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MEDICC Launches Its Newest Community Partnership for Health Equity (CPHE) in New Orleans

MEDICC Launches Its Newest Community Partnership for Health Equity (CPHE) in New Orleans

Oakland, California, February 8, 2017 – MEDICC has launched its newest Community Partnerships for Health Equity (CPHE) program in Central City, New Orleans. Now active in twelve sites throughout the United States, MEDICC’s CPHE programs offer community health leaders an opportunity to visit Cuba, observe Cuba’s public health programs, which have achieved impressive results on a limited budget, and apply lessons learned from Cuba in their home context.

The new CPHE program launched with a workshop held at The Ashé Cultural Arts Center hosted by the longtime community health activist “Mama Jamilah.” Comprised of 45 residents and representatives of community organizations, the workshop included an orientation led by MEDICC’s board member Arnold Perkins and CPHE Director Diane Appelbaum, who were also invited to visit neighborhood organizations and observe the many creative initiatives and “can-do” spirit of community leaders.

Diane Appelbaum and Arnold Perkins CPHE Oakland

Diane and Arnold with CeaseFire New Orleans members Greg and Calvin

Central City offers a rich array of organizations taking innovative approaches to community development. The Ashé Cultural Arts Center offers many cultural and wellness programs, and along with the Central City Renaissance Alliance, serves as a hub to foster collaboration among other neighborhood organizations. Focused on preventing street violence in the Central City neighborhood, Cease Fire New Orleans employs the Cure Violence evidence based murder-reduction model and was visited by President Obama. Café Reconcile is a healthy, nonprofit restaurant that provides culinary training and job search support for youth. Also focused on skill-building, the NET Charter School provides struggling high school students with the confidence and experience necessary to succeed in the education and career paths of their choice. Many of these organizations are located on a three to four block stretch of Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, which runs through Central City.

Addressing the New Orleans group, Ms. Appelbaum noted: “The Central City community already has many parallels to the Cuban system.  We offer CPHE as added value to the good work you are already doing to address wellness and health equity.”  During the next 8 months, the Central City group will participate in additional workshops in New Orleans to identify community priorities and to develop a focus for their travel to Cuba later this year. Afterwards, MEDICC hopes to support on-the-ground projects, inspired and informed by the visits to Cuba, to further improve Central City’s health and health equity.