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Celebrating Health for Teens

September 02, 2010 10:15 AM
New Wave Staff newwave@tulane.edu

Tulane physicians, celebrities and dignitaries were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Warren Easton Charter High School's Health Clinic on Sunday (Aug. 29), the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall.


Leading a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new school health clinic are, from left, Warren Easton principal Alexina Medley, actress Sandra Bullock, school nurse Cassondra Ferrand, Marsha Broussard of the Louisiana Public Health Institute and Dr. Julie Finger, medical director of the clinic. (Photo by James Crump/Getty Images)

The school-based health clinic within Warren Easton Charter High School, in the Midcity neighborhood of New Orleans, will be a full-service medical and dental clinic. It is the product of a partnership between Tulane School of Medicine, Louisiana School Health Connection and the Warren Easton Charter High School Foundation. Major funding for the $700,000 facility comes from the Kellogg Foundation, actress Sandra Bullock and the San Francisco 49ers Foundation.

Representing Tulane at the ceremony were Dr. Sue Ellen Abdalian, professor of pediatrics and chief of adolescent medicine, and Dr. Julie Finger, assistant professor of pediatrics who is medical director of the Warren Easton clinic.

Also present were actress Bullock, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Sen. Mary Landrieu and Gen. Russel Honoré, who coordinated military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina–affected areas across the Gulf Coast.

In nearly 2,000 school-based health centers across the country and 64 in Louisiana, children are getting everything from routine physicals to emergency medical treatment without ever leaving school, Eve Abrams reports for WWNO, New Orleans' public radio station.

When the 2005 flooding destroyed several New Orleans hospitals, school-based health centers, along with other neighborhood clinics, stepped in to provide primary and mental health care for New Orleans' underserved, including children. But as federal funding for the school-based health centers expires, these health centers are forced to close their doors or dramatically reduce services, according to Abrams' report.