In March 2015, six medical students in Geisel’s Urban Health Scholars program went to New Orleans for spring break to experience and learn about the city’s challenging and distinct health care delivery system. They are sharing their experiences in several posts here on the Geisel Med Blog. You can find all their posts here.
By: Fernando Vazquez ’18
Teche Action, a federally qualified health center (FQHC), was founded in 1974 to provide primary care to the underserved, rural regions surrounding New Orleans. Since its inception, it has grown to ten locations, including one school based site. It has also expanded to provide mental health services to its patients. FQHCs receive funding from the federal government, and so are required to provide care to anyone who walks through their door, regardless of insurance coverage, income, race, or gender. If the patient requires services that Teche cannot provide, they are referred to another clinic or hospital and are covered financially by Teche.
The Urban Health Scholars spent the day learning about Teche from one of its directors, Mrs. Diane Freeman. Mrs. Freeman introduced us to the medical staff, with whom we discussed Teche and FQHCs from the physician’s perspective. Brendin and I were then lucky enough to witness a young woman see the first ultrasound images of her unborn child. It was a remarkable experience. In the past, UHS has spent entire days at Teche learning the inner workings and challenges of such clinics. Although we were only able to spend one day there this year, the relationship between Teche and Geisel continues to grow, and we look forward to sending more of our peers to learn about their work in the years to come.