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


Nelson Hellwig, MBA – Board Chair
Chief Executive Officer
Alliance for Community Transfusion Services

Dan Henderson – Treasurer
Gulfstream, LLC

Carol Ann MacGregor, Ph.D. – Vice-Chair
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Loyola University New Orleans

Carol Allen – Secretary
Community Activist

Joan Coulter
Community Activist

Mary M. Joseph
Director, Children’s Defense Fund

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

Cory Bergeron, MS, LPN
Vice President, Donor Operations
The Blood Center

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

Tallie Merritt
President, FSC Interactive

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

Millie McClelland Charles 
Member Emeritus
Doctor of Humane Letters,MSW


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

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

Barbara Lopez
Director of Office Operations

Jennifer Dewey, RN, CCHC
Program Coordinator

Deborah Palmer, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist

Kristen Sanders
Data Coordinator