NO/AIDS Task Force d.b.a. CrescentCare was founded in 1983 in response to the early devastating effects of the AIDS epidemic in the New Orleans area. The organization began as a single phone line with an answering machine at a home in the Faubourg Marigny. The program expanded by offering an AIDS Information Center and Hotline in 1985. In the years following, we continued to expand our services in response to community need and the impact of the epidemic on diverse populations. Case management and mental health services were added in 1990. A meal delivery program was added in 1992 and a community mobilization project with offices in the French Quarter/Marigny was added in 2000. Services were expanded to the Houma/Thibodaux area in 2001.
CrescentCare has operated as a Ryan White funded organization since 1991 when Ryan White funding first became available from the federal government. Through Louisiana’s Office of Public Health, CrescentCare receives Ryan White Part B funding for services in the Houma/Thibodaux area and Center for Disease Control prevention services in Orleans Parish. In 2009, CrescentCare became one of two Ryan White Part C recipients for Early Intervention Services in the New Orleans area.
In 2012, we merged with AIDSLaw of Louisiana and we began offering legal services in southeast Louisiana. In 2013, the agency applied for and became a Ryan White Part D recipient, enabling HIV services to be provided to women, infants, children, and youth as well as affected family members. The Part D grant had previously been awarded to Children’s Hospital of Louisiana who relinquished funding and CrescentCare was successful in transitioning the program services, program integrity and most of the program staff employed by Children’s Hospital to CrescentCare where uninterrupted services have continued.
In response to the community need for health care in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, and the opportunities under the Affordable Care Act, the agency expanded its mission and services when it became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2013. In 2014 it also began offering dental services. In addition to a financial grant, the FQHC designation offers the organization enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, malpractice protection through the Federal Torts Claim Act, significant cost savings with the 340B Pharmacy Program, and access to the Health Services Corp loan forgiveness for certain service providers.
CrescentCare continues to grow rapidly to meet the community needs in the changing health care environment.