The investment allows for seven dedicated health experts who will work closely with families to remove barriers to care and educate caretakers on how to navigate complex medical conditions.
NEW ORLEANS – On June 21, Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ ThriveKids program and Agenda for Children announced a new partnership to support the medical needs of 5,000 kids, ages 0-3 years old, across Agenda for Children’s 40+ City Seats early learning centers in Orleans Parish.
Agenda for Children will fund $1 million annually for ThriveKids to provide wraparound services and early intervention for the city’s most vulnerable children. Beginning in July, a multidisciplinary team unique on a national scale will screen for medical and developmental needs for children ages 0-3 to ensure a successful and fully resourced transition into the K-12 setting.
“We know that if infants and young children have access to the healthcare services and developmental support they need from the earliest years, they are set up for much greater success throughout their school years and beyond,” said Jen Roberts, CEO for Agenda for Children. “This partnership will enable us to make lasting, meaningful change in improving health, academic and social outcomes for our youngest New Orleanians.”
Additionally, the ThriveKids team will work closely with families to remove barriers to care and educate all caretakers on how to navigate complex medical or developmental conditions in both the classrooms and at home.
“Children’s Hospital is proud to serve as a centralized health department for our kids from birth through graduation, holding our students’ hands as they move through their entire educational journey,” said Lucio A. Fragoso, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “We know we can do more for the children and families we serve together, and I want to thank Agenda for Children for identifying this need and trusting Children’s Hospital to stand in the gap for our earliest learners.”
Funding for the partnership comes from public millage dollars that were approved by taxpayers in 2022, which carved out $20 million over the next 20 years to expand access to education for vulnerable, low-income children ages 0-3 across Orleans Parish.
This partnership is about getting the right resources to the right kids at the right time. The seven-person ThriveKids team will consist of skillsets including early intervention, speech pathology, nursing, social work, care managers and a dedicated pediatrician.
“I would like to thank all partners and members of the community for voting to approve dedicated dollars to support the development of our earliest learners,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We know that our children cannot thrive academically or in life unless their needs are met. This includes their physical health, their mental health, their safety and general well-being. Together, Agenda for Children and Children’s Hospital’s ThriveKids program will work to identify needs early on so that all children can have a shot at a quality early childhood education that lays the foundation for kindergarten readiness and beyond.”
About Agenda for Children
Agenda for Children is the state’s oldest child advocacy organization, founded by a group of multi-racial community advocates in 1984 to create an independent voice for Louisiana’s children and work on a diverse set of children’s issues from birth through 18. Since its inception, Agenda has led the region in providing professional development for early care and education, child advocacy and wellness, data, and research, and as a direct operator of innovative programs that have strengthened the early childhood sector. Learn more at agendaforchildren.org.
About Children’s Hospital New Orleans
Children’s Hospital New Orleans is a 263-bed, non-profit academic pediatric medical center that offers comprehensive healthcare services, including over 40 pediatric specialties, delivered just for children. With more than 600 pediatric providers, 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, Lafayette, and Diamondhead, MS. Children’s offers primary care services at 12 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, East Jefferson General Hospital, Tulane Medical Center, Lakeview Hospital, and Lakeside Hospital. Learn more at www.chnola.org.
In the fall of 2020, Children’s Hospital New Orleans launched ThriveKids, the Student Wellness Project, a
multispecialty program intended to increase access to healthcare for kids where they spend most of their time – at school. The program was born out of the hospital’s support of schools at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and quickly evolved into a comprehensive health program that bridges the health and education sectors. ThriveKids, now nearly three years into formal programming, aims to improve both academic and health outcomes by getting the right resources to the right kids at the right time. The program helps staff schools with trained medical and mental health professionals, coordinates with schools to provide healthcare to children, and offers ongoing education for school faculty and partners. ThriveKids currently supports 180 campuses across Jefferson and Orleans parishes, consisting of more than 100,000 students combined. NOLA-PS students can enroll in the program online at www.chnola.org/thrivekids.