Home » A note from Alice Riener, CEO

A note from Alice Riener, CEO

I have been fortunate to work at CrescentCare for the last eleven years – first as Director of Housing, then Chief Legal and Policy and then Chief of Staff — partnering closely with Noel Twilbeck, our previous CEO who faithfully served the organization for 33 years. I am humbled to have the opportunity to step into the role of Chief Executive Officer for CrescentCare and honor the legacy of our founding organization, NO/AIDS Task Force.  

My vision for this role is one of stewardship. To me, this means building a stronger and more resilient organization that can expand our services and be responsive to the urgent needs of our community. As New Orleanians, we have a long history of overcoming challenges, and we know that the only way we thrive is by supporting each other. Three years into COVID, we are refocusing internally on projects and initiatives that had long been paused as we did thousands of testing and vaccination events. Our team is working hard to relaunch and expand sexual health testing and HIV prevention services, and we are reconnecting with patients who may have dropped out of care or not focused on their wellness while COVID was at its peak.   

In 2014, we became CrescentCare to expand our services for the entire community. Becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center has allowed us to provide new and exciting wraparound services for all in our community, while never losing sight of our commitment to people affected by HIV. We’re proud of the role we’ve had in increasing access to PrEP for HIV prevention, and that we now prescribe 34% of it for the entire state.   

As we continue to grow and evolve, I want to reaffirm my commitment to support for the LGBTQ community. We’re proud to be a beacon of care for so many as we’ve grown our practice to provide specialty gender care and expanded our primary medical care and wraparound services. That said, the community need is great. We’re working hard to minimize wait times, expand programs, and continue to uplift the community into the future.  

A community health center should be a place to inspire and support. To respond to urgent needs, we are changing the way we deliver behavioral health services. We recently received an additional planning grant to become a Community Behavioral Health Center. This will allow us to expand our range of mental health support services and more rapidly respond with assessment and treatment for all patients who need support.  

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, like so many in our region, we were left without power, leading to disruptions in services and the devastating loss of temperature-sensitive medications and vaccines. To better respond to future challenges, we’re proud to be moving forward on our project to become a solar resilience hub. The Community Lighthouse Project – in partnership with Together New Orleans, Greater New Orleans Foundation, and Direct Relief – will allow us to keep the lights on in the next major power outage. A system of solar panels, batteries, and generators means we’ll be here to continue our services while also providing cooling and charging stations for our neighbors.   

We recently broke ground on a new MidCity location at 2515 Canal St. This new space will contain almost double the number of rooms for medical and behavioral health visits. It will also include a state-of-the-art community space and on-site pharmacy. We chose this location for its central location: close to major transit, directly on the streetcar line, and across the street from University Medical Center and Veterans Affairs.   

As we commemorate our 40th year as an organization, I am reminded of our legacy, and the hard work of so many staff members, volunteers, and clients over the years. It is in their honor that we continue to grow and strengthen our future.  

Published: Mar 29, 2023