dinner conversation

Last night I was at dinner in someone’s home and the following is the abridged version of a portion of dinner conversation. I say abridged because I was so mad that one, the guest had the audacity to discuss politics in a room of people this person had never met, save one, and two I didn’t want to go ballistic and embarrass the host so I left.

Guest: I was at the VA hospital today for (some random event) and was able to see the blueprint of the new hospital.

Me: Oh really, tell me about it…

Guest: Well on Banks street, the old oak trees were saved, and some of the buildings will be built around the oaks, so there will be a corridor down the middle – a shaded promenade with benches and such.

Me: That sounds nice!

Guest: While I was there today, some of the (nameless) dignitaries were discussing how the Charity Hospitals were being dismantled and they were looking at private corporations to take over the care of the patients.

Me: Oh really? Well after Katrina, when Charity hospital was closed down, all the patients had to go somewhere so they were seen at Ochsner, East Jefferson – it didn’t work well and those hospitals lost a lot of money…

Guest: Yeah, one of the doctors at (nameless hospital) was telling me how after the storm, a gun shot wound patient broke into some pharmacy storage area to take medicine, so that didn’t work out too well with “those” (emphasis guest) patients at the private hospitals. So its going to be difficult for “those” (emphasis guest) patients to find somewhere to go.

Me: I honestly don’t see how the state could possibly shut down the Charity Hospitals? What are they going to do with the new hospital? Sell it?

Guest: Well there will be no more Charity system, they are doing everything right now to close all the hospitals. It won’t be an issue especially if Obamacare is defeated in November when Romney wins.

Me: Its called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Plus there is no guarantee Romney will win.

Guest: Well if Obama is re-elected, there are ways to defeat the health care bill.

Me: Oh Really? You know, we really shouldn’t be going there (having political discussion with strangers) at dinner…

Guest: Well how do you think Obamacare is going to be funded? The federal government will need to put up $50 billion dollars they don’t have to pay for it…

At this point I excused myself and helped clear the table and began washing dishes. The guest continued carrying on political discussion with the others remaining at the table which I could hear from the kitchen. I did as much as I could to assist the host –  but very soon after when another guest excused themselves it was my cue to leave too.

I find it extraordinarily disturbing that there is a subversive political process going on which is hell bent on obliterating health care for the poor and uninsured in Louisiana. There has already been a loss of thousands of state jobs, and this current round will result in 1500 more people out of work. How does this contribute to the tax base, the spend and growth economy, putting people out of work, regardless of the fact that these are hard working and dedicated state employees?  Where are all the students of health care, physicians, nurses, allied health, going to go for training? Not to mention all of the sick, sick patients and not just the victims of and perpetrators of violent trauma: there is no plan in the foreseeable future for the state to pony up through Bayou Health or any other fee schedule to reimburse the private hospitals that will wind up caring for the uninsured poor. And once these private hospitals begin to see red, what will happen to the patients? Will they just start dying in the streets? Where is the social justice in that?

There is a call to action out there, let your voice be heard. Representative Jerome Richard from Thibodaux has called to convene a special session to address the recent bulldozing of healthcare, among other things. Contact your state legislators and senators, and demand they go to special session in November to reverse the evisceration of health care in this state. You the citizens elected the legislators and they answer to you, compel them to do their job and do what’s right by their constituents and not the special interests.

*****UPDATE***** This link will take you to an online petition through Change dot org requesting the legislature to convene a special session to find out what in God’s name is going on with the railroading of health care in Louisiana – please consider signing it – thanks

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PSA: Free City-Wide Baby Shower Friday!

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Citywide Baby Shower

Date: 08/03/2012 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location:
Daughters of Charity Health Center-Carrollton Third Floor, Community Room
3201 S. Carrollton Ave.
New Orleans LA 70118

Contact Information:
Stephenie Marshall
stephenie.marshall@dcsno.org
(504) 874-0053

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Daughters of Charity Health Centers (DCHC), in collaboration with Amerigroup, Kiwanis Club of the Westbank Konnection, Dillard University’s School of Public Health, and Healthy Start, will host a Citywide Baby Shower for new and expecting moms at 10 a.m. Friday, August 3 at Daughters of Charity Health Center in Carrollton, 3201 S. Carrollton Ave. This event is free and open to the public. New and expecting moms will receive free breastfeeding information, baby items, consultations with doctors, midwives and nutritionists, and much more.

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
President
504-339-9802
MaryKYoung@att.net mail to: MaryKYoung@att.net

Michele Schellhaas, R.N.
Vice-President
504-296-9001
Mds0919@yahoo.com mail to: Mds0919@yahoo.com

Jane Fountain
Secretary/Treasurer
504-236-9925
Tillytoo@aol.com mail to: Tillytoo@aol.com

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.

Guest Blogger: Bayou Creole on A New Nursing Home Trend

The hands of an elderly resident at a nursing home (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

The hands of an elderly resident at a nursing home (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

New Nursing Home Trend

Many moons ago, the only people  living in nursing homes were the elderly.  If your parents or grandparents needed 24 hour care, you could put them in a home where there would be nurses and aids there 24-7  to assist them. But, there’s a new trend going on( here in Louisiana for sure).

Facilities that previously only had elderly people are now getting young folks,folks in their 20′s-50′s…way too young to be in a facility with the elderly.Not only that, a lot of these young people have mental health problemsor drugs and alcohol problems. Some of the young people who end up in these facilities are helpful to the elderly. But a lot of times, they intimidate the elderly to the point where the elderly are afraid to say anything against them. Then, there’s the abuse and the situation of having young, sexual men in a place with females who are either elderly or mentally challenged. I received a phone call today informing me that an elderly female in one such facility was raped by a male living there. That’s a hard pill for a family member to handle. You think you’re doing the right thing by your loved one, putting her somewhere medical care is available, meals are being served, she can no longer wander out of the home so, she’s supposedly safe. Then, you get a call saying someone raped her there.

The nursing game has changed. It’s sad but, it’s true. I’ve heard horror stories over and over again. I’ve witnessed horror stories too. Since there aren’t any place for the mentally ill to go anymore, it seems the new trend is to put them into nursing facilities. But what happens to the poor elderly people who have to be there… with a paranoid schizophrenic, who refuses to take his medication? Who’s  really protecting them? Folks call the state all the time and nothing ever changes.

If anyone is thinking about putting their loved one in a nursing care facility, do your research first. Don’t believe what they tell you. Visit there at different hours of the day. Walk every single hall in the facility. Take note of the mental capacity and age of everyone you see, employees included. Let your senses be your guide. What do you see, hear,smell? Hang around for lunch and order a plate, how does it taste? Do you see residents wandering around aimlessly or are they engaged in activities? What is the work environment like? Happy employees take better care of people. Visit as many places as humanly possible before making a decision about where you’ll put your loved one because, the game has changed.Healthcare has changed… and the elderly are suffering because of it.
~~~
Bio:
I’m a registered nurse born,raised and living in the fabulous city of New Orleans. I’m married to a man who’s way too good for me and have two kids who keep me young and zany. My passions are for all things NOLA, Elder Rights and Animal Rights.
~~~
This piece was previously published on Bayou Creole’s blog of the same name.

How The Affordable Care Act Will Affect You

The Supreme Court is gearing up to hear challenges to The Affordable Care Act soon. Access to affordable healthcare is an issue that impacts virtually every person in this country and one we should all be concerned about, whether you’re already covered under a plan or are uninsured. There are so many people in dire straits in our current economic climate and thousands are losing their healthcare benefits along with their jobs. Many are bankrupted after using their life savings to pay for medical costs over the lifetime max allowed by their insurance plans. (Under the plan, annual limits on benefits are phased out by 2014.)

This morning I read a piece in Women’s Voices for Change that has a lot of good information and links about The Affordable Care Act and I’ve decided to publish it here in it’s entirety. I hope you find it as valuable as I have.

The Affordable Care Act: An Online Primer

November 28, 2011 by

Though the Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments about its constitutionality, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is law, and more provisions are set to go into effect this coming year and in 2013. With that in mind—and to brush up on the basics before the Court digs in—we asked healthcare scholar Janet Golden to give us a quick roundup of information that’s easily available online.  —Ed. 

On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (If you’ve got hours and hours of time to kill you can read the whole thing online.  Before, during, and after the debate over this legislation, it’s been deemed everything from a sell-out to big business as usual to a socialist plot. But with more of its provisions going into effect in 2012, it’s worth taking a closer look at what’s in it for over-40 women and their families.

A key provision is the mandate requiring individuals to be covered by health insurance. It provides subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals to purchase coverage, mandates a basic set of benefits, and prohibits exclusions based on pre-existing conditions. The logic of the mandate is simple: for the Affordable Care Act to effectively lower health care costs while covering those with expensive chronic conditions, we all need to participate. It simply isn’t fair for someone to avoid insurance premiums for decades and then, when needing millions in care, to jump into the coverage pool.  Moreover, if only those needing care get coverage, insurance rates will be unaffordable.  In a 2009 commentary on CBS News Moneywatch, one economist offered a simple explanation of the need for the individual mandate.

So what exactly is in this law—which I’ll call the Affordable Care Act—and how do you get accurate information about the phase-in of benefits? And which provisions directly affect women over 40? The answers can be found at a number of easily understood websites.

The federal government website Healthcare.gov offers a timeline explaining the implementation of the numerous provisions in the law. For example, women who run small businesses or who lead small nonprofit groups became eligible for tax credits for their contributions to their employees’ health insurance retroactive to January 1, 2010. Women over 65 on Medicare who hit the “donut hole” in their prescription-drug coverage received a one-time rebate check for $250, with additional coverage and discounts being phased-in. The website also has a list of the preventive services for women, mandated under the law, that are covered. Notably, mammography, cervical cancer screenings, and well-woman visits are covered. Funds for prevention—including those aimed at smoking and obesity—are increased under the law. It’s worth scrolling through the timeline and looking at the phase-in of various reforms. (Perhaps you’ve gone to the doctor this year and been pleased to find that you don’t have a co-pay for these services!) You’ll find additional information in Healthcare.gov factsheets.

Of the many sites offering information, my personal favorite is the one supported by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that funds research on healthcare issues and grant programs aimed at improving healthcare practice and policy.  Their timeline and “health reform provisions” tool are the most clearly written and easiest to navigate of any that I’ve found.

Another rich source of information is the Kaiser Family Foundation website. The foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries, aims to provide independent, factual information on health issues. They have a dedicated discussion of health reform, and if you’d rather watch than read, they produced a short video on the topic narrated by Cokie Roberts. If you think you know all you need to about the Affordable Care Act, you can take their ten-question online quiz and determine your knowledge of the new law.  (For the record, I scored 9 out of 10—better than 97 percent of all Americans!)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to determine the minimum set of benefits to be provided by all insurers. The Department asked the Institute of Medicine—an arm of the National Academy of Sciences that provides “unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public”—to propose criteria and methods for deciding what benefits should be covered. You guessed it—the IOM report is available online, too.

The Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on public health and disease prevention, also has a website on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The TFAH does an excellent job of pointing to the health-promotion and disease-prevention funding that comes out of the legislation, including better nutrition in schools, injury-prevention programs, smoking-cessation efforts and nutrition labeling in chain restaurants.

As I’ve tried to suggest, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has numerous provisions and a phase-in period of several years. It is aimed at not only providing access to care through insurance, but promoting health through other initiatives. It is complex, but good sources of information are available.

Now, the Supreme Court is getting ready to hear arguments about the law in the wake of conflicting federal court rulings about various provisions. If you’d like to keep up with the news about this and other key health care debates, visit, or sign up for email delivery of Kaiser Health News.  Your access to health services and public health efforts in your community, now and in the years to come, may depend upon the Supreme Court’s ruling, so it’s a good idea to stay informed.

Janet Golden is a professor of history at Rutgers-Camden and the author of numerous books and articles. She is a specialist in women’s history, medical history, and the history of childhood.

~~~
Testimonial photos via We Are the 99 Percent.

How Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Will Hurt Louisiana Women

Via The National Women’s Law Center

Repealing the Affordable Care Act will Hurt Women in Louisiana
January 2011

The Affordable Care Act makes important advances for women’s health. The new law protects women in Louisiana from discriminatory health insurance practices, makes health coverage more affordable and easier for them to obtain, and improves access to many of the health services they need. Repealing this important law will hurt women in Louisiana by returning to the days of a health care system that did not work for women.

Insurance Industry Practices that are Harmful to Women Would Continue
In addition to the prohibition on sex discrimination in health care, the new health care law explicitly prohibits discriminatory insurance practices. These important protections will prohibit insurers from treating women like a pre-existing condition. Here are a few of the important insurance protections women will lose if the law is repealed:

􀀑 A ban on gender rating for individuals and small businesses. Under the new law, by 2014 (at the latest) insurers in Louisiana would no longer be allowed to charge individual women and small employers with a predominately-female workforce more for coverage.
􀀑 Prohibitions on coverage denials and exclusions for women with “pre-existing conditions” such as pregnancy; having had a C-section, breast, or cervical cancer; or having received medical treatment for domestic or sexual violence. By 2014 (at the latest) insurers in Louisiana will be required to accept all applicants for coverage regardless of their medical history, and will no longer be able to issue coverage with pre-existing condition exclusions. For children, the prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions began in September 2010.
􀂃 Uninsured women in Louisiana who were uninsured due to a pre-existing condition will lose access to coverage through the pre-existing condition insurance plan – or “high-risk pool” – that is available on a temporary basis, until the new insurance rules are in effect in 2014.
􀀑 A ban on lifetime and annual limits, which prohibits health plans from placing dollar limits on covered services, giving women the security of knowing that their plan benefits won’t run out when they need them the most. Lifetime limits were banned for all health plans starting in September 2010. Annual limits are also strictly regulated and will be banned entirely for all new health plans and existing group plans in 2014.

Obtaining Insurance will be Harder and More Expensive if the Affordable Care Act is Repealed.
Women in Louisiana are poorer (on average) than men and have more trouble affording health care. For instance, nearly a quarter of all women in the state report not visiting a doctor due to high costs.1 The new health care law would expand access to affordable coverage in several ways by 2014, but if the law is repealed women will lose opportunities to obtain the affordable coverage they need. For example:
Up to 97,500 uninsured, low-income women in Louisiana would not become eligible for  Medicaid, which by 2014 would be expanded to those up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL), or roughly $29,000 a year for a family of four. 2
􀀑 Women would not see the benefits of a new Health Insurance Exchange that would be established in Louisiana to serve as an easy-to-use “insurance shopping center” where women can compare and choose the high-quality health plan that best fits their needs.
􀀑 Approximately 176,000 women in Louisiana would not receive health insurance subsidies to help towards premiums and out-of-pocket costs of Exchange-based health plans; subsidies would be available to those with family incomes up to 400% of the FPL, or roughly $88,000 a year for a family of four. 3
Women Would Lose Coverage of Many of the Important Health Care Services They Need.
􀀑 All new health plans issued on or after September 23, 2010 are required to cover recommended preventive care at no cost. Repealing the new law would mean women would lose no-cost access to important preventive screenings such as mammograms and pap smears.
􀀑 Starting in 2014, health plans sold to individuals and small businesses must cover a broad range of health services. If the law is repealed, plans will not be federally required to cover many services important to women including maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health care.

There Are Many Additional Provisions of the New Law That Will Improve the Health and Well-Being of Louisiana Women and Their Families- Which Women Will Lose with Repeal.
Additional benefits of the new health care law that women will lose with repeal include (but are certainly not limited to):

􀀑 Tax Credits for Small Business: Women are more likely than men to work for small businesses that don’t offer health insurance, and will benefit from the new tax credits to help small businesses provide coverage to their employees (available for the 2010 tax year), as well as unprecedented access to affordable small group health coverage through the Exchanges.
􀀑 Coverage for Young Women Up to Age 26: Young women—who are more likely to be uninsured than women in any other age group—will benefit from a new rule that took effect September 2010 which allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy as a dependent until age 26. 4
􀀑 Closing the Medicare Drug Coverage Gap: Older women will benefit from a provision which closes the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” or the coverage gap that currently requires seniors to spend a considerable amount out-of-pocket for prescription drugs. In 2007, 64% of the Medicare beneficiaries that were affected by the “donut hole” were women.5
􀀑 New Long Term Care Insurance Options: A new national, voluntary insurance program known as CLASS will be established as early as 2011 to provide long-term services and supports to individuals with functional limitations. This program will alleviate burdens on family caregivers, who are most often women.6
􀀑 Time for Nursing Moms to Express Breast Milk at Work: Nursing mothers and their infants will gain from a requirement that employers provide a reasonable break time and location to express breast milk (effective immediately).7,8
􀀑 “Direct Access” to Obstetrical and Gynecological Care: As of September 2010, all new health plans are prohibited from requiring authorization or prior approval when women seek this type of health care.9

For more detailed information on how women will benefit from Affordable Care Act, visit the National Women’s Law Center website: www.nwlc.org/reformmatters

________________________________________________
1 Kaiser Family Foundation, Putting Women’s Health Disparities on the Map (2009), http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemapreport.jsp?rep=31&cat=15
2 National Women’s Law Center calculations based on health insurance data for women ages 18-64 from the Current Population Survey’s 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, using CPS Table Creator, http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstc/cps_table_creator.html
3 Ibid. Includes an estimated 102,000 uninsured women and 51,000 women who currently purchase coverage from the individual health insurance market.
4 At least thirty states already have laws that extend dependent coverage to young adult children, regardless of enrollment in school. Many of these state laws are more restrictive than the new federal law, and none apply to self-insured or ERISA plans (as the federal law does). The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a list of states’ dependent coverage laws at: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14497
5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Strengthening the Health Insurance System: How Health Insurance Reform Will Help America’s Older and Senior Women, http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/seniorwomen/index.html, Last Accessed on April 26, 2010.
6 Kaiser Family Foundation, Women and Health Care: A National Profile (July 2005), http://www.kff.org/womenshealth/upload/Women-and-Health-Care-A-National-Profile-Key-Findings-from-the-Kaiser-Women-s-Health-Survey.pdf
7 This provision applies to all employers, though employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt if they demonstrate that the requirements impose an “undue hardship” on their business.
8 At least twenty-four states already have laws related to expressing breast milk in the workplace. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a list of these states and summaries of their laws at: http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/Health/BreastfeedingLaws/tabid/14389/Default.aspx
9 Thirty-six states and DC already have direct access laws that managed care companies and group health plans must comply with. However, the new health reform law is broader in scope, since it requires all new health plans (i.e. for individuals and groups of all sizes, including self-insured health plans) to comply. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a list of existing direct access laws at: http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=493&cat=10

________________________________

Over 1000 Uninsured Treated at Morial Convention Center

Huge thanks to National Association of Free Clinics. You Rock!

From Earth Tiimes:

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Organizers of a free health clinic for uninsured residents of Louisiana are pleased with its success today. Not only did the clinic see 1,000 patients, it may have saved the lives of some sick individuals. Many of the patients had not seen a physician since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Volunteer physicians and other medical providers tended to the health care needs of over 1,000 patients who attended the C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The clinic was organized by the National Association of Free Clinics and Louisiana Free Clinic Association (NAFC).

“We saw a number of very sick patients today who have not had medical care for many years,” Doctor Corey Hebert, a New Orleans physician and one of the clinic’s medical directors said. “This clinic was a life saver for many people who have no way to pay for their healthcare needs.”

Corey went on to say, “It is important that this is the same facility where people were dying four years ago and today we are giving them life.” His remarks were in reference to the aftermath of Katrina and the human crisis that occurred at convention center.

“It was wonderful to provide free care to so many people in one day,” Nicole Lamoureux, executive director of the NAFC, said. “But it also was important that we were able to connect a large number of these patients with free clinics and other health care providers who can provide them with care on a day-to-day basis.”

The NAFC and the Louisiana Free Clinic Association sponsored the event. The 727 volunteers who participated included physicians, nurses, other medical providers and non-medical individuals.

“I am very moved by all the physicians and other medical providers who volunteered to make this C.A.R.E. Clinic such a success,” Dr. Rani Whitfield, M.D., said. Whitfield, a Baton Rouge physician, served as co-medical director for the clinic. “The dedication to helping those need help was moving.”

The clinic operated from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today at no cost to patients or taxpayers. Most of the patients registered before the event, but walk-ins were seen on a first-come-first-served basis.

“We did good work today,” Whitfield added. “It was good to connect many people in need of medical care with doctors, nurses and others who can help them on an ongoing basis.”

This was the second massive free clinic the NAFC has sponsored. Over 1,700 patients received treatment at the first one, which was held in Houston in September. Two more C.A.R.E. Clinics are planned in Little Rock on Nov. 21 and Kansas City on Dec. 9-10.

“I’m looking forward to building on the successes in Houston and New Orleans to help even more people,” NAFC President Sheri Wood, who is based in Kansas City, said.

More information about the NAFC and the Little Rock and Kansas City events is available online at: http://freeclinics.us.

New Orleans CARE Clinic Preliminary Numbers

* 68% of patients seen seek medical care in the emergency room or do not seek care when ill

* 53% of those seen have not seen a doctor in more than one year with many not seeing a doctor since Katrina

* 90% of patients seen have more than one diagnosis
o Hypertension and diabetes being the most prevalent

* 55% of those seen were women and 45% were men

SOURCE National Association of Free Clinics

FREE HEALTH CLINIC TOMORROW FOR THE UNINSURED


The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) and its partners will be sponsoring a one day free medical clinic for the uninsured on Saturday November 14, 2009.

Where:
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Cnter Blvd.
Halls I2J
New Orleans, LA 70130

PLEASE CALL 1-877-233-5159 for an APPOINTMENT

**Uninsured Patients Only**

Ages 6-65
Clinic Time 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Walk Ins will be seen on a limited basis

For more information about The National Association of Free Clinics and to donate click here.

Sunday Postscripts

Ok, New Orleanians, after a several week absence, Sunday Postscripts is back….. here are a few links from the NOLA blogosphere I want to pass along in case you missed them.

Food
Weigh in on your favorite gumbo in the city at NOLA Eats and find out the favorites of other locals. Who makes your favorite gumbo?
Yesterday I went to The Mirliton Fest (which was a blast!) where I had the great pleasure of eating mirliton shrimp and grits cooked up by Chef Anne of Karma Kitchen. I just want to give her a little shout-out here because, lawdy, was that one fantastic, salivating dish!

Architecture
Architecture Research, a wonderful local architecture blog, talks about the November issue of The Atlantic which features an article about the new post-K domestic architecture in New Orleans.
In the same vein, catch up on what’s happening with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation ~ thanks to Good NOLA for the shout out.

Healthcare
Valentine Pierce and her mom have been dealing with disturbing and all too common issues navigating Medicare and Medicaid coverage for the elderly. Read her post Hell and Damnation: Medicare and Medicaid. Oh, we don’t need healthcare reform? Mmmkay.

SAINTS!
Are you a Saints fan? (Is the Pope…..yeah, you know the rest!) Check out Chicks in the Huddle,a sports blog from a woman’s perspective, for their evaluation and prediction of today’s Saints – Panthers game.

GEAUX SAINTS!
orleans

Dat’s all!

UPDATE: Yay for Chicks in the Huddle ~ they predicted Saints to win 31 – 20, Final score: Saints 30 – Panthers 20! WOMAN POWER!!

Healthcare Reform Town Hall Tuesday 8/25/09

Supposedly. I received this email regarding same:

*Community Conversation on Healthcare Reform*
*4 Years After Hurricane Katrina * Healthcare Still in Crisis * Our Urgent
Needs for Reform*

*What: * The Community Conversation on Healthcare Reform/ is a citizens’
coalition effort to shed light on both the steps taken by Congress in
response to President Barack Obama’s call for national legislation to reform
healthcare, and the healthcare crisis affecting the people of New Orleans,
Louisiana before and after Hurricane Katrina. This forum creates the
opportunity for residents to deepen their understanding of the proposed
healthcare reform legislation, reflect on the broad range of healthcare
issues affecting our community, and discuss their concerns and needs that
are related to healthcare policy. Additionally, attendees will be asked to
take a survey on current healthcare policies and proposed reforms. Come
prepared to ask your questions, get answers, and give information on our
community’s health care needs.

*When: * Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

*Where: * Tulane Memorial Baptist Church, 3601 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, LA
70122

*Forum sponsors: * Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, Children’s
Defense Fund – Louisiana Office, Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana,
Louisiana Justice Institute, Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic, YMCA of Greater
New Orleans

Invited Panelists:
Senator Mary Landrieu
Senator David Vitter
Representative Joseph Cao

Mary Joseph, Director, Children’s Defense Fund
Kevin Stephens, Director, City of New Orleans Department of Health
Calvin Johnson, Executive Director, Metropolitan Human Services District
Martha Kegel, Executive Director, UNITY for Greater New Orleans
Moriba Karamoko, Executive Director, Louisiana Consumer Healthcare Coalition
Donald Erwin, President and CEO, St. Thomas Community Health Center

I contacted via email the original notifier of this town hall to find out if Landrieu, Vitter and Cao have actually committed to attending this meeting. The response:

it says it under forum sponsors. i dont know the point person or the lead organization. i wuld call someone from avdocates for environmental human rights, louisiana justice institute, or childrens defense fund to find out more info.

Why is this so damn difficult?
I’m going anyway…email me if you want to carpool.