Red Nose Day is on a mission to end child poverty – one nose at a time, and Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is participating in the effort by celebrating its programs that improve access to healthcare across our community.
Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital’s Health Centers in Schools operates seven school-based health centers and manages the school nurse program at all 90 East Baton Rouge public, charter, and state-run schools serving more than 42,000 students. With parents’ consent, Health Centers in Schools helps all children, regardless of income, get the preventive and emergency healthcare they need to be able to stay in school.
“More than 25 percent of children in Baton Rouge live below the poverty level and suffer from preventable or manageable health conditions that hinder their ability to learn and succeed in school,” said Sue Catchings, director of Health Centers in Schools. “This is a real issue in our community, and to our organization especially, as we know the adverse effects that poverty can have on not only physical health but on psychological and emotional health as well.”
Health Centers in Schools is able to provide care across the region through its mobile medical clinics, also known by students and around the community as the “Blue Buses.” The Blue Buses go into the community to deliver free medical and behavioral health services to children, a program that began after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In the 2015-2016 school year alone, Health Centers in Schools completed:
Red Nose Day is being celebrated across the U.S. on Thursday, May 25 to bring awareness to children living in poverty here and around the world. People can support the cause by visiting their local Walgreens, purchasing red noses, and wearing them on Thursday. Funds raised from the purchase of noses go to partner charities like Children’s Health Fund, the national foundation that supports the Blue Buses.