With seven million people around the nation left behind in President Obama's health care reform, it has become ever more important to inform ourselves about the medical services that are available to everyone, regardless of whether or not they have health insurance or legal status. Here in our own city, there are many services available from Kenner to the West Bank. Below, we highlight just a few of the centers in the New Orleans area that are known to provide affordable healthcare and health education in English and Spanish.
- Tulane University: offers services in multiple locations across the city. Fleur de Vie Clinic at Covenant House is a clinic which provides services in primary care, mental health, social services, and prescriptions to those with and without health insurance. Located at 611 N. Rampart St., they offer services for a small fee, usually $10-20. You can make an appointment by calling 504-988-3000.
- Tulane also offers services for children ages 0-24 via the New Orleans Children's Health Project. Based in New York, the project began in this region after Katrina. They currently have three programs in the south, in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Mississippi. The New Orleans program has locations at MLK Charter School, Esperanza Charter School, Andrew Jackson Elementary, and P.A. Capdau School. According to Carlos Naranjo, Case Manager, the program "offers complete services... for everyone who needs it." They provide pediatric and mental health care, affordable access to prescriptions, and "Weight of Life," an obesity program. Some of the most frequent health issues seen involve obesity, asthma, and respiratory problems. Naranjo stated that 50% of their patients are Hispanic. As such, all services are offered in Spanish. It is free to visit the clinic and no documentation other than vaccination records is required. Please call 504-988-0545 or their Spanish Line at 504-858-0155 to make an appointment.
- Common Ground Health Clinic: Provides free health care, counseling, first aid, vaccinations, and prescriptions. They accept walk-ins Mondays through Wednesdays at their location on 1400 Teche St. in Algiers. For their hours, call 504-361-9800 or 504-365-8800. They also work with the Latino Health Outreach Project to provide services on Thursdays on the corner of Martin Luther King and South Claiborne, and on the last Friday of each month at 2514 Elysian Fields. Contact Narda for more information about the Latino Health Outreach Project at 504-377-7281.
- The Daughters of Charity Health Centers: Provide assistance for as low as $25, depending on the visit. The order took control of the city's Charity Hospital in 1834 and continued to establish the Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans, a community health services ministry, in 1992. They provide primary and specific health care to children, adults, and seniors in three locations across the city: 3201 S. Carrollton Avenue, 4201 N. Rampart Street, 111 N. Causeway Boulevard, and 843 Camp Street. 60% of the patients seen at their Metairie location are Hispanic, although they also see many Hispanics in their other locations. "All of our healthcare facilities have bilingual staffs," says Maureen Larkins, Director of External Affairs. They will soon open two additional locations which include dental, pharmacy, behavioral health, and optometry. "We do see patients who don't know that they have [terminal] illnesses," adds Larkins. "We have a program to refer them to get special services." The clinic accepts insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, and operates on a sliding fee for patients without insurance. Payment is collected at the time of service and varies by appointment. Patients should bring proof of income, a photo ID, and any prescriptions they are currently taking.
To be continued in the next edition of Jambalaya News...
Lori Tyler is a contributing writer to Jambalaya News.