Historic rainfall and flooding in southern Louisiana have left the region devastated and vulnerable, affecting many families still recovering from similar flooding that hit the area in early March. As of this past Sunday, more than 20,000 residents in southern Louisiana have been rescued from their homes, and more than 10,000 people have relocated to shelters.
In response, Children’s Health Fund programs are providing support to help children and families with emergency assistance during this challenging time. Since launching its first mobile medical clinic in 1987, Children’s Health Fund has pioneered the use of mobile doctors’ offices to bring care directly to kids where they live, study and play. Children’s Health Fund’s Baton Rouge program, part of the Children’s Health Fund National Network, was initially created as a response to the urgent pediatric health care needs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The program now provides critically needed medical and mental health services to underserved children and families in the Baton Rouge area.
According to medical director Dr. Roberta Vicari, current needs are many. The mobile clinic is stationed at Our Lady of the Lake and is being used to offset the high demand for emergency room visits and is a triage asset that is seeing patients that do not require urgent care. With school having been suspended, and many of the school sited where the mobile mental health clinic would be visiting being underwater, the Baton Rouge Program is also offering the mobile clinic to the command center coordinators and awaits deployment instructions.
According to Sean Nguyen, program administrator for Children’s Health Fund Baton Rouge, donations of supplies specifically for children, including formula, bottles, diapers, and inhalers, are in great demand. Responses to ongoing and urgent medical and mental health needs as a result of the floods will be crucial.
“The Children’s Health Fund Baton Rouge team has been providing high quality health care to the community’s most disadvantaged kids for the past 10 years,” said Children’s Health Fund Executive Director Dennis Walto, “…they have a habit of only realizing that a job was impossible well after having finished it. We will do everything we can to continue to support their heroic efforts.”
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