caffin Avenue International Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Lower Ninth Ward. Dr. John Ruffin, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health, will attend the meeting to discuss the plan with community members and representatives from institutions that developed the plan. Dillard University was instrumental in the formation of the consortium.
The Strategic Plan for Community Wellness contains specific action pathways and recommendations regarding health and wellness, education and schools, recreation, economic development and jobs, housing, the environment, and community infrastructure in the Lower Ninth Ward. Representatives from the community have pledged to help make these recommendations a reality by promoting wellness and partnering with non-profits and government agencies.
Leaders of community organizations, citizens of the Lower Ninth Ward, and representatives from the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (a partnership between Dillard University and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center) met 21 times over a one-year period to develop the plan. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham also assisted the effort. Meetings were open to all members of the community. Eighteen organizations came together to form the Lower Ninth Ward Community Wellness Consortium, which will work to implement the plan and its recommendations.
Six years after Hurricane Katrina, the devastation of the Lower Ninth Ward remains evident in the community’s physical environment and the psyche of its residents. "Despite the prolonged trauma and the disproportional impact to this vulnerable population, the community is resilient in its efforts to rebuild and persistent in its pursuit of justice and equity in the rebuilding process," said Dr. Shelia Webb, who lead the survey research and community focus groups that informed the Strategic Plan for Community Wellness.
To learn more about the Lower Ninth Ward Community Wellness Consortium and its Strategic Plan for Community Wellness, please contact Alice Craft-Kerney at (504) 259-8279.