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Children's Hospital New Orleans' ThriveKids Program Organizes Large-Scale COVID-19 Vaccination Effort for Thousands of New Orleans-Area Teachers and School Team Members

In collaboration with the State of Louisiana, Children’s Hospital New Orleans operationalizes robust COVID-19 vaccination site in preparation for Phase 1B Tier 2 distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, which will include vaccination of essential workers, including teachers and school staff.

NEW ORLEANS – In partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education, Children’s Hospital New Orleans is proud to serve as a resource for schools across Louisiana and to provide guidance on best practices, procedures, resources, and robust testing for COVID-19 as part of Children’s ThriveKids Student Wellness Project. The list of school services available through Children’s Hospital now includes much anticipated vaccination against COVID-19.

“This is an important moment in our fight against COVID-19 and a reflection of Children’s Hospital’s ongoing commitment to do the right thing for kids,” says John R. Nickens IV, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “Children’s is dedicating significant resources toward vaccination for school team members because we know the faster we can vaccinate, the faster we can get back to normal learning environments for our children – a day we are all incredibly hopeful for.”

“Children’s Hospital is proud to be the vaccination solution for schools across the Greater New Orleans Area, ensuring school team members can receive the COVID-19 vaccine immediately upon the Governor’s announcement of Phase 1B Tier 2 distribution,” says Jonathan Brouk, Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “We are expecting Tier 2 distribution to begin in the next few weeks, and Children’s Hospital is prepared to begin rapidly vaccinating large numbers of teachers and other school team members.”

Last week, Children’s Hospital initiated a large, on-campus vaccination clinic, which the hospital is currently using to vaccinate school nurses and school team members age 70 and above, under Louisiana’s Phase 1B Tier 1 distribution guidelines.

"I remain inspired by the hard work our education and healthcare communities have done to ensure the health and safety of our teachers, students and families," says Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It is vital that our educators are included in Phase 1B Tier 2 distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, they are essential to the City's recovery and to the wellbeing of our children. Collaboration is critical and our city will continue to benefit from this type of partnership as we continue to recover from the pandemic."

Children’s Hospital’s dedicated ThriveKids team is coordinating directly with schools now, including NOLA Public Schools, private, charter and parochial schools across the New Orleans area, to plan for widespread vaccination of all school team members as soon as Tier 2 distribution begins.

“We’re excited to learn our school nurses will be among the first school team members to receive the vaccine,” says NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “Our dedicated nurses are often the first health expert children see in this pandemic. They’re the healthcare workers who’ve been rolling up their sleeves in our schools, and they are indispensable in our fight to keep our students and staff safe. We are grateful to the state and LCMC Health for helping take care of them and, over time, our entire school community.”

“Agenda for Children and the New Orleans Early Education Network are honored to partner with the City of New Orleans, Children’s Hospital, and NOLA Public Schools on this momentous effort,” says Jennifer Roberts, President, Agenda for Children. “Early learning educators are an essential part of the fabric of our community and economy. We’re looking forward to doing our part to help them and all New Orleanians on the road to recovery.”

Children’s Hospital is providing a seamless solution for schools and is working to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine can be distributed as quickly as possible to school communities. Children’s Hospital is preparing to provide as many as 15,000 – 20,000 vaccines within the first 4-6 weeks of beginning Phase 1B Tier 2 distribution, as supplies allow.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccine distribution for school team members, schools are asked to email thrivekids@lcmchealth.org or call the LCMC Health Nurse Hotline at 504.962.6202

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.lcmchealth.org/coronavirus/.

ThriveKids, The Student Wellness Project, is a comprehensive community-based program that provides school-based virtual care, mental and behavioral health services, sports medicine, chronic condition management, COVID-19 support, school nurse support, a dedicated nurse hotline for school wellness and best practice reference materials for schools throughout Louisiana. ThriveKids involves direct collaboration with schools, and customized programs based on each school partner’s specific needs.

Learn more about ThriveKids, The Student Wellness Project, at chnola.org/ThriveKids.

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About Children’s Hospital New Orleans

Children’s Hospital New Orleans is a 222-bed, non-profit academic pediatric medical center that offers comprehensive healthcare services, including over 40 pediatric specialties, delivered just for children. With more than 400 physicians trained in more than 40 pediatric sub-specialties, Children’s offers a comprehensive array of pediatric healthcare services in Louisiana and the Gulf South. In addition to its main campus located in New Orleans, the hospital operates a network of specialty clinics across Louisiana and in Southern Mississippi, including in Covington, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. Children’s Hospital offers primary care services at 14 convenient locations throughout Southeast Louisiana and remotely via its Virtual Care for Kids program. Children’s Hospital is a proud member of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit hospital system which also includes New Orleans East Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center New Orleans, West Jefferson Medical Center, and East Jefferson General Hospital. Learn more at chnola.org.