NEW ORLEANS — Miss Louisiana 2011 Hope Anderson is visiting communities across the state on a farewell tour before crowning her successor later this month, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The Monroe native launched her tour Monday in New Orleans.

Anderson used her title to champion health-related causes such as the Children’s Miracle Network and Pilots for Patients, a charity program launched in her hometown in 2008 in which pilots donate their time to fly patients to medical treatment.

“I just have a special spot for the kids and really all people with dire health circumstances,” Anderson told The Associated Press. “We all know someone who’s in need, have witnessed a loved one going through a tough time or who’s had to walk a rockier path because of a health issue. When I see someone in pain, I just want to help any way I can.”

Last year, Anderson raised more than $40,000 for the five Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospitals in Louisiana. She also took part in the 1,000th flight of Pilots for Patients last summer. Anderson flew with a patient from Monroe to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a weekly chemotherapy treatment, she said.

“These pilots use their own time, their own planes, their own resources to help these patients,” Anderson said. “It’s an organization that is very near and dear to my heart.”

Anderson holds an undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She plans to use her Miss Louisiana scholarship money to take part in a health communications program offered through Johns Hopkins Hospital.

After relinquishing her crown on June 23, Anderson said, she plans to move to New Orleans to teach yoga and work at one of the TV stations for a year.