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Stamford, Conn. – AmeriCares is donating a mobile clinic to the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, allowing the hospital to continue a highly successful immunization program that has vaccinated more than 55,000 children against dangerous childhood diseases.
The free mobile vaccination program, called the Greater New Orleans Immunization Network, was in jeopardy of cutting back services after 11 years because the bus it had been using had fallen into disrepair and repair expenses were becoming too costly. Without the funds to purchase a new vehicle, hospital officials were considering suspending the program.
“Without this donation we would have been forced to consider less effective alternatives to a program that protects 100 children a day from dangerous and sometimes deadly childhood diseases,” said Charmaine Allesandro, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Immunization Network. “We are so grateful to AmeriCares for helping us keep the vaccination program going.”
Hospital officials will pick up the mobile unit tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27 at AmeriCares headquarters in Stamford before driving it back to New Orleans in order to begin immunizing uninsured and low-income children throughout seven parishes. The news media is invited to AmeriCares headquarters, 88 Hamilton Ave., at 10 a.m. for interviews and photographs.
The mobile clinic is expected to be on the road four or five days a week with staff administering an average of 200 free immunizations each session. The mobile clinic will also be available for use as a primary care facility in the event of any future emergencies in the New Orleans area. AmeriCares has been working with the Children’s Hospital since Hurricane Katrina as part of a comprehensive program to help restore health services throughout the Gulf Coast.
AmeriCares received the mobile clinic as a donation from Melville, N.Y.-based Nycomed U.S. Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused in dermatology, and Fougera Cares, the philanthropic arm of Nycomed’s Fougera division. The mobile unit was previously used to conduct free skin cancer screenings all across the country.
“AmeriCares is proud to support a program that helps parents who can’t afford vaccines for their children, or can’t take time off from work to take them to the doctor,” said Curt Welling, AmeriCares President and CEO. “This mobile program is ideal because it goes right to the people who need the services most.”
About AmeriCaresAmeriCares is a private, nonprofit international disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $9.0 billion in humanitarian aid to 147 countries. For more information, visit www.americares.org.
About Children’s Hospital:Children’s Hospital is the only full-service hospital exclusively for children in Louisiana and the Gulf South. As a not-for-profit medical center, the hospital has no stockholders or dividends to pay. It is governed by an independent board of trustees made up of community volunteers. Revenue generated is used to operate the hospital and to expand and advance its services. In 2008, Children’s Hospital treated 56,105 unique children from all 64 Louisiana parishes, 42 states and thee foreign countries.