ST. CHARLES COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, UNITED WAY OF ST. CHARLES TEAM UP TO BRING PRIMARY CARE PROFESSIONALS AND MEDICAL SERVICES TO WHERE THEY’RE NEEDED MOST
DECEMBER 14, 2005: A welcome gift is rolling into the Greater New Orleans area today just in time for the holidays. To help fill the need for primary care medical services in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina, St. Charles Community Health Center (SCCHC) has teamed with United Way of St. Charles (UWSC)to operate, staff and supply a Mobile Medical Unit to serve thousands of citizens in need.
Funded by a $200,000 grant from the United Way, the Unit will bring medical services to areas left without any or sufficient medical alternatives, according to Denise Brodsky, UWSC Executive Director.
“As a result of Katrina, most major healthcare facilities in Orleans, Plaquemines, Jefferson and St. Bernard Parishes are, to a great extent, no longer operational. These closures have displaced thousands of physicians and hundreds of thousands of patients from their primary sources of medical care delivery. Because St. Charles Parish is the closest location to the affected areas available for urgent and primary care, St. Charles medical facilities are experiencing predictably exponential growth in the volume of patients seen daily,” explains Ms. Brodsky. “To help confront this healthcare delivery crisis head-on, the Mobile Medical Unit will bring essential services to those in need throughout the region.”
States St. Charles Community Health Center CEO Mark Keiser, “We’ve been operating an Urgent Care facility since September 5th and have served thousands of evacuated and displaced persons regardless of their ability to pay. In order to meet the needs of the region, we will also operate the new Mobile Medical Unit, which we expect to serve approximately 100 people a day in the months ahead. We will be able to provide necessary preventive health care including CDC immunizations, and access to primary care professionals.”
The Mobile Unit will provide the services to those in need free of charge, and will also provide access to some prescription medications as well.
The use of the Mobile Medical Unit was secured by agreement with Salud Para La Gente, Inc., a migrant health center located near San Jose, California, with staffing provided by International Medical Corps.
The United Way grant will fund services through February 2006, and United Way will also assist in the search for ongoing funding for beyond that date. If these funding efforts are successful the Mobile Unit will become a regular resource of SCCHC to be used in St. Charles and surrounding parishes in the delivery of primary care and public health services.
According to data provided by St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center and public information sources, approximately 17,000 displaced residents from surrounding parishes resided in St. Charles post-Katrina, with approximately 5,000 expected to continue to live there long-term. Overall, an estimated 100,000 displaced persons will be located in the area to be served.
An initial schedule of
locations for the Mobile Unit:
More locations will be added on an ongoing basis and will be updated regularly and disseminated to the press and the public.