Assault on Local Home Health Nurse Precipitates Fundraiser/Outreach Program

The HALO Foundation
Holistic Healing for Violent Crime Victims in Healthcare

On Thursday, January 26, 2012 the crime that persists in the City of New Orleans shocked us again. And this time it hit very close to home. One of our own, a home health nurse, who has dedicated her life to home care service, became another Victim of Violent Crime, another statistic in the long list that pervades our community. At 3:30 p.m., in the middle of a beautiful Thursday afternoon, while arriving at a patient’s home, she was robbed at gunpoint, abducted and assaulted.

We all heard the blip on television that Thursday evening and perhaps even a bit through the weekend. But just how many of us paid attention? Just another crime, we all think. And then more information is revealed. The woman is a home health nurse. Uneasiness settles in as she begins to have a face. We realize she is a mother, a daughter, a friend, a caregiver, one like us and the ripple effect begins. For those in the home care and hospice industries, this is a daily fear. For those in healthcare, we recognize we can sometimes be a target. And all of us in the healthcare industry know the unique needs of a Victim of Violence. We are too acutely aware of the long-term effects these acts can have not only on the Victim, but on their families. We know how long and how difficult the road to healing can be.

We call her “Angel” because she needs and wants to be anonymous at this time. She is surrounded by a strong support group of family, friends and mental health professionals. She is comforted, yet gives comfort. Her strength amazes us. She has many needs that encompass the physical, the psychological, the emotional and even the practicality of financial and legal needs. She must process this, begin a path to healing, deal with the stress of the legal aspects and must have a means of support.

She recognizes she needs help, and is willing to accept. She also realizes how this tragic event has affected the home health and hospice community. As a dedicated caregiver who has experienced violence, she seeks a way to care for colleagues who may in the future also become a Victim, and to also work towards better safety systems and policies.

Through this desire, and her need for anonymity, The Healthcare Angels Lifeline Outreach Foundation a/k/a The HALO Foundation was formed on February 15, 2012. A dedicated fund for “Angel” has been established at Regions Bank for donations directed to her. Donations can be made at any Regions Bank to the account of “The HALO Foundation.” 100% of donations made to this account go directly to “Angel.”

We Need Your Help!

Request for Volunteers: We are currently seeking individuals who want to proactively be involved. Our needs are many and we need volunteers and leaders. We have established the following Committees needing volunteers – Program Development, Financial, Fundraising, Public Relations, Information Technology and a Nominating Committee for the Board of Directors. If you or someone you know would like to be involved, please contact any one of us listed at the bottom of this page.

Fundraising: In an effort to help “Angel” concentrate on healing we would like to assist her financially by sponsoring a series of fundraisers. Currently, we are announcing that The HALO Foundation is sponsoring a fundraising event for Angel’s benefit to be held at Mid-City Rock’nBowl on Sunday, June 10, 2012 from 1:00p.m. to 4:00pm. We are in the preliminary planning stages at this time and are working on entertainment and a Silent Auction. We need volunteers and humbly ask that you consider giving us your TIME to help us plan and execute this event, to assist with planning the entertainment or helping to collect donations for the Silent Auction. Please help us in having a successful and fun-filled event by donating your time.

Please share this with your staff, colleagues, family and friends. For More Information:

Mary Kathryn Nichols
504-339-9802 mail to:

Michele Schellhaas, R.N.
504-296-9001 mail to:

Jane Fountain
504-236-9925 mail to:

The Healthcare Angels Lifeline Outreach Foundation
a/k/a The HALO Foundation
Holistic Healing for Violent Crime Victims in Healthcare

Mission Statement
The mission of The HALO Foundation is to provide support, resources and a pathway for holistic healing addressing the physical, psychological, emotional, financial and legal needs for members of the healthcare community who become victims of violent crime while in the service of administering care to others.

Vision Statement
Our medical community will feel free to administer necessary care to others without fearing for their own safety.

Our Goals
Our goal is simple, yet two fold. We want to provide support and comfort to our colleagues and their families who become victims of violence and to give them a sense of empowerment so they may recover to their full life potential. In addition, we want to be proactive in addressing the safety concerns of healthcare workers in our community. To address these goals we have issued a 7-point plan:

• To provide financial assistance to allow victims and their families to concentrate on recovery;
• To provide a peer support network;
• To provide a network of medical and legal professionals to ensure advocacy through law enforcement, judicial, and healthcare systems;
• To offer in partnership, safety, self-awareness and self-defense presentations, seminars and other professional trainings to healthcare workers;
• To promote community awareness of the daily dangers faced by home care professionals in an effort to promote collaborative community action efforts to stop victimization;
• To work to improve policies and procedures of the medical and legal professions in the treatment of victims of violence throughout the crisis;
• To collaborate with law enforcement and healthcare associations/organizations in an effort to affect the Safety Policy and Procedures and Safety Performance Improvement Plans to better protect healthcare providers working in field positions.

The Swamp Witch Tackles the Green Monsters

We’ve been back in our flooded house for just over a year. The place is very different since we changed some rooms and went with a different style for the interior. The windows are new thermals that look nothing like the 70 year old casement types that used to be here. The kitchen is a study in solid Maple, Green-Black granite and stainless steel. The pantry is no longer a laundry room… it is now 14 x 7 ft of food storage. Geo-thermal heats and cools the place and the hot water is almost free. Wood paneling lines one end of the Living room and the Game room is still awaiting a pool table and furniture, but all in all the place is sweet for the time being.

In many ways I’m at peace with things here, at peace until I look out of the windows.

Four plus years post-Flood the yards resemble Dresden after the bombings. The contractors’ machines churned up the fountains, ponds and flower beds raising the house. The side yard has taken a year to stabilize since the geo-thermal well was drilled down 250 ft.  The Flood killed the citrus and pecan trees (One bizarre citus tree remains, but it needs a ton of sugar to become edible). The massive vegetable gardens are gone, and I can’t bring myself to plant food stuffs in the soil. I don’t know what the presents were that the Flood delivered to us that fateful day and I am not about to injest them.

Some trees, an elephant ear plant and one old rosebush survived the Hell that was our wonderful little place. Those are the treasures.

And then the Green Monster decided to occupy the destroyed landscape. Yes… weeds have come to claim this place as their new headquarters in their attempt to overgrow the entire city of New Orleans. They have come to assimulate us in their chaotic frenzy of  luxurious growth and the insect menagerie that call such areas home.  It looks like the Triassic Era as there are large amphibians and reptiles swarming across the terrain. Dinosaurean-like egrets walk the yards hunting the the little green lizards. Squirrels mock me as they chomp down the few plantings I have tried to establish. Giant bugs demand entrance to the house as if it was their due.

The “Wild” thinks it owns this place. There seems to be nothing to stand in it’s way of total domination of the area. It will reclaim that which Humans have lived on for almost 200 years, but there is a problem…

I AM the Swamp Witch, and I am now mouting an offensive to corral these little sprites, cast my vision upon the ground and create a place of harmony within the center of New Orleans. The Witches’ Garden is now taking form.

There will be no tactical chemical assaults. No massive burnings scorching the landscape. Instead there will just be me coaxing the Monster to hold to it’s own spaces and allow me mine (“one person’s weed is anothers flower”).  Anarchistic chaos will be replaced with my own brand of chaos.  There will be raised herb and veggie beds, shrubs and exotics, trees from all over the World.  My waterfall and ponds will be rebuilt as one watercourse with my own little railroad. There will be arbors and container orchards. This is my little island of insanity surrounded by Modern brainlessness and angst. I will win, and yes the Green Monster will have it’s place in the whole scenario. This is the way it must be.

This whole crazy scenario concerns 1/3 of an acre in Suger Hill, the stepping off point for Gentilly (which didn’t exist until 1909, 100 years after this place was inhabited)… a place I’ve named the Lost Neighborhood since I-610 cut us off from everything else. A small hamlet of 60+ homes, mixed folk and income. It is also peaceful and safe. Though I have lived many places haflway around the globe, I am back home and have staked my place, and this is the last place I will ever call home in this Life. And this place in the Future is a gift to our neighborhood, and I want folks to be able to enjoy it.

This is Part One of a continuing (unless the Kudzoo strangles me first) series of essays about re-landscaping a destroyed parcel of land that I wish to return to a place of meditation and connection.

I will go in depth on all of the things that will be done here, including pics and products, as I move forward.  These are techniques I have either used or studied since the Mid 60’s. The technologies involved will also be explained as well as tips from others as the project moves forward. And there will be tales of insanity since I tend to attract that genre.

There will also be a meditation labyrinth to build and info of how to do a greenhouse properly. (that’s a nightmare in itself, but winnable) There will be datails on rainwater collection/storage that will help with things around your yard.

I hope to shed some light on the geology and history of the area as part of this project. It will sort of round things out, and for the folks not from New Orleans it will illuminate the possibilities one may encounter when re-doing their own yards. So with all that said, next month should be about planting trees. shrubs and breaking down the old water toys. The little railroad will be a joy to explain, and the NOLA Bloggers all have places on it (that’s right).

‘Til the next post, I should be planting some Maples and shrubs and maybe starting the meditation area. I’d like it if you followed along. This could be fun, or just the Kudzoo will get me and you’ll get a thrill. Who cares? It’s just about living and enjoying your surroundings.

BTW- I don’t do lawns. Boring stuffs. (and if y’all are nice, I may  be a sharin’ my recipes with ya’s from stuffs from the garden. Okay?)


P.S.- I will take suggestions Darlin’s.