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Our Patients

Photographer: Zach Smith

The People of New Orleans

Our patients here in New Orleans are culturally diverse, unique, and unabashedly vulnerable. Here at Tulane we believe that it is our duty to care for patients equally regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, social status, or sexual orientation. By the numbers:

  • The New Orleans Metropolitan area has a population of 1.167 million. 
  • An estimated 10-14 thousand of those people are undocumented.
  • 60% of population is Black, 33% of that number live below the poverty line. 
  • Here, the average household earnings: $33,014. 
  • In 2018, it was estimated that 20% of Louisiana residents were illiterate.

The expansion of Louisiana Medicaid in 2016 has had significant effects on lowering the amount of uninsured patients. This change has had a significant impact on the way we practice medicine here in the city. While many more people are insured, there are still a significant number of our patient population who find themselves without insurance. 

The majority of the New Orleans population faces significant hurdles when it comes to healthcare access. There is a 25.5-year difference in life expectancy between different zip codes in the city. The life expectancy is 54.5 years in our hospitals’ zip code. Our patients face significant roadblocks to care, and we make it our mission to address these barriers and their impact on our patients’ health and lives.

Below Dr. Keith Ferdinand, a member of our cardiology faculty goes into the basics of healthcare disparities as it relates to the people of New Orleans. 




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