The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana received a $50,000 Community Grant from UnitedHealthcare to help support teen parents and improve pregnancy outcomes by creating a safe and supportive space for Louisiana teens.
Dr. Ann Kay Logarbo, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, presented the grant to the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. The grant aims to help improve teen pregnancy outcomes through the school site Jus4Me, which places the evidence-based program “Nurturing Skills for Teen Parents” at the heart of a weekly online resource for pregnant teens and teen parents. The project will serve pregnant teens in Ouachita, Union and Madison Parishes, and will be located in four high schools.
The donation was given during a check-presentation ceremony at Carroll High School. Guests and community leaders, including State Rep. Katrina Jackson, State Sen. Mike Walsworth, State Rep. Frank Hoffman, State Sen. Francis Thompson, Monroe City Schools Board member Brenda Shelling, Wossman High School Principal Sam Moore, Carroll High School Principal Patrick Taylor and Monroe City Schools Superintendent Brent Vidrine attended the event to see first-hand the program’s impact in the community through presentations and a facility tour.
Jus4Me supports pregnant teens and teen parents, and improves teen pregnancy outcomes, through various initiatives and resources including:
- weekly 50-minute evidence-based parenting sessions at school sites for pregnant teens and teen parents during the school year;
- social norming campaigns within the school and community to increase understanding and decrease stigmatization of teen pregnancy; and
- working with School-Based Health Centers and school staff to develop policies and enhance access to health and educational services for pregnant teens and teen parents.
“We thank UnitedHealthcare for supporting the important work that Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana is doing to help teen parents and address pre-term births in the state,” said Lynn Clark, executive director, Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. “Because of UnitedHealthcare’s generosity, we can continue making significant contributions to improve pregnancy health among local teens.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 15 percent of Louisiana’s babies are born before term, the second-highest rate in the nation compared to the national average of 11.5 percent. Babies born before term are at a higher risk of developing health complications that can adversely affect vision, hearing, heart rate, blood health, immune systems and breathing.
“This Community Grant enables the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana to provide local teens with evidence-based programming that improves pregnancy outcomes and the system that supports them,” said Dr. Logarbo. “Organizations like the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana are addressing this issue in order to improve the health of young women and their babies, particularly in Northeast Louisiana where preterm births are highest. UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to support the Jus4Me program to provide local teens with a supportive space that will improve pregnancy outcomes.”
Northeast Louisiana has a teen birth rate of 55.6 teen births per 1,000 teens, more than twice the national average teen birth rate of 26.6 per 1,000. In Union Parish, the growing Hispanic population has a birth rate of 98 per 1,000, almost five times the state average. Repeat births for teens in Union Parish are some of the highest in the region at 20 percent. The teen birth rate in Ouachita Parish is 57.8 per 1,000, and 50 per 1,000 in Madison Parish.
“UnitedHealthcare Community Plan’s contribution will make a positive impact on teens throughout northeast Louisiana,” said Rep. Jackson. “This donation highlights their continued commitment to our community and our children.”
The Community Grants Program offers free expert guidance to help the organizations make their funding efforts more effective. For more information, visit www.uhccommunitygrants.com.
UnitedHealthcare serves 735,000 people in Louisiana with a network of 158 hospitals and nearly 13,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
About The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana
The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana is a membership-based 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating communities where children and families thrive. We address the needs of children and youth ages 0-18 in four main areas: Early Care and Education, Healthy Living, Parent Education and Youth Development. The need for an organization that could quickly move between and work within other non-profits to meet community needs was first identified in 1998 at a regional Summit on Youth. There was a clear recognition of how much stronger our communities would be if organizations collaborated and became partners in solving and meeting the needs of children. The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana came into being as a result of this visionary thinking.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.