|1020 Saint Andrew Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
tel: 504.529.5558 fax: 504.529.8840
Our mission is to provide culturally competent health care of the highest quality, regardless of the ability to pay. We foster relevant research and educational activities directed toward achieving community-driven health initiatives that reduce health disparities in our community.
Our vision is to improve the health of the underserved of New Orleans. We will do this by: Increasing the voice of the community related to environmental and social issues that impact (or cause) health disparities; A proactive and prevention based community oriented primary care system; Comprehensive and coordinated health services; State of the art administrative and support systems; Empowered and high performing work force; Engaged and optimized partnerships; Sustainable business model leading to new innovations in health care.
St. Thomas Community Health Center is the successor corporation to the St. Thomas Health Services Clinic. The clinic was started in 1987 by two Sisters of Charity (Sister Marion Puerzer and Sister Jane Meurschel) in association with resident leaders of the St. Thomas Housing Development. The original clinic was in the St. Thomas Housing Development, then the largest public housing complex in the United States. The St. Andrew Street Clinic moved to its present location in 1991 after more than $400,000 was raised to remodel a high school gymnasium belonging to the Redemptorist Order of the Catholic Church. In 2010, St. Thomas CHC opened another site at the Mahalia Jackson School Complex at 2405 Jackson Avenue.
Throughout its history, St. Thomas has had broad and consistent support from various aspects of the community. The St. Thomas Housing Development Resident Council was instrumental in providing support and direction for the initial development of the clinic. The Resident Council and the St. Thomas Irish Channel Consortium were leaders in developing a community driven, accountable, anti-racist healthcare model. Early on, the Resident Council required the health care providers at the clinic to have special training in addressing racism and poverty. This training has been provided by the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, well known in New Orleans and nationally for community organizing and Undoing Racism training.
Ochsner Clinic Foundation, the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, Trinity Episcopal Church, Mercy Health Systems, LSU Schools of Public Health and Medicine, and Xavier University, and individual physician volunteers, have all provided important financial and personnel support over the years. The Catholic Order of Redemptorist Brothers of St. Alphonsus Parish provided rent free use of the building after the remodeling.
The clinic has been an important site for the training of Medical Students, Internal Medicine Residents, Family Practice Residents, Nurse Practitioners, and PharmD students from LSU, Ochsner, Xavier and Tulane. It has been an attractive training site because of its position in a vibrant community setting.
St. Thomas’ operations were completely disrupted by Hurricane Katrina. The 25 full time staff members were scattered across the country, unable to return. Service was halted. The clinic was closed, basically without financial or personnel support. The old corporation (St. Thomas Health Service) was discontinued, and a new corporation (St. Thomas Community Health Center) formed, and began operations immediately post Katrina.
Benefactors who helped us repair the facility and begin operations included:
The following is a partial list of grants and other support, primarily related to post Katrina recovery, which have enabled St. Thomas Community Health Center to continually evolve, and to provide both comprehensive primary care, as well as offer important specialty consultative care to our community which has very limited specialty services available. It includes:
The generosity of strangers, and support from people who just want to help has been truly amazing.