Opening during Mental Health Awareness Month, the Trauma and Grief Center at Children's Hospital will provide proven resources for treating kids facing trauma and bereavement, while expanding specialized mental and behavioral health services for children and adolescents across Louisiana.
NEW ORLEANS – Children’s Hospital New Orleans announced today the arrival of Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP, an expert in childhood trauma and bereavement, who will serve as the Executive Director of the Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center at Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kaplow will oversee all activities of the TAG Center, including evidence-based assessment and treatment of traumatized and grieving children and adolescents.
Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP
“We are honored to have Dr. Kaplow join our team here in New Orleans,” said John R. Nickens IV, President and Chief Executive Officer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “This center will be one of the only outpatient facilities in the state of Louisiana to focus explicitly on addressing trauma and grief in youth - a service our community desperately needs especially after the recent traumatic events that have affected our families and their children. I am excited to see how the TAG Center will start making a difference in our community right away.”
Kaplow is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She founded the first TAG Center in 2012 while on faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School and established a second Center in Texas in 2014. She has been published widely on the topics of childhood trauma and grief with over 75 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.
“I am thrilled to join the team at Children’s Hospital to establish a new TAG Center in New Orleans, particularly given the number of traumas and losses that youth here are facing, including Hurricane Ida, the high rates of COVID-19 deaths and ongoing community violence,” said Dr. Kaplow. “Identifying and addressing trauma and grief as early as possible is crucial to helping kids lead healthy, happy lives and promoting resiliency over the longer term.”
“About half of U.S. children will experience a traumatic event during their lives, but few behavioral health facilities are equipped to provide evidence-based treatments for both trauma, grief and their interplay,” said Dr. Mary Lynn Dell, MD, ThM, DMin. “The launch of our TAG center under Dr. Kaplow’s leadership will bring this specialized care and support to children in need.”
“One of the unique features of the TAG Center is that we understand the important difference between trauma and bereavement, and we use evidence-based approaches to address each in the most effective way,” said Kaplow.
To ensure access to best practice trauma- and grief-informed mental health care, the TAG Center is focusing on community outreach initiatives, such as partnering with Children’s Hospital’s ThriveKids school-based wellness initiatives in Jefferson Parish Public Schools, and the High 5 Project, a program started by Children’s New Orleans that aims to ensure that all children with mental and behavioral disorders receive the care and support they need to thrive. “We know from our own research that the death of a loved one is the number one predictor of school problems, above and beyond any other form of trauma. So, helping schools to effectively identify “at-risk” youth and provide trauma- and grief-focused treatment is a critically important component of our community outreach,” said Dr. Kaplow.
Dr. Kaplow brings a vast array of experience including overseeing the dissemination of risk screenings and treatments to youth impacted by Hurricane Harvey as well as the Santa Fe, TX school shooting. She has also served as a consultant to the DSM-5 Sub-Work Group on Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder, the ICD-11 Work Group on Disorders Associated with Stress (PTSD and Prolonged Grief), the National Academy of Medicine (Scientific Advisory Council on Child Death), and the Mass Violence and Children Working Group of the FBI.
Dr. Kaplow will maintain her role as Executive Director of the TAG Center at The Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston. The two TAG Centers will partner in the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for youth exposed to trauma and bereavement, raising the standard of care for vulnerable youth across Texas and Louisiana.
About Children’s Hospital New Orleans
Children’s Hospital 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, including in Covington, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, and Lafayette. Children’s offers primary care services at 13 convenient locations and remotely via its Virtual Care for kids program. Children’s 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