by Caitlin McFeely, Communications Associate, Children's Health Fund
This Saturday, August 28, marks the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Shortly after the hurricane ravished the Gulf Coast, CHF’s mobile clinics were on the ground, providing health care for the children and families in the region. Three permanent Children's Health Fund programs, in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Mississippi Gulf Coast, were launched and continue to provide health and mental health care to children and families living in the Gulf Coast region today.
Today, we’re talking to Donna Usner, who has been with the New Orleans Children’s Health Project since the program launched after Hurricane Katrina. Enjoy!
Caitlin (C): Donna, thanks for interviewing with us! How long have you been working with CHF?
Donna: I began work with NOCHP not long after Katrina, in 2006.
C: What made you want to work for this type of organization?
Donna: As part of a career goal, I’ve always worked with children and families during a time of crisis. CHF’s work fit with my personal mission. Prior to Katrina, I worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital that flooded and under great controversy would not reopen. As a result, I was forced to write the next chapter in my life. I met some of the CHF team in Baton Rouge and they talked me into doing a mental health needs assessment for the New Orleans area with the intent to have a Community Support and Resiliency Unit arrive the following spring.
C: What is your favorite part about working on the mobile clinic?
Donna: The mobile clinics I work on are state of the art clinics that truly remove barriers to accessing quality health care (physical and mental health care). The families we meet are my ‘favorite part’ of the work but the fact that each day is different… one never knows what to expect next on the mobile unit J! I also enjoy my work at a local maternity home done in conjunction with the mobile care clinics.