Emergency Care for Young
Promising the expert staff of an emergency room with the nonthreatening environment of a pediatrician's office, Tulane University Hospital and Clinic is opening a Pediatric Emergency Department for patients 18 years old and younger. A team of pediatricians will staff the around-the-clock facility, where they will provide treatment for illness, injury and trauma. The pediatric staff of Tulane's Hospital for Children will also be available for emergency patients needing additional specialized care and consultation. To assuage youngsters' emergency room jitters, Tulane has made its Pediatric Emergency Department look more like a doctor's office than a hospital. There is a waiting room for patients and parents that is complete with a play area. The new emergency facility is part of a wide-scale renewal effort of the hospital's pediatric services and was prompted in part by an influx of children visitors to the area's emergency rooms post-Katrina.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners recently honored Jacqueline Rhoads, professor of nursing at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing, as one of its fellows a coveted title shared among only 26 other nurse practitioners this year. Rhoads earned the attention of the AANP with her substantial contributions to both the LSUHSC and the outside community. Besides heading up numerous programs at LSUHSC's nursing school, Rhoads tends to the city's homeless as an adult nurse practitioner at the Homeless Clinic and Odyssey House. Undoubtedly influenced by her more than 25 years as an army nurse in the military and the reserves, she has focused her research efforts on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and its effects on veterans. Rhoads has received at least 10 Excellence in Teaching awards. The AANP a national professional organization that represents nurse practitioners recognizes those health-care workers whose contributions, leadership abilities and creativity distinguish them in the medical community.
Help in the East
As the eastern New Orleans area picks up the pieces after the storm, the Enhanced Health Treatment Center is helping an often neglected group do the same for themselves. In an area where mental health facilities are scarce, the newly opened center makes a vital contribution to the community. Reopening in eastern New Orleans after Katrina's flooding closed its Gentilly location, the mental health center provides the intense personalized care of an inpatient facility, but allows patients to go home to their families at the end of the day. Staff members provide free transportation to the center, where patients spend the day in individual and group therapy programs. The center supplies stability and nurtures normalcy for these patients, many of whom have received no psychiatric attention since the storm. Administrator Barbara Braxton and staff psychiatrist Dr. Sarah DeLand have both played integral roles in the local health community in the past. Braxton worked at the Charity School of Nursing and Charity Hospital before opening the mental health center 10 years ago, and Dr. DeLand works for Tulane University Medical School.
In a span of only three years, Barbara Hyland has started two programs at East Jefferson Hospital and she's only a volunteer. Her work recently garnered national attention when the Spirit of Women Hospital Network honored her with the title of National Healthcare Hero at its Spirit in Action Awards ceremony last month. Hyland became drawn to EJH's palliative care department after seeing the attention the hospice system gave to a friend of hers dealing with end-of-life issues. She became active in the department and eventually started a palliative care training program for the hospital's other volunteers. She also started a pet therapy program where volunteers bring pets to visit cancer patients in an effort to boost patients' morale. EJH noticed her extraordinary work and nominated her for the award, bypassing the volunteer category in favor of placing her alongside doctors and nurses in the Healthcare Hero category. She was selected from a list of regional nominees from more than 65 cities around the country in the Spirit of Women Hospital Network, a national coalition for women's hospitals.
Health-care Workers, Come Home
To lure medical doctors and dentists who left in the post-Katrina diaspora back to the city, Capital One is offering incentives to revive or expand their local businesses. In an effort to ameliorate a shortage in medical care, the bank will offer doctors and dentists who want to purchase office property, refinance loans, or upgrade equipment 100 percent financing on their 15-year loans. Normally doctors can only get 80 percent financing on business loans over a 15-year period. Plus, most business loans only amortize the loan for 20 years, while Capital One's plan will finance loans at 90 percent for 20 years, 85 percent for 25 years or 80 percent for 30 years. With these incentives, the bank hopes that doctors and dentists will have more money available to hire new staff or purchase new equipment, and will make their way back home. For more information, call Bill Galloway at 533-2163.