by Caitlin McFeely, Communications Associate, Children's Health Fund
Blog readers, today we are happy to introduce you to another “Face from the Field”. Maria Even Johns is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) that works on the mobile clinic at CHF’s New Orleans Children’s Health Project (NOCHP).
Enjoy and don’t forget to leave questions/comments for Maria!
Caitlin (C): How long have you been working with CHF?
Maria: I’ve been here for almost 3 years (2yrs 10 months to be exact!)
C: What made you want to work for this type of organization?
Maria: I wanted the opportunity to work with culturally diverse kids and families.
C: What is your favorite part about working on the mobile clinic?
Maria: The diversity we see in the neighborhoods and population we serve.
C: What are the biggest challenges children and families in your region are experiencing in accessing health care and how are you addressing them?
Maria: Lack of transportation is a major barrier to care for our families. So to help them, we have implemented a program to provide transportation for these families to access care.
C: What are some unique programs or events that your program has to offer?
Maria: At the NOCHP we have a manual-based program called Weigh of Life that was adopted from Texas Children’s Hospital. The main goal of the Weigh of Life program is to use behavior modification to change habits related to eating and food, subsequently changing lifestyle. Initially the family meets with our Medical Director, Dr. Alina, to screen for complications and illnesses related to obesity. Afterwards the family is scheduled for an initial assessment with me. At each visit, the child's BMI and level of motivation is tracked and then we work on a project. There are 15 projects in total (10 are focused on behavior modification and the other 5 are education about nutrition and exercise). Then the child/family is given "assignments" to work on each week related to the project they have completed that week.
C: What’s your favorite thing to do when not working?
Maria: Something fun with my kids!