Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Coach For Kids Heads to Houston to Provide Primary Healthcare Services to Kids Displaced by Katrina

Los Angeles - September 5, 2005 - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's COACH for KIDS, a mobile medical unit that provides primary healthcare services for children in under-served areas of Los Angeles, will be heading to Houston on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to provide assistance to children there in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Eight members of the team will depart Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. from Van Nuys Airport, courtesy of Los Angeles businessman, Dan Genter, President and CEO of RNC Genter.

Genter was born and raised in New Orleans, has family still living there, and is donating his company’s private jet to fly the Cedars-Sinai team to Houston for relief efforts. Two other members of the team will be driving the mobile clinic to Houston and will be leaving Cedars-Sinai at 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Media are invited to cover the COACH’s departure at that time.

In Houston, the COACH will be staffed by a team of eight pediatric and emergency nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as by mental health professionals and the Medical Director of COACH for KIDS, Abhay Dandekar, M.D., a pediatrician. In addition to providing primary healthcare services for children, the COACH will also be bringing much needed medications and medical supplies as well as baby diapers, formula and more.

Cedars-Sinai is working closely with the City of Houston Mayor's Office, Houston Department of Health, and the University of Texas, which are spearheading relief efforts in that state. Because of its mobility and the highly specialized experience of the COACH medical team, the unit has been asked to provide care in some of the estimated 200 private shelters that have been established in the City. These shelters are in area churches and other organizations and are not affiliated with the American Red Cross, so their resources are very limited. The mobile medical clinic for kids will make available to them healthcare services that have not been available in those shelters to date.

COACH medications and services in Houston will include:

  • First aid
  • Antibiotics
  • Immunizations (especially tetanus)
  • Mental health services
  • Intravenous fluids for treating dehydration
  • Treatment and meds for routine childhood illnesses (respiratory disorders, etc.)
  • Asthma (medications, inhalers, oxygen, respiratory equipment for breathing treatments)
  • Gastrointestinal medications

An electronic fact sheet on the COACH program is available at http://www.csmc.edu/3591.html