This is Public Health


On Ash Wednesday, Winston’s Pub and Patio joined the growing list of bars and venues in the New Orleans area where smoking is now prohibited.

In an interview with Gambit Weekly, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) discussed what smoke-free policies are doing to improve health in Louisiana. TFL’s associate director Tonia Moore also shared what is happening in the Louisiana Legislature this session with e-cigarettes, which are quickly becoming popular among current smokers as well as youth.

Read the full article in Gambit here.


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.

Louisiana Map

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and BioDistrict New Orleans recently signed a MOU highlighting a new partnership designed to promote New Orleans as a hub for healthcare innovation.

The healthcare and biosciences industries are rapidly growing in New Orleans, which Dr. James A. Richardson, John Rhea Alumni Professor of Economics and director of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, has estimated to generate 34,000 new or retained jobs and $24 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years. By working together, along with their respective partners, the organizations will strive to improve population health outcomes, accelerate economic growth and employee/labor productivity, provide broader access to quality healthcare, and increase research funding for area Universities through educational training and workforce development opportunities.

Click here to read the full story.

Recently there has been much published on soda bans, the obesity epidemic in America and the effects of sugar sweetened beverages/increased sugar intake in our society. In response to this, The Real Bears put together a short video about the dangers of sugary drinks dubbed by USA Today as “the video Coca-Cola doesn’t want you to see.” This strikes home more so for Louisianans because, according to a recent report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than two thirds of Louisianans will be obese by 2030, making our state one of the seven unhealthiest in the nation.

One pre-viewing tip from Food Day: “Note for parents and educators:  Beginning at about 1:20 there is a bedroom scene that might not be suitable for young viewers, and at about 2:09 a chainsaw makes an appearance that might be upsetting to very young viewers.  This film is not yet rated (nor will it be) but we’d say it’s about a PG-13.”

Please click here to view the video in full.

Two of Ochsner Medical Centers have received top ratings for the state from U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of health-care facilities. The main campus in Jefferson and a satellite facility in Gretna ranked among the country’s top 50 centers in 11 of 16 specialties. They received the top local ranking last year, too.

Ochsner’s Kenner hospital was ranked second in the New Orleans area and fourth in Louisiana.

Rankings are based on objective factors such as patient-outcome data, resources, staffing and available technology, as well as subjective “reputation” rankings by doctors throughout the United States.

Check out the Times-Picayune story here.

Read the full report from U.S. News & World Report here.

We’ve been following the New York Times’ Recipes for Health section lately and wanted to share a recent entry. This spinach bouillabaisse looks divine, healthy and filling!

Check out the recipe on the NY Times website here.

Most Americans eat more salt than federal guidelines call for, increasing their risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Eating too much sodium can’t be blamed on the salt shaker alone.

About 75 percent of the salt in our diets is added during the processing of commercial foods or to restaurant foods during preparation.

Check out the video story on WWL-TV here.


Since 1995, communities across the country have celebrated National Public Health Week (NPHW) during the first full week of April to highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about the contributions of public health and issues related to each year’s theme.

This year’s theme is A healthier America begins with …strong public health systems across the country. APHA continues to champion the creation of the healthiest nation in one generation with an emphasis on public health’s essential role in prevention.

Check out the 2012 brochure and the website for more information.


Sometimes, all we need for a healthy boost are a few ingredient substitutions in our favorite meals. Often these changes don’t alter the taste we love or crave, but can dramatically cut back on some of the additives, fats and oils certain items contain.

The Mayo Clinic has a great chart with ingredient substitutions that is definitely worth checking out here.


In an effort to keep children from accidentally overdosing at home, the CDC and partners have launched the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational campaign. This program outlines simple steps parents can take to keep their families safe, which includes:

  • Pick a place children cannot reach.  Find a storage place too high for a child to reach or see.  Any medicine or vitamin can cause harm if taken the wrong way, even medicine you buy without a prescription.
  • Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use them.  Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours.
  • Hear the click.  Make sure the safety cap is locked. If the medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until the click is heard.
  • Teach children about medicine safety. Never tell children that medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if the child does not like to take his or her medicine.
  • Tell guests about medicine safety. Ask houseguests and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are visiting.
  • Be prepared in case of emergency. Program the poison control number into home and cell phones (1–800–222–1222).

For the full story, check it out on the CDC’s website here.