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Community Health Care Is on a Roll

August 10, 2010 10:45 AM
 | 
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu
  

The Tulane Office of Community Affairs and Health Policy is asking the Tulane community to vote for its mobile healthcare idea in the Pepsi “Do Good for the Gulf” competition that would help areas affected by the Deep Horizon oil spill. The Pepsi Refresh Project is giving away an extra $1.3 million to fund great ideas to help the Gulf communities.

Vote in the Pepsi “Do Good for the Gulf” competition to bring a mobile medical unit to people affected by the oil spill.

The Tulane Office of Community Affairs and Health Policy hopes to bring a mobile medical unit to people affected by the oil spill by winning the vote in the Pepsi “Do Good for the Gulf” competition. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


Online voting is now under way for the Tulane idea, which is to deploy a mobile medical unit to oil spill-affected areas to address the urgent needs of the community, and at the same time to train local people to become community health workers. The training would increase local capacity so that once mobile unit departs, there are still people on the ground who are able to address the physical and behavioral health needs of those affected by the disaster.

“I am happy to announce we are once again selected for an opportunity to win funds to continue the important work we do,” says Leah Berger, director of community health programs. The Tulane Office of Community Affairs and Health Policy recently won $50,000 in another online competition.

Staffed by a healthcare team, the mobile unit would go to five coastal areas affected by the oil spill to provide medical and behavioral health services to the population.

“Mobile medical units are a valuable resource in disaster settings and a unique opportunity to bring services directly to the people,” Berger says. “However, the mobile unit will not be there indefinitely so it is important to build community capacity among the local population and leave knowledge and skills with the community, which is why we also will train 12 community health workers at each area.”

In the online competition, each person can only vote once per day, Berger says, “so make sure you vote every day, tell your family and friends and post information on Facebook.”

Voting ends on Aug 31.