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The city of New Orleans is among 5 U.S. cities chosen to receive grant funds of up to $170,000 through a partnership between the Citi Foundation and Living Cities called Citi Accelerator.  The grants are intended to help cities better communicate with residents about key issues, including business climate, healthcare and city planning.

New Orleans intends to use the funds to increase use of it’s free public health clinics among low income residents. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the grant helps the city’s efforts to improve overall quality of life in a wide range of areas. “From murder reduction to blight, we’ve engaged residents to improve service delivery and achieve results. Now, with City Accelerator’s help, we will be able to engage our city’s most vulnerable populations, because every life matters. I am grateful to the Citi Foundation and Living Cities for this opportunity, which will help us continue improving the way we do business,” said Landrieu.

Although a Medicaid waiver program qualifies an estimated 50,000 New Orleans residents for free healthcare, approximately half of eligible residents use the services.  City officials plan to use the Citi Accelerator grant funds to increase use of these services, particularly among its low income residents.

Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore and Seattle were also recipients of the Citi Accelerator grant.

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