. Acadiana Outreach - New Orleans Musicians' Clinic

Acadiana Outreach

by Kathy Richard  | kathy@culturaleconomy.org

NOMC has renewed its dedication to musicians’ health by expanding its Acadiana Outreach program. It has been both a privilege and honor to serve our musicians for the last 4 years. Music and art has always given me inspiration and joy and keeping the music alive is more than a saying, it is my mission.

Indeed our musicians have great courage and stamina. They come alive while performing and unfortunately suffer for that gift as they pour themselves out to us in every song.

Opelousas Mayor Don Cravens, Blues Legend Carol Fran and Kathy Richard

Being in an opportunity to serve our artists is the greatest job. It is comes from the fact that as a visual artist I too had the same health and resource issues. I have been where most all my patients have been and I think that makes me understand them. I can speak from experience and help them get to the other side of the problem.

When I received the call from Carol Fran, I knew this celebrated singer needed help. Her courage and independence showed as I watched her get back on her feet and prepare to sing and perform again. Being of service to her meant getting her a vocal coach, making sure she had her meds, obtaining a keyboard from the Jazz Foundation for her hand therapy and many other small things. But it was her determination that did it. She is indeed a legend and I was happy to witness her road back to health.

Carol Fran is nothing like one of her hit singles “Sick and Tired”.

Kathy Richard, Dr. James Falterman & Scott Hutchison

Today, Carol is well on her way to recovery after suffering a stroke in her Lafayette home on March 4th. 2007.   With high spirits she continues to “work hard so she can play hard” and has made significant progress toward a full recovery.

Within days after her stroke, Carol had her nephew contact NOMC Acadiana Outreach. “Carol said for me to make sure you knew about her illness and wants you to visit her”.  And that’s just what happened. After several hospital visits, Richard began the job of supporting Carol’s move into her sister Cora’s house and eventually back to her own home.

That job began by helping Carol with her most immediate needs, her medicines. Leaving the rehab hospital with several very expensive prescriptions left Carol with a lot of anxiety. But that anxiety was relieved as Richard had the most expensive medicines overnight shipped from the NOMC clinic while at the same time, enrolling her in the Lafayette Community Healthcare Clinic pharmaceutical program.  Next Richard tackled her other day to day requirements like food (Meals on Wheels) and filling out financial aid forms from the Jazz Foundation of Americas and the Society of Singers to help pay her extensive medical bills.

Carol is now playing a new Yamaha keyboard thanks to the Jazz Foundation of America and the outreach efforts of NOMC Acadiana. Having music around her has been a wonderful lift to her vocal, hand and mental therapy.

As one of Louisiana Legends, Carol Fran was awarded the 2006 Governors Arts Awards for Folk Artist of the Year. In presenting the award to Carol, Lt Gov. Mitch Landrieu remarked that “At the Governor’s Arts Awards, we honor those that have improved the lives of Louisianans through their contributions to the arts”.

The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic recognizes the need for outreach across our rich musical state, especially where our culture is rich and ‘alive’. Carol is certainly glad of that outreach and is singing our praises.   If you are a musician in the Lafayette area and need assistance, email me at kathy@culturaleconomy.orgor call (337)652-5780.


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