Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance Wins International Award

 The Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance today won the prestigious international Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) at the IEDC Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN. The Healthcare Alliance, a collaboration of healthcare organizations, economic and workforce development organizations, and education and community partners, earned a bronze award in the category of Innovation Programs and Initiatives for populations 25,000 – 200,000.  IEDC is the world’s foremost professional organization for economic developers. 

Quote from IEDC Board Chair (optional) 

North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization, submitted the award application, nominating the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance. The initiative is led by Workforce Development Boards 83 and 81 and initially funded by a $60,000 grant from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The Healthcare Alliance is a sector partnership which includes representation from the healthcare sector in Northeast Louisiana, comprised of hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities and home health organizations. 

“The Louisiana Workforce Commission is incredibly grateful to the NLEP Board, staff and President Scott Martinez for their nomination,” said Secretary Ava Dejoie, LWC. NELP’s leadership in economic development enables meaningful and successful partnerships. LWC’s mission of ‘putting people to work’ is made possible through efforts such as these.  Winning this prestigious award affirms our combined efforts and serves as a clarion call to reach new heights.”

Its goal is to support the stability and growth of the healthcare industry and to promote a healthier community in Northeast Louisiana. The Alliance is committed to coordinated action in high priority areas, identified by public and private sector partners. The group developed impactful initiatives that addressed important healthcare issues, such as the critical need for nurses, improving patient transport, streamlining LPN licensing and educating legislators on the challenges faced by healthcare providers.


“What an incredible honor to win the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Bronze Award for Innovation Programs,” said Terri Mitchell, Executive Director, Workforce Development Board SDA-83, Inc.  “This is certainly a tribute to our regional healthcare providers and their willingness to jointly come to a shared business table to tackle pressing issues that affect the quality of healthcare in our region.  The NELA Healthcare Alliance is a unique partnership that is industry driven by about 40 multi-faceted healthcare 

leaders and is community-supported by a broad-based team of public partners like education providers, economic development agencies, workforce development boards and other stakeholders that seek to provide needed solutions to keep the industry strong and to get people jobs.”


The work undertaken by the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliances impacts more than 16,300 healthcare professionals, 4,300 students enrolled in healthcare-related programs, and more than 355,000 potential patients across Northeast Louisiana, South Arkansas and East Mississippi.  Monroe is considered the healthcare hub of excellence for this three-state region. 

“I’m honored to receive this award and so incredibly proud of the impact the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance has made in Region 8,” said Doretha Bennett, Executive Director, Workforce Development Board 81. 

This groundbreaking initiative pulls together partners who have never worked together before. The Alliance became the platform for innovation, discourse, collaborative decision-making and coordinated efforts that achieved greater results. As a result, an important initiative, funded by three grants totaling $450,000 from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, the Living Well Foundation, and the Ouachita Economic Development Corporation, addresses the need for nurses. The program supports six qualified registered nurses (RNs) as adjunct faculty to teach nursing clinicals at regional healthcare facilities during nontraditional times to reduce scheduling conflicts with existing clinical rotations. This regional effort expands the capacity of training providers to accept an additional 180 students seeking RN licensure thus serving 15,600 additional patients who will receive quality care. Also, the new RNs will see an increase in their median earnings.

“NLEP is proud to submit the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance for an IEDC Award,” said Scott Martinez, NLEP President. “We wanted to showcase the innovative work being done right here in North Louisiana on a global stage. The prestigious IEDC award is a highly competitive and peer-judged honor that attracts hundreds of entries from around the world. Every year, NLEP likes to highlight the amazing work being done by unsung heroes in our communities.”