New Orleans Project 2007

Dr. Tiruchelvam with Shana Griffin, Executive Director of the New Orleans Women’s Health and Justice Initiative, in front of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic.

YCMF donated the $2,000 needed by the clinic to open its doors. Located in historic Tremé, in an area that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, the clinic provides free medical care to indigent women.


Health care for the poor in New Orleans was inadequate even before Katrina struck. Louisiana ranked at the bottom of all 50 states on most measures of the health of its residents. The population suffered high rates of chronic diseases and ranked among the worst in the nation for infant mortality, AIDS cases, and diabetes mortality.

After Katrina battered New Orleans, health care for the poor was devastated. The one “Charity Hospital” that had accepted the uninsured had been closed. Shana Griffin and members of the New Orleans Women's Health and Justice Initiative saw an immediate need and were determined to open a Clinic to serve low-income women. The members were willing to do whatever was needed to put together the clinic but were having difficulty raising enough money to complete the work. York County Medical Foundation donated funds needed to complete the outfitting of this sliding-scale clinic. The New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic opened its doors to New Orleans women on May 1, 2007.

Update from NOWHC open letter dated
  December 2007 (excerpt) :
“Since the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic opened in May of this year, the demand for our services has steadily increased month by month. We currently provide a range of gynecological care and preliminary obstetrical visits including pregnancy testing and counseling; pap smears; pelvic exams; diagnosis and treatment ....... sexually transmitted infections; comprehensive sex education and access to safe and effective contraceptives; and prenatal care and education. The low cost sliding fee scale rates of the Clinic are possible due to the support we’ve received this year, most of which has come from individuals like you.”