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Nurse Practitioners Key to Strengthening Louisiana Primary Health Care Access

Community Leaders Discuss Policy Solutions to Give Patients Provider Choice, Access

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (April 24, 2019) — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) met in New Orleans, Louisiana, to explore the critical role nurse practitioners (NPs) play in meeting the need for high-quality, patient-centered health care.

The meeting of community leaders and stakeholders took place on Wednesday, April 24, at Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie. AANP CEO David Hebert, JD, led the discussion with health, government, business, civic and faith-based organizations focused on the shifting health landscape and potential solutions for strengthening patient access to high-quality health care in Louisiana. Participants included Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer and New Orleans Chamber of Commerce CEO Ben Johnson who participated in a roundtable discussion following remarks by Hebert and AANP President-elect Sophia Thomas, a native Louisianan and former president of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Louisianans, along with many Americans, struggle for access to quality health care. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best States for Healthcare rankings, Louisiana ranked 47th in the nation on measures of health care access and quality. Each community across the state is dealing with the situation. While this is not a new issue, it’s important for community leaders to work together in finding a solution.

“While there are many contributing factors to Louisiana’s health care situation, we believe an ongoing dialogue about ways NPs can help improve access to high-quality care is critical,” Hebert said. “As we’ve seen in 22 states and the District of Columbia, granting patients full and direct access to NP care is a no-cost, no-delay solution to addressing Louisiana’s health care challenges.”

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 355,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs' patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information and to locate an NP in your community, visit