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Mobile Clinic Heads to Plaquemines Parish

October 13, 2010 12:00 PM
New Wave Staff

The New Orleans Children's Health Project is bringing a crisis response unit to lower Plaquemines Parish, La., to help families affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The mobile pediatric unit, a partnership with Tulane University and Plaquemines Community C.A.R.E. Center, will bring needed medical, mental and public health services to the area.

Oil Spill News from Tulane


Dr. Alina Olteanu of Tulane, right, medical director of the New Orleans Children's Health Project, cuts the ribbon on a new mobile unit that will provide healthcare to children and families in Plaquemines Parish. (Photo from the Children's Health Fund)

The crisis response unit, sponsored by the Children's Health Fund, is providing the healthcare services to children and families in Plaquemines Parish, which has been federally designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area and is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

“Tulane University School of Medicine has partnered with the Children's Health Fund for the last five years to provide school-linked mobile health care services to children and families in neighborhoods recovering from Hurricane Katrina,” said Dr. Alina Olteanu, medical director for the New Orleans Children's Health Project, who is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Tulane School of Medicine.

“This is a natural expansion of the program to help families as they recover from the lingering effects of the storm and Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” she said.

Services will be provided at four sites in lower Plaquemines Parish. The multi-disciplinary team will provide clinical assessments, evaluations, counseling and referrals for the more than 5,900 children in the area, whose parents reported significant medical and mental health needs after the BP oil spill.

“Plaquemines Parish is still suffering from the consequences of Hurricane Katrina and the unfinished business of rebuilding the area's healthcare assets,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, co-founder of the Children's Health Fund. “We are pleased to be bringing the Crisis Response Unit to this region where it will be able to visit schools and other remote areas, providing comprehensive care to children who face many barriers to medical care.”