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  • Ochsner Health Teams Up with Son of a Saint to Invest in New Orleans’ Youth

    August 31, 2020
    For Immediate Release

    Media Contacts:

    Erica Burns, Ochsner Health, erica.burns@ochsner.org
    Elliot Hutchinson, Son of a Saint, elliot@sonofasaint.org

     
    Ochsner Health Teams Up with Son of a Saint
    to Invest in New Orleans’ Youth

    NEW ORLEANS (August 31, 2020) – Ochsner Health is pleased to announce it has pledged $1 million to Son of a Saint, the nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring mentorship and transforming the lives of New Orleans’ fatherless boys. The total financial commitment will be extended over the next five years to expand Son of a Saint’s programming activities and accelerate its growth. The commitment includes naming rights to the organization’s new permanent home in Mid-City, the Ochsner Health Son of a Saint Bivian Lee, Jr. Center. The facility is named after the father of Son of a Saint Founder and CEO Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, who also served as the namesake inspiration for the organization. Ochsner’s donation is the largest Son of a Saint has received since its inception in 2011.

    “Ochsner has a strong commitment to the diverse communities we serve and building a healthier Louisiana has never been more important than it is now,” said Warner Thomas, president & CEO, Ochsner Health. “Our partnership with Son of a Saint is not only a monetary donation, but also an investment in the health, wellness and future of the young men of New Orleans. It is our hope that even more boys will now have the opportunity to benefit from Son of a Saint’s guidance.”

    The partnership is a natural extension of Ochsner’s Healthy You initiative launched in January. The donation to Son of a Saint will fund critical programmatic staff and enhance the organization’s services to promote the whole person—mind, body and spirit—through healthcare educators, social workers and mental health providers, as well as support and provide opportunities for Ochsner’s male staff to mentor boys in the program. To further that commitment, Ochsner Health’s Kevin Green, assistant vice president of hospital medicine, is a newly elected member of the Son of a Saint Board of Directors.  

    The dedicated financial commitment from Ochsner will be allocated to the acquisition, naming rights, and full-scale renovation of Son of a Saint’s headquarters facility, located at 2803 St. Philip Street in the heart of Mid-City. Along with the partnership, Ochsner will hire case workers and mental health specialists to further enhance Son of a Saint’s team capacity and overall capabilities. Ultimately, the support from Ochsner will allow Son of a Saint to expand its programming and deepen its impact.

    “Over the last 10 years, we’ve remained committed to our mission at all times. Our work doesn’t end when our boys wake up, when they get home from school or close their eyes for the night, because it's truly 24/7 and 365 days a year," said Bivian "Sonny" Lee III, Founder & CEO, Son of a Saint. "Each boy receives individualized, holistic and preventative long-term support in this program. The partnership with Ochsner Health is transformational for us on an organizational scale, in the same way we aim to transform the lives of fatherless boys in our community. We know the stats are not in our boys’ favor, but with close to 100% retention rate and no boys losing their freedom, we have a program that is a solution,” he adds. “The credit goes to our amazing staff, mentors, boys and supporters who have helped to build our program from scratch. Additionally, the trust, vision and leadership of Warner Thomas to double down on our work shows the strengthened commitment to young lives in New Orleans. I can’t wait to see how fruitful this partnership becomes over the future years.”

    Son of a Saint has increased its class of mentees from 10 boys in its inaugural year to its current slate of 100 young men. That constitutes a more-than-tenfold increase in just nine years. As Son of a Saint continues the crucial work of mentoring and enhancing the lives of fatherless young men in the New Orleans area, the organization is poised to add more programming, more mentors and strengthen its commitment to the community. Son of a Saint holistically sponsors youths as they enter the program between the ages of 10 and 12, and as they remain enrolled until the age of 18, with their relationships lasting beyond into their young adulthood. Throughout the experience, Son of a Saint provides its young men with mentorship, education, mental health services and travel experiences, as well as internship and service-learning opportunities.

    For more information about the organization, including programming, enrichment activities, leadership profiles and opportunities to get involved, visit www.sonofasaint.org or call (504) 561-7508. Son of a Saint also welcomes contributions or other donations, which can be mailed to 2803 Saint Philip St., New Orleans, LA 70119. Follow Son of a Saint on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter via @sonofasaintorg for live updates about the organization and its participants.

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    About Ochsner Health
    Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Ochsner Health is a not-for-profit committed to giving back to the communities it serves through preventative screenings, health and wellness resources and partnerships with innovative organizations that share our vision. Ochsner Health healed more than 876,000 people from across the globe in 2019, providing the latest medical breakthroughs and therapies, including digital medicine for chronic conditions and telehealth specialty services. Ochsner Health is a national leader, named the top hospital in Louisiana and a top children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report. As Louisiana’s leading healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. Ochsner Health is innovating healthcare by investing in new technologies and research to make world-class care more accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner's team of more than 26,000 employees and 4,500 providers are working to reinvent the future of health and wellness in the region. To learn more about Ochsner Health, please visit www.ochsner.org. To transform your health, please visit www.ochsner.org/healthyyou.  

    About Son of a Saint
    Son of a Saint launched in 2011 to address the burgeoning problem of fatherless boys in the New Orleans area. Under the direction of Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, the 501(c)(3) organization is dedicated to its mission of transforming the lives of young males through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships. For more information or to get involved, visit www.sonofasaint.org.
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