“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
-James Baldwin (1924-1987)
In preparation for 2023, NOMC’s 25th anniversary, the NOMAF Board has spent this year revamping our systems to better assist our 2600+ patients negotiate the challenges they face in post-Pandemic New Orleans. To aid us in this mission we have engaged community partners, public health visionaries and health equity specialists to chart our course to serve our patients for the next 25 years and beyond.
Darvelle Hutchins, PhD and Bethany Bultman were selected by the NOMAF board to lead the transition team of the right sized new foundation’s systems and procedures.
Thanks to several grants and new partnerships we have expanded our mental health provider network. The generous grant from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation has allowed us to partner with the Loyola Department of Music Therapy to offer expanded services to our NOMC patients.
In 2022 the New Orleans Musicians Clinic/LSU Healthcare Network returned to in-person appointments for our 2600+ patients.
The NOMAF board and staff are thrilled that after seventeen years uptown, it was announced that the NOMC, part of the LSU Health and Sciences Center Department of Comprehensive Medicine and the LSU Healthcare Network, will be returning to the downtown medical compound. We’ll be in a spacious medical office in the building across the street from the former ER of Hotel Dieu. We hope to be seeing patients at our new location by May 1, 2023 (our official 25th anniversary).
Makin’ Groceries was created two years ago by the NOMAF team in response to the pandemic as a means of safe food delivery for our most vulnerable NOMC patients. Soon our NOMC medical team began to track the fact that improved nutritional security was indeed saving lives of these patients. Under the dynamic directorship of Vatican Lokey, actor, director, writer, and logistical genius, Makin’ Groceries 2022 is a masterful tour de force of coordination involving Top Box Food, Eat Fit NOLA, dozens of dedicated volunteers, and weekly health check in from Ms. Gwendolyne, an FNP. The deliveries go out each Wednesday, packed at Zony Mash, and includes Vatican’s artfully composed newsletter with recipes, puzzles and health news for the 110+ NOMC patient households who depend on us for their care. In partnership with Justice & Beyond, each of the 110 addresses has been registered with NOLAREADY to ensure they are on the radar of emergency response during hurricane season.
In 2022, Katherine Klimitas (known as K2 since we have 4 other Katherine’s/Kathy’s on our team), NOMAF’s longtime graphic designer, took the position of NOMC&AF Director of Communications to a whole new level! This year, she has sent out more than 74,000 individual emails via weekly e-blasts (our “open” rate each week is much higher than the not-for-profit average). Three-quarters of these e-blasts are health-related and were shared on Facebook and LinkedIn, where they are liked, shared, and commented on. This level of engagement has resulted in the record breaking success of our donor appeal!
Noelani’s NOMC+25 Legacy: Be Kind
On October 4, 2022, we lost one of our guiding lights, Noelani Musicaro, to cancer, but her legacy lives on. Over the years, she served NOMC&af in many capacities from NOMAF donor relations coordinator to Makin Groceries volunteer. She was instrumental in shaping You Got This (YGT), our mental health self-care initiative for creatives. If ever there was a creative, it was Noelani! She was an author, a drummer and a former candidate for Lt. Gov in New Jersey. Each week she hosted the popular Living Well in the Big Easy on WHIV radio, was the founder of Kindness conversations, dazzled our streets as a dancing queen in the Disco Amigos, was a tireless WWOZ volunteer, and a magical spirit in the lives of her friends. Her legacy lives on at the NOMC&af in her motto: BE KIND.