Medical and mental health – We have formed a strong relationship over several years with the Region 6 Office of Public Health and two local hospitals, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and the Rapides Regional Medical Center. We work with these partners to offer special events in the neighborhoods such as health fairs and screenings, as well as a voluntary tracking system so that residents can follow their own health progress. We can note health issues during the work of our community facilitators and connect people with appropriate health providers as needed. Central Louisiana AHEC has signed on as a partner and will help us in tracking resident health indicators. In addition, we're fortunate to partner with the schools of nursing at Louisiana College and LSU-Alexandria; students and faculty are engaged in screening residents for health indicators and helping them connect to medical treatment as needed.
Dr. Ruth Weinzettle, professor of social work at Northwestern State University, has agreed to serve as convener for an advisory group of therapists and counselors. As mental health issues or family dynamics are identified, this group will advise our workers on making referrals as appropriate. Of course, all standards for confidentiality will be rigorously observed.