This is Public Health


“The uninsured Louisiana residents who would benefit from the federal expansion of Medicaid are often described as a lump sum, just one big number. They are, of course, tens of thousands of individuals. And they are working as waitresses, retail sales clerks, bookkeepers, janitors, daycare workers and in other “occupations that Louisiana residents rely on,” according to a new study from Families USA.

The study, which is based on census data, lists the top nine occupations in Louisiana that would benefit from the Medicaid expansion: food service, sales, construction, cleaning and maintenance, office support, personal care, transportation, production and health care support. These are jobs that touch all of our lives.

Those nine categories include an estimated 171,000 Louisiana residents who are working but uninsured. Another 30,000 uninsured residents hold other types of jobs, the study found.”

To read the full editorial from the Times-Picayune, click here.


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New Orleans, one of the South’s largest major tourist cities with a high-grossing land-based casino and more than 500 bars within the city limits, made history today by becoming the largest city in Louisiana to unanimously pass a comprehensive, 100 percent smoke-free ordinance.

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana (CTFLA) applauds and thanks the New Orleans City Council for their unanimous votes today in favor of protecting the health of all New Orleans employees by making all workplaces, including bars and gaming establishments, smoke-free.

The smoke-free measure, championed by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Guidry, ensures that all employees, including bartenders, gaming facility employees, and entertainers, will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace.  The ordinance will go into effect 90 days from passage.

“We are tremendously grateful to all the key city officials who stood up and took action to protect the health of all employees;” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL). “We want to send a special thanks to the ordinance sponsors Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell and Susan Guidry. These leaders not only did the right thing for the health of all New Orleans citizens, but they have continued paving the way for other cities and the state to hopefully do the same.”

Click here to read the full statement.

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More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government’s annual drug use survey.

Researchers were surprised at how many 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using electronic cigarettes this year, even as regular smoking by teens dropped to new lows.

Nearly 9 percent of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report being released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health.

Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th graders and 14 percent of 12th graders.

“I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.

Click here to read the full article from the AP. 


Many customers will face higher costs next year, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday in a report that shows average premiums rising modestly.

However, officials said millions of consumers who are currently enrolled can mitigate the financial consequences if they are willing to shop around for another plan in a marketplace that’s becoming more competitive.

Click here to read the full article from


Avoiding illness throughout the winter months can be hard especially with ever changing temperatures!  Outside is cold and rainy whilst shops and offices are pumping out heat like you’re in a sauna.  This constant fluctuation confuses your body and often leaves one feeling under the weather.  Crowded streets and transport result in close proximity to potential carriers. So what can you do about it?

Click here to check out several tips for staying well and feeling better!


Infections with enteroviruses are usually common in the United States during summer and fall. This year, beginning in mid-August, states started seeing more children in hospitals with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Since then, CDC and states have been doing more testing, and have found that EV-D68 is making people sick in almost all states. Most of the cases have been among children. EV-D68 is not new, but it hasn’t been as common in the past. While this has been a big year for EV-D68 infections, CDC expects the number of cases to taper off by late fall.

Take some basic steps and precautions outlined by the CDC to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.

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Joseph Kimbrell, CEO of the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) was recently interviewed by the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans for its One-on-One feature. Below is an excerpt. Click here to read the full story.

“Joseph Kimbrell began his public health career working for the New Orleans City Health Department and later served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Public Health from 1979 to 2000. He has a Master of Arts degree in History from Notre Dame Seminary and a Masters in Social Work from Tulane University.

Chief Editor Smith W. Hartley: What is the Louisiana Public Health Institute and how did it get started?

Joe Kimbrell: Eric Baumgartner, our Director of Policy and Program Development, and I were both at the Office of Public Health at the State and wanted to find a more nimble vehicle to do population health from a public/private partnership perspective without some of those encumberments that you find in government, in particular, but also sometimes in your academic community. The idea was to be more neutral and nimble, be able to make things happen quickly, and to be an innovative force. We established LPHI in 1997. At that time I was still at the state health department and we had a part time CEO for a few years, and then I became the full-time CEO in 2000, when I retired from state government. We are one of about 39 similar institutes around the country. It gives us that network nationally to try to keep current on the business. “


Sam’s Club has sent out an advisory over their baby wipes.

According to an e-mail they sent out to consumers who had purchased Simply Right baby wipes, the supplier of those wipes, are warning about a possible bacterial contamination.

This affects Simply Right branded baby wipes offered for sale beginning June 30 of this year.

According to the CDC, this bacteria poses little medical risk to healthy people. However, people who have certain health problems can be affected.

Sam’s club has directed all clubs to remove the products from the shelves. They are asking anyone who purchased the wipes to stop using them and return the rest of the product to Sam’s Club for a full refund.

Click here for more information.


The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) recently announced 35 total WellSpots across the state. WellSpots are places and spaces that have made sustainable changes to make it easier for Louisiana residents aimed at improving health outcomes. The Department also announced the launch of a new website at that makes it easy for users to find WellSpots in their community.

Of the 35 current WellSpots, the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge is the first hospital to receive a Level One designation, which is the highest level. Xavier University in New Orleans was the first university to receive the WellSpot designation, followed by the Our Lady of the Lake College. The full list of WellSpots is available below and all are searchable on the new website.

Read the full story from the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans here.


Thirty Louisiana health agencies have been awarded $6.6 million in federal dollars to expand primary care services in neighborhoods.

The funding is part of $295 million awarded to health centers nationally under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare.

Grantees include seven agencies in New Orleans, two in Jefferson Parish and two in Baton Rouge. Among the health centers getting the money in the New Orleans area will be those run by Daughters of Charity, Excelth Inc., Common Ground Health Clinic, MQV Community Development Corp., New Orleans AIDS Task Force and St. Thomas Community Health Center. The City of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish have awardees, as well as Jefferson Community Health Care Centers in Westwego.

Click here to read the full story from