Access to Health | United Way of Southeast Louisiana

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Access to Health


17,850 individuals accessed health care services and supports

88% of children and adults served ate healthier, increased physical activity, and/or moved toward a healthy weight

7,162 individuals participated in physical activity, healthy food access, and/or nutrition programs

83% of youth and adults served adopted healthy behaviors

17 policies promoted, enacted, or modified to promote health



Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans

YMCA new orleans

A stage 2b breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy plunged Ashely* into uncertainty at just 23. 
Unable to return to school, battling her insurance company for coverage, and bills mounting, she was referred to the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans. Through CAGNO, a United Way Community Partner, Ashely received help with her living expenses and connections to other sources of financial assistance/aid. This gave her the financial boost she needed to re-enroll in school and start paying down her medical bills.
Medical emergencies can strike at any time, balancing individuals like Ashely on the edge of financial ruin. Supporting organizations like CAGNO is one example of United Way’s commitment to ensuring everyone in our community is able to withstand life’s most trying times. 

Learn more about the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans at

Photo via Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans


public policy_health

The United Way of Southeast Louisiana 2019 Public Policy Legislative Agenda, “United for a Safe & Prosperous Community,” continues our advocacy fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of every person. This agenda is aligned with United Way’s Blueprint for Prosperity, our plan to eradicate poverty in Southeast Louisiana, and lifts up ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) – households who are living paycheck to paycheck, one financial emergency from falling into poverty.

In the 2019 regular session, United Way and our advocacy partners successfully advocated for legislation that protects individuals undergoing cancer screenings and treatment. The passage of the following bills will save lives and ensure that people are not subject to the high costs of cancer prevention and care by their insurance providers. 


ACT 118 (HB 345) authored by Representative Julie Stokes provides for coverage for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility screening. This legislation requires insurance to cover the BRCA test – an indicator for breast cancer – before women test positive for cancer so they can know their risks before it is too late.

ACT 119 (HB 347) authored by Representative Julie Stokes provides for the coverage of diagnostic imaging at the same level of coverage as screening mammograms. This legislation requires insurance to fully cover the diagnostic tests for breast cancer in addition to the initial screens.

ACT 120 (HB 370) authored by Representative Julie Stokes provides relative to prescription drug benefits for persons with stage-four advanced, metastatic cancer. This legislation stops the insurance industry from requiring patients to use the cheapest treatment first before moving onto more expensive, and possibly more effective, treatments that have been ordered by their doctor.

Learn more about our advoacy efforts in our 2019 Legislative Wrap-Up.