Our Story

Founded in 2007 as the Early Child and Family Foundation to create a new model for education reform. Initially designed to serve early learners age birth to 5 years, which led an advocacy movement that eventually culminated in state legislation to advance and protect our early learners. With this
movement well underway, we turned our attention to the older learners who, even with a solid early learning foundation, continued to be failed by our school system. What we learned is that there is a vast gap in health care for our most high-risk students. We discovered that there were children who were failing out of school because no one had ever discovered that they couldn’t see.

Driven by this gap in services, we designed the Coordinated Care for the Whole Child (CCWC) program to be embedded permanently into the school’s culture. We forged deeper partnerships to set schools up to run the program independently once it has been established. We then educate and assist schools on Medicaid billing procedures that can offset health services costs for the schools permanently. Through these efforts, we are tirelessly working to change our school system one school at a time until all of our children in Louisiana have their health barriers to success addressed.

Because of the success of our CCWC Program and our partnerships with schools and health providers, we are now the Health & Education Alliance of Louisiana (HEAL).
Our mission is simple – Good Health, Better Education, Great Kids! Children can only succeed when their basic needs are met which makes our vision even greater. Every school, every child in Louisiana receives access to coordinated health and education to ensure student success.

Our Team


Rev. Irvin L. Bell
Desire Street Ministries
Executive Director, Abundance of Desire

Mary M. Joseph
Director, Children’s Defense Fund

Nelson Hellwig, MBA
Chief Financial Officer

Sharon B. Worthy, LMSW
Adjunct Professor of Social Work
Dillard University, New Orleans

Millie McClelland Charles 
Member Emeritus
Doctor of Humane Letters,MSW

Joan Coulter
Community Activist

Gretchen Edinburgh
Director of Asset Management
Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

Wilfred Edwards
UPS Mid-South District
Area Human Resource Manager

Hon. Marlin N. Gusman J.D.
Orleans Parish Sheriff

Dan Henderson
Gulfstream, LLC

Jason Wynne Hughes
Community Activist

Ashton Ryan, Jr.
President & CEO at First NBC Bank

Ced Scott
CEO, New Orleans Performing & Arts Society

Carol Ann MacGregor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Loyola University New Orleans

Vickie Stuart, CRNA, CLNC, DNP, FNAP
College of Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia Program
The University of Southern Mississippi

Phyllis Landrieu, M.Ed., Co-Founder
President, Health & Education Alliance of Louisiana


Phyllis Landrieu, M. Ed.,
President & Co-Founder

Connie Bellone RN, MSHSA, CCRN, CCHC
Chief Executive Officer

Barbara Lopez
Director of Office Operations

Jennifer Dewey, RN, CCHC
Program Coordinator

Deborah Palmer-Seal, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist

Callie Dorsey
Evaluation and Data Coordinator