New Orleans Business Alliance

I Deserve IT! Challenge


Claiborne Cultural Innovation District in Partnership with Tulane University


Addressing health disparities for residents in the Claiborne Ave. Corridor by improving health equity in service delivery that enhance equitable patient engagement and increase access to community-based health services and wellness programs reducing adverse outcomes.

Full Challenge Statement:

The Claiborne Corridor stretches through the core of New Orleans and is the heart of our most celebrated cultural traditions, home of the nation’s oldest African American commercial districts and neighborhoods, and host to the region’s BioInnovation district. It is also the site of $5 billion in completed or committed public and private investments, yet remains the site of our city’s most glaring socio-economic and health disparities. It includes thirteen neighborhoods where a disproportionate number of residents live in poverty amidst blight and violence, and are faced with limited access to quality healthcare, jobs, transportation, and safe housing.

With a population of 71,864 (19% of Orleans Parish population), Claiborne Corridor residents make up 42% of the city’s workforce (30,382 workers) and experience poorer health outcomes than other residents. Performing worse than non-Claiborne residents on most important health indicators, Claiborne residents have higher rates of chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and poor mental health, exacerbated by historically higher uninsured rates compared to non-Claiborne residents. These concentrated disadvantages have led to a 25-year deficit in life expectancy between Claiborne Corridor residents and the city's wealthier, whiter neighborhoods.

For decades, disparities in health have been well documented and regrettably, remain prevalent despite evidence and appeals for their elimination. Compared to the majority, racial and ethnic minorities continue to have poorer health status and health outcomes for most chronic conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Many factors, such as affordability, access, and diversity in the healthcare system, influence care and outcomes, creating challenges that make the task of eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity daunting and elusive for service providers and health practitioners. Recognizing that many health disparities exist not only because of a lack of resources, but often because people in poverty don’t expect that they should be well and are accordingly more passive about their health outcomes, rarely feeling empowered to investigate options or control their interactions with healthcare providers. In the 2018 Health Impact Assessment conducted to identify the impacts of the impending Cultural Innovation District (CID), residents asked for wider access to community-based health services and education as an intentional outcome of the community revitalization project.

The New Orleans Business Alliance in partnership with Ujamaa EDC have collaborated with the New Orleans East Hospital, City of New Orleans Health Department, Tulane University School of Public Health and other community-based health practitioners to develop the “I DESERVE IT!” a forward-thinking, strategic campaign aimed at creating new norms in our views of health and care, shifting those elements of our cultures that promote disease into ones that promote wellness. I Deserve It! partners are designing with Claiborne Corridor residents a deeply integrated social marketing campaign promoting solution-based positive health messaging; an equity toolkit for local care providers to serve as an implement for instituting equitable patient-provider interaction; an equity review of City of New Orleans policies, identifying those which result in the disparities experienced by neighborhoods, and an action plan for reversing those outcomes. The poor outcomes experienced by Claiborne Corridor are not the result of poor character or decision making of residents. Rather centuries of federal, state, local, and private sector policies and practices have created an environment that are destined to lead to poor outcomes, no matter their character or choices. I Deserve It! will co-create policies, practices, and projects that work to restructure our systems and “un-design” the impacts of centuries of inequity. I Deserve It! seeks to develop an upstream, public health, wellness approach to tackling long-standing disparities in healthcare currently addressed by an ineffective healthcare delivery system that results in a 15-25-year deficit in life expectancy for the residents along the Claiborne Ave. Corridor.

These dire circumstances demonstrate the need for an impactful public health initiative focused on equity and sustainability. In addition to working to lower these numbers, our approach directly responds to the family health priorities set forth in the 2013 City Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan and the 2017 Claiborne Corridor Health Impact Assessment. By maintaining fidelity to the data and community recommendations, we will impact broader resident priorities for cultural preservation and radically improved access to care, and managed change for community benefit. Health IT may help underserved populations by enhancing patient engagement, improving implementation of clinical guidelines, promoting patient safety, and reducing adverse outcomes. Additionally, individuals with limited English proficiency and/or limited health literacy may benefit where health IT can enhance patient-clinician communication through language and literacy specific materials and visual aids. The I Deserve It! challenge will collaborate with our strategic partners to design digital solution(s) that address the health outcomes for residents in the Claiborne Ave. corridor that would:

  • Capitalize on social networking to enhance access and communication with health care providers on cultural competencies;
  • Connect residents to community-based health service providers and educational wellness programs that are aligned with their personal and cultural preferences
  • Identify strategies for integrating social marketing into health promotion interventions focused on major health-related issues that affect Claiborne Ave. corridor residents;
  • Amalgamate techniques that integrate health equity communication best practices and tools for cultural competencies to produce an equity toolkit for healthcare providers that address health disparities

Ultimately, the digital solution should be made with the target population in mind, be user-friendly, intuitive and culturally relevant. The solution should also take into account the barriers identified and the known disparities in access to care in the area.

Prize Package:

The winner of the I Deserve It! Challenge will have an exclusive tour of the Claiborne Corridor Innovation District, home of the nation’s oldest African American neighborhoods, the heart of our most celebrated cultural traditions and host to $5B in completed or committed public/private investments. The winning team will also have the opportunity to meet with Senior Executives from both Ujamaa Economic Development Corporation, New Orleans Business Alliance and strategic partners, to discuss matters such as potential improvements to, and/or the implementation of the winning solution within the Claiborne Corridor. Upon determination of implementation potential, the collaborative will promote the winning team’s technology through multiple marketing and communication channels. The winning team may also be eligible to receive in-kind prizes such as free co-working space and access to premier business services.

1250 Poydras St., Suite 2150
New Orleans, LA 70113 | 504.934.4500