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LSUHSC SCHWEITZER FELLOWS TO VOLUNTEER AT CHILD CENTER WITH WWII LEGACY

New Orleans, LA – Five students from LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans’ Schools of Public Health and Medicine, who are 2009-10 Albert Schweitzer Fellows, will help repair and improve Abeona House Child Discovery Center, 8630 Oak Street, on Saturday, July 18, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Abeona House Child Discovery Center is a non-profit formed in November 2005 by parents whose children attended one of nearly 200 centers that did not re-open after Katrina. Serving children from 6 weeks to 5 years, the center supports families through high-quality childcare for their children, a sense of community, and the co-creation of learning opportunities between children, parents, teachers and the larger community. Tuition is on a sliding fee scale.

The educational philosophy at the Abeona House is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Like Abeona House, the Reggio approach was borne out of community response to disaster. After World War II, the Italian government granted cities funds to rebuild a sense of community. Most cities built community centers, but the families in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy used the bricks from bombed out buildings and volunteers from all corners of the community to build a school.

The volunteer effort is a direct service project of the New Orleans Schweitzer Fellowship Program. The goal of the Schweitzer Fellowship is to help under-served or uninsured communities, while simultaneously enhancing the education of health professionals in the area. New Orleans represents one of ten Schweitzer Fellowship Programs across the country. Last year, the program was established in New Orleans in response to the health needs of the local community.

The LSUHSC Schweitzer Fellows participating in this community service project are Alice Williamson, a medical student at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, and Lauren Cole, Amy Thierry, Emily Rogers, and Shannon Speeg, all students at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health.

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LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates the majority of Louisiana's health care professionals.  The state's academic health leader, LSUHSC comprises a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, Schools of Allied Health Professions and Graduate Studies, as well as the only School of Nursing in Louisiana within an academic health center. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout Louisiana. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas worldwide, LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, treat, or cure disease. LSUHSC outreach programs span the state.

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