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Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ ThriveKids Program will Provide Mental Health and Other Care Coordination Services for NOLA Public Schools with $10 M in Funding from City of New Orleans

The partnership establishes a new system of support to help drive positive health and academic outcomes for New Orleans youth, with a strong focus on mental health care and violence prevention.

NEW ORLEANS – For the 2023-2024 school year, NOLA Public Schools and Children's Hospital New Orleans' ThriveKids Student Wellness Program will partner to bring health services directly to kids in schools to address the mental and physical well-being of children.

This partnership, which was made possible with support from the City of New Orleans and New Orleans Health Department, will have a significant impact on the mental health challenges and violence that are affecting young people, and their ability to succeed at school.

"United in our efforts, we will strive to provide equitable resources, care, and expertise to children, dismantling barriers that hinder positive academic outcomes," expressed Dr. Avis Williams, Superintendent for NOLA Public Schools. "By fostering collaboration between our educational and healthcare communities, our goal is to make significant strides in addressing the physical and mental well-being of our scholars. In these challenging times, our babies urgently require this transformative action."

Funding for the partnership comes from American Rescue Plan dollars that the City of New Orleans received to provide direct relief for people post COVID-19 pandemic. It is structured over an initial three years, with a commitment for long-term programmatic support.

"The collaboration with NOLA-PS and ThriveKids is just another example of my administration's commitment to improving the quality of life for children and families through valid and proven programs that enhance and strengthen mental health and well-being of our young people," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "With the overwhelming support across City leaders, including the New Orleans Health Department and City Council, together, we will provide a foundation to launch a long-term system of care, providing immediate resources for our children when their concerns may go untreated or unnoticed. This joint effort is how we will continue to make meaningful progress in addressing the challenges at hand and building a healthier, happier tomorrow for New Orleans."

Functioning like a student health department, this partnership will proactively work to improve pediatric outcomes – mentally, medically, and academically. Children's Hospital's ThriveKids program will provide a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 mental health and medical experts who will work across NOLA Public Schools to provide a combination of direct clinical services and care management. All students are eligible to benefit from the program, while high-need target schools will receive intensive services.

"It is hard to be a kid today. Mental illness and the demand for psychological services are at all-time highs," said Lucio Fragoso, President and CEO of Children's Hospital New Orleans. "Our children are facing violence, depression, anxiety, food and housing insecurity – and other challenges. And we cannot expect teachers, school nurses, and counselors to do it alone – they cannot be expected to do everything for every child. ThriveKids is here to stand in that gap."

The partnership will begin in the 2023-2024 school year, and will create a long-term, centralized system of support for students across the 76 NOLA Public Schools campuses. Care management teams will work to remove barriers to care, while coordinating the resources and follow-up support kids need. ThriveKids and NOLA Public Schools will also work together to measure progress of the initiative, with reportable data demonstrating success.

"This partnership is monumental for the students of New Orleans. We are seeking to provide the resources necessary to ensure that every child--especially those who are victims of poverty--receive the support they need," said Olin Parker, President of the Orleans Parish School Board. "Connecting students with essential care and resources will empower them to attend school every day, reach their full academic potential, and thrive both as young adults and throughout their lives."


About NOLA Public Schools

NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish. It includes the district's administration and elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 72 public schools and is led by Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams, the first woman in the District's 181 years to serve as its permanent superintendent. For more information, visit For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

About Children's Hospital New Orleans

Children's Hospital New Orleans is a 263-bed, non-profit academic pediatric medical center that offers comprehensive healthcare services, including over 40 pediatric specialties, delivered just for children. With more than 600 pediatric providers, Children's offers a comprehensive array of pediatric healthcare services in Louisiana and the Gulf South. In addition to its main campus located in New Orleans, the hospital operates a network of specialty clinics across Louisiana, including in Covington, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lafayette, and Diamondhead, MS. Children's offers primary care services at 12 convenient locations and remotely via its Virtual Care for Kids program. Children's is a proud member of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit hospital system which also includes New Orleans East Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center New Orleans, West Jefferson Medical Center, East Jefferson General Hospital, Tulane Medical Center, Lakeview Hospital, and Lakeside Hospital. Learn more at

About ThriveKids

In the fall of 2020, Children's Hospital New Orleans launched ThriveKids, the Student Wellness Project, a multispecialty program intended to increase access to healthcare for kids where they spend most of their time – at school. The program was born out of the hospital's support of schools at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and quickly evolved into a comprehensive health program that bridges the health and education sectors. ThriveKids, now nearly three years into formal programming, aims to improve both academic and health outcomes by getting the right resources to the right kids at the right time. The program helps staff schools with trained medical and mental health professionals, coordinates with schools to provide healthcare to children, and offers ongoing education for school faculty and partners. ThriveKids currently supports 180 campuses across Jefferson and Orleans parishes, consisting of more than 100,000 students combined. NOLA-PS students can enroll in the program online at

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