June 17, 2010

Blue Cross Founds Our Home, Louisiana Coalition to Bring Health and Wellness Resources to Gulf Coast Families

Coalition plans 12 Coastal Care Fairs beginning June 22 in Grand Isle

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has founded the Our Home, Louisiana Coalition with several other organizations and agencies to improve the health and welfare of Louisianians affected by the crisis in the Gulf by providing health information and resources related to the wellbeing of people in the affected communities.

That mission translates into plans for 12 Coastal Care Fairs in seven Louisiana coastal parishes being produced and underwritten by the coalition, named after Blue Cross’ theme of hope and renewal after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the state in 2005.

“The crisis in the Gulf has radically affected the environment, the wildlife, and the physical and economic health of thousands of Louisianians,” said Mike Reitz, Blue Cross President & CEO. “The residents of Louisiana’s coastal parishes are suffering, and people all over the state, including BCBSLA employees, want to help.”

Reitz said the state’s largest health insurer has always been committed to the health and welfare of Louisianians and played a leadership role in bringing health information and services to its people. “Blue Cross is ready and willing to commit resources and expertise to help in those areas we can best address.” Reitz said. “We formed the Our Home, Louisiana Coalition so that other organizations can join our efforts.”

The Coalition has scheduled 12 Coastal Care Fair events beginning June 22 in Grand Isle. Each event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., most at a local public library branch. At each event, coalition partners will offer everything from free health screenings and job information to mental health counseling, refreshments and even entertainment for the kids.

More information and a calendar of all the Coastal Care Fairs is available on a new coalition website at The site provides more details on the fairs, lists coalition partners, offers additional resources for families affected by the crisis and provides information for the news media and for organizations interested in joining the coalition.

“The Coastal Care Fairs are really just phase one of our effort,” Reitz said. “We will be assessing the needs of our neighbors on the coast over the summer and looking at ways we and our coalition partners can address those needs.”

As of today, the Our Home, Louisiana Coalition includes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Tulane Community Health Centers, Magellan Behavioral Health, Second Harvest Food Bank, Louisiana Serve Commission, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Health and Wellness Institute, Corporation for National and Community Service, United Way, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. BCBSLA is a not-for-profit, fully taxed mutual insurer, owned by policyholders and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.2 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,800 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at on Facebook at Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at and CEO Mike Reitz at

Our Home, Louisiana Coalition Online