June 17th, 2013
Residents of Louisiana and other Delta states face significant health challenges, particularly with obesity and diabetes, according to new data compiled by the Delta Regional Authority.
The authority recently introduced an online tool that allows residents and public health leaders to track regional health data to develop health solutions for the region served by the authority — Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missuori and Tennessee.
The authority’s Healthy Delta Research Database provides reports of health and other major community indicators broken down by state and parish or county.
June 4th, 2013
Several doctors wrote in to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the growing epidemic of gun violence and its threat to the health & safety to children – calling it a public health crisis. While they may be located in St. Louis, this epidemic is most certainly here in Louisiana, and nationwide. Its a poignant letter worth reading. Below is an excerpt, but you can click here to read the letter in full.
“We are writing today as pediatric emergency and trauma physicians to share our concern about the epidemic of gun violence that threatens the safety, health, and well-being of our children in St. Louis and in the United States.
In 2010, seven American children age 19 and younger were killed every day. This is twice the number of children who die from cancer, five times the number from heart disease, and 15 times the number from infections. This is also the equivalent of 128 Newtown shootings.
It has been estimated at least 38 percent of American households have a gun. In homes with children younger than 18, 22 percent store the gun loaded, 32 percent unlocked, and 8 percent unlocked and loaded. The children in these homes know the gun is present, and many handle the gun in the absence of their parents. . . .”
May 31st, 2013
According to a recent CDC report, the percentage of people who smoke remained essentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, but over time the prevalence of heavy smoking declined significantly.
To read the full story, click here.
May 21st, 2013
Miles of newly painted bike lanes have New Orleanians leaving their cars at home in favor of two-wheeled vehicles. Trading the truck for the Trek has not gone unnoticed, but the Big Easy is still far down the path to first-class cycling status. At the moment, New Orleans boasts more than 58 miles of bike lanes with ten on the way. This is a huge leap from the meager ten miles of bike lanes available before Katrina. This impressive new number transcends bikes to encompass the tremendous strides the city has made as they rebuild.
Click here to read the full article from NOLA Defender’s website.
The Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (GNOHIE), launched in late 2012 in the Greater New Orleans area, and its many partners was recently highlighted in the May/June issue of the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans. Check some of it out below. To read the full article, click here.
“In our ever more connected world, it makes sense that healthcare providers are increasingly exploring connectivity as a pathway to delivering quality care. Most hospitals, clinics, and even private practices are adopting electronic health records (EHRs) to better track patient information and in many cases provide patients with improved access to both that information and their healthcare providers between visits. In some cases, providers have agreed to adopt the same electronic health record (EHR) to improve communication as patients move between care settings, but for the most part, physicians and healthcare facilities have shopped for and implemented a wide variety of EHRs based on a number of factors, such as cost, ease of implementation, user friendliness, and more. So while they may have improved quality and efficiency within their own practice, they remain part of a fragmented system of healthcare delivery that few believe is best for patients, providers, quality or cost containment.”
To continue reading, click here.
To learn more about the GNOHIE, click here.
To learn more about LPHI’s work, click here.
May 7th, 2013
Many American children are not meeting recommended car passenger safety guidelines for their age group, a new study finds. The AAP advised that children be placed in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old. Next, children should use forward-facing car seats with a five-point harness until they reach the maximum height and weight requirement recommended by the seat’s manufacturer.
Children should continue to use a booster seat until they are about 57 inches tall (the average height of an 11-year-old child) and an adult seat belt fits them properly. Children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat, the AAP said.
The Times-Picayune recently published an intriguing article about high rates of depression among New Orleans middle-school students. The correlation between the youth ad their exposure to the high rates of violence in the city is hard to miss.
Check out the article below or click here to read the full story on NOLA.com.
“New Orleans middle-school students cite symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress at much higher rates than typical teenagers, according to data based on interviews collected by a local non-profit organization. Perhaps not surprising in a city with the highest murder rate in the country, the interviews conducted by the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies also showed the New Orleans children had elevated rates of witnessing violence and feeling concerned about their safety.
The screenings were part of a federally funded teen pregnancy prevention program the IWES has run in schools and churches since 2010. As part of the program, the group’s team interviewed children for over a year beginning in the summer of 2011 about their mental health, asking specific questions to figure out what could be contributing to their problems. . . .”
April 24th, 2013
The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) recently released its 2011/2012 survey data. The NSCH touches on multiple, intersecting aspects of children’s lives. The survey includes physical and mental health status, access to quality health care, as well as information on the child’s family, neighborhood and social context.Some of the Louisiana highlights include:
- The percent of children currently insured in Louisiana actually ranks higher than the national average, at 97.9% versus 94.5%.
- Louisiana ranks well above the national average (34.2 % vs. 24.1%) for the percent of children who live in households where someone smokes.
Click here to check out the full Louisiana document.
April 10th, 2013
Every year sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion—and cost individuals even more in immediate and long-term health consequences. April is STD Awareness month, an annual observance to call attention to the impact of STDs and promote STD testing across the United States.
A new campaign targeted at Baton Rouge youth is helping to raise awareness about getting tested in Louisiana about these startling statistics. Check it out online here, or on Facebook for more information.
To read the CDC’s full story, click here.
Louisiana’s teen tobacco usage rates remain higher than the national average, with approximately 38.3 percent of high school and 15.6 percent of middle school students in Louisiana use tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
In light of these startling statistics, youth throughout the state are choosing to Stand UP! against the tobacco industry and its adolescent-targeted direct marketing efforts. Twelve groups across the state were awarded grants from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) to engage and get youth involved with tobacco control and prevention efforts through the Defy the Lies initiative. As part of the grant, Defy teams participated in the point-of-purchase (also known as point-of-sale) project, which focused on tobacco products and advertising in stores where youth are likely to visit on a regular basis, like gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, and corner stores in their own communities.
“Reaching out to Louisiana youth, especially during the transition from middle and high school, is crucial,” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director for TFL. “We are continuously working to get local communities involved in TFL’s Defy the Lies initiative, a youth movement that takes down the influence of the tobacco industry, promotes tobacco-free lifestyles, and brings awareness to media and elected officials about what tobacco products are being consumed by and sold to our youth. The time is now to get a better handle on the large number of youth using tobacco products and stand up to the aggressive marketing tactics being used today.”