This is Public Health

Insurance

“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.

 

Ecigarette 1

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. 

ACA

Many HealthCare.gov 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 NOLA.com/Times-Picayune.

ACA

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 NOLA.com/Times-Picayune.

 

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.RGB-FOR SCREEN and WEB

The Louisiana Public Health Institute has been designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Center and the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition. LPHI received this designation because it provides time, space, and support for employees who breastfeed or pump milk to feed their babies.

Businesses that support employees who are breastfeeding have lower health care costs, lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and positive public image in their communities. To qualify as Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, workplaces must offer:

  • reasonable break time for working mothers to pump breast milk each time they need to throughout the day;
  • one or more permanent breastfeeding rooms, or a clean, private, and safe space with an outlet, other than a toilet stall that mothers can use for lactation when needed;
  • a working sink near the breastfeeding location where mothers can clean pumping equipment;
  • and lactation support communicated to all current and future employees.

The Mary Amelia Center recognizes businesses as Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces to honor the work that family-friendly businesses are doing to support the health and well-being of women and children in our community.

For more information about LPHI or employment opportunities, click here.

Insurance

A new Commonwealth Fund survey finds that in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, significantly fewer working-age adults are uninsured than just before the sign-up period began, and many have used their new coverage to obtain needed care.

The uninsured rate for people ages 19 to 64 declined from 20 percent in the July-to-September 2013 period to 15 percent in the April-to-June 2014 period. An estimated 9.5 million fewer adults were uninsured. Young men and women drove a large part of the decline: the uninsured rate for 19-to-34-year-olds declined from 28 percent to 18 percent, with an estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults uninsured. By June, 60 percent of adults with new coverage through the marketplaces or Medicaid reported they had visited a doctor or hospital or filled a prescription; of these, 62 percent said they could not have accessed or afforded this care previously.

Click here to read the full article and view the Infographic.

Food Safety Concept

The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex. There is a lot of information to parse in order to understand food labels and to learn the best practices during a food borne illness outbreak. Public health professionals can help guide people through their choices.

Learn more about today’s National Public Health Week theme: Eat Well.

kids-medicine-safety

The number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show a similar increase during the same time period.

More than half (51.1 percent) of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved young children under age 5, and about 42 percent of the poison calls involved people age 20 and older.

Read the full story here.

no-smoking

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.

anti-smoking

In recognition of today’s 19th annual Kick Butts Day (KBD) (March 19, 2014), Representative Frank Hoffmann, Senator Rick Gallot, The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)  and a number of youth from across Louisiana stood up to tobacco companies who continue to target those under age at the Capitol building today.

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 using tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). Additionally, across our state anyone under the age of 18 can purchase electronic nicotine devices because they are not regulated. In fact, there has been an increase in the sale, advertisement and marketing of the electronic nicotine devices to youth in particular.

Youth are targeted everyday by big tobacco, which these statistics clearly show. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against the big tobacco companies at hundreds of events from coast to coast. Three mock stores were set up to show legislators, media and visitors the extent of tobacco advertisements that our youth are exposed to on a daily basis. In addition, a rally and press conference took place, which discussed KBD, e-cigarettes and the Defy program. Rep. Hoffmann and Senator Gallot also discussed upcoming tobacco-related legislation as well as interacted with the Defy youth, learning about their work over the past year.

Click here to read the full story.