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Louisiana Healthcare Connections donates PPE to schools

Staff Report

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in communities across Louisiana, one Healthy Louisiana Medicaid plan has launched an innovative back- to-school initiative to help fight the spread by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to schools in Assumption, Washington, Calcasieu and Ascension Parishes.

Belle Rose Primary School of Belle Rose was awarded a Back-to-School COVID-19 Kit from Louisiana Healthcare Connections. Paula Jordan, left, Community Relations Representative for Louisiana Healthcare Connections, presents the kits to second grade teacher Morgan Toups, center, and Principal Miyoshi Jones-Joseph, right.

Louisiana Healthcare Connections gifted vital PPE, including hand sanitizer, cleaning products, masks and face shields, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among approximately 1,500 students and staff at Central Elementary School in Bogalusa, Belle Rose Primary School in Donaldsonville, Oak Park Elementary in Lake Charles and Dutchtown Middle School in Geismar.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), as of August 10, 2020, nearly 132,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, and this number continues to rise every day. Washington Parish, home of Central Elementary School, has had 1,265 confirmed cases, while Calcasieu and Assumption Parishes have reported 6,815 and 584, respectively, according to LDH. In Ascension Parish, 2,871 cases have been reported.

The faculty and staff of Belle Rose Primary School in Belle Rose try out their new face masks from Louisiana Healthcare Connections in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year.

The PPE from Louisiana Healthcare Connections has been a welcome gift as schools in these parishes work carefully to plan a safe reopening for local students, according to the administrators.

“Louisiana Healthcare Connections has been a long-standing partner with Oak Park Elementary School, and I am so grateful for the company’s commitment to providing personal protective equipment for the upcoming school year. During these challenging times, these resources will help to give an additional layer of protection to our staff and students,” says Shaalom St. Mary, Principal of Oak Park Elementary. “We are proud to have LHCC as a partner in education and appreciate their dedication to our school and community.”

"Being a first year principal has been rewarding, as well as challenging,” says Miyoshi D. Jones-Joseph, Principal of Belle Rose Primary School. “I am ready for the new norm that every school is being faced with during this pandemic, and I would like to thank Louisiana Healthcare Connections for making the new norm guidelines and CDC mandates possible to adhere to this upcoming school year. I am grateful to partner with this organization!"

“The safety and health of our students and staff is our top priority as we return back to school,” says Erin Galloway, Assistant Principal of Central Elementary School. “This PPE will help us create a safe and healthy back to school environment for our students and teachers.”

“The school district can only provide so much, and every school is responsible for providing the items that will be needed to ensure the faculty, staff and students are as safe and protected as we can help them to be,” said Dutchtown Middle School Assistant Principal Lisa Loque. “It can be very expensive. Providing these items cut into the supply budget for the teachers, and this gift of PPE allows our teachers to be able to purchase materials that will impact student learning and contribute to academic success.”

Louisiana Healthcare Connections has designated the safety of frontline workers as a priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The health plan has donated thousands of masks, face shields, hand sanitizers and care packages to nurses, hospitals, health systems and clinics across the state, and is pleased to expand those efforts to include educators and students as the school year begins.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, our schools need our commitment and support to provide personal protective equipment and essential supplies to help keep students and staff safe,” says Chelsea Graves, Community Relations Principal for Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “We are invested in doing our part to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our state, and are proud to equip our local schools with the proper resources to begin a productive and safe school year.”