Healthcare Disparities: A City of Devastation


Healthcare Disparities: A City of Devastation




Healthcare Disparities


This is a documentary-styled video on the healthcare disparities New Orleans residents face in a post Hurricane Katrina world.


Olivia Coward and Sheridan Carter


My Nola, My Story via Youtube


Mass Communications Department at Xavier University of Louisiana


29th April 2022


Olivia Coward and Sheridan Carter


My Nola, My Story


My Nola, My Story 2022




InShot, Video



A Digital Humanities project by Xavier University of Louisiana’s Department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts

Original Format


Olivia: New Orleans, a city drenched in culture from its music, and its food all the way to its architecture. The city is known by many tourists for the elaborate and lively parties and Mardi Gras parades and the signature party drink, daiquiris. But when it comes to the lives of New Orleanians and the issues they face daily due to constant devastation the city encounters, there seems to be less conversation.

Irvin Washington: Honestly I’m going to keep it a buck, we still recovering from Katrina. Even now, I feel like its gotten a little bit better. There have been a little bit more situations…

Olivia: The result of the devastation New Orleans has faced is no secret nor is it hidden from the general public. By just driving around the city you see the destruction left behind by a number of natural disasters and most recently Hurricane Ida. Charity Hospital is one of the many places that have never recovered and has been shut down since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There has already been a divide in healthcare based on many social factors and adding the destruction of healthcare facilities has definitely impacted that social dynamic as well.

“Dee” Robicheaux: …That can vary because it goes by low incomes, it goes by locations, and the areas that you live in. And it is very hard to describe it because now there is a lot of interracial black and whites. It is hard to say it is about race because it’s obviously not as black and white.

Olivia: Research has shown that the geographical nature of residents in the areas they live in plays a role on the type of health care they recieve, and New Orleans is a city that has experienced housing segregation between its white residents and its residents of color. Housing segregation can result in a decrease in how beneficial the health care provided to a community is, as an increase in poverty rates decreases the amount of resources provided. As a result, where you live strongly impacts your health.

Olivia: A study was done by the “Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Place Matters” and they collected data from different area codes in New Orleans to see how the health of the residents varied.

Olivia: This diagram shows the different area codes in the New Orleans parish and the two area codes that are being honed in on are 70112 and 70124. Area code 70112 which includes Tulane, Gravier, and Treme has residents that experience more health care disparities than the resident in 70124 which include Lakeshore, Lake Vista, Lakeview, West End, Lakewood, and Navarre. There is about a 25 year difference in the life expectancy between the two areas, and 70112 residents face STDs, babies with low birth weights and heart disease and a higher rate than any other zip code in New Orleans. This can all be tied in with the fact that 70112 has “The highest percentage of people living below 150% of the Poverty Level in New Orleans.

“Dee” Robicheaux: A lot of the big companies that offer benefits, offer an extremely high deductible that you’d never meet.

Olivia: Many of those who were forced to evacuate due to Katrina lost their jobs. Without their jobs, they lost the health care insurance their jobs provided them and they also could not afford to buy their own. Those that have chronic illnesses have to deal with even more expensive deductibles in their new places of residence. In addition, those that were covered under Medicaid in Louisiana might not have met the financial requirements in their new states, therefore becoming uninsured. As a result of Katrina, the high deductibles provided by the companies are nearly impossible for them to meet and they cannot pay for their treatment on their own.

Maurice Robicheaux: ...But then on the other hand, I’ve probably met some of the greatest, most caring, you know, medical professionals ever…

Olivia: Good healthcare and insurance are important, especially for people of color who endure chronic illnesses. Both were lost after people of color were disproportionately affected by Katrina. Health care is one of the many systems that are still being rebuilt despite the destruction it faced during Katrina, and by shedding light on the issues people of color in New Orleans face, it allows for those who are bringing about change to focus on the right areas. Listening to the experiences of local New Orleanians helps emphasize the importance of providing adequate healthcare despite their socioeconomic differences.


4:02 (4 minutes 2 seconds)




Olivia Coward and Sheridan Carter


Olivia Coward and Sheridan Carter
Date Added
April 29, 2022
Item Type
Moving Image
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Olivia Coward and Sheridan Carter, “Healthcare Disparities: A City of Devastation,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed November 28, 2022,