WebMD Hurricane Katrina Fund Issues Grants
On December 19th, the Emdeon and WebMD Health Corporation Hurricane Katrina Fund issued 3 grants, totaling $73,700 to organizations working to provide health services to people displaced by the recent storms.
The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center (BRCIC) understands that displaced residents are facing high levels of stress, and may be prone to episodes of mental illness. Steps must be taken to protect evacuees from potential danger and prevent a serious mental health outbreak in our community.
The Foundation has issued a grant in the amount of $30,000 to BRCIC to provide funding for training 200 community gatekeepers in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), the most widely used, evidence-based suicide intervention training in the world. This training will be offered to gatekeepers throughout the community, who will provide prevention and intervention services for displaced residents at the first signs of dysfunction or stress.
At the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Louisiana, the demand for services has dramatically increased since Hurricane Katrina, climbing nearly 165%. Many displaced residents, who formerly participated in support groups and networks in New Orleans, are seeking those services in Baton Rouge.
With a grant of $20,000, the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Louisiana will expand their services in the Baton Rouge area. This will allow the Epilepsy Foundation to better serve displaced patients, helping them secure the medicine, information, referrals, and medical support that they need.
The Blood Center's main labs and administrative center of operations were severly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Prior to the storm, the Center provided blood and blood components to over 50 hospitals, collecting nearly 350 blood donations daily.
So that the Blood Center can restart full operations, the Foundation has issued a grant of $23,700 for a table incubator, blood bank fridge, Vital Sign Monitor, and quick thaw plasma system. This grant will allow the Center to replace vital, damaged equipment, and again fill a vital role in our community, providing around 1,200 blood components to area patients every day.