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.

 

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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.

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.

Hospital

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 WellAheadLa.com 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.

couple-bike

If you need more incentive to exercise more and eat better, consider the results of two comprehensive new studies that found that an active and healthy lifestyle may be critical in helping to keep the brain healthy in old age. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, keeping weight down, not smoking and moderating alcohol consumption were all linked to a lower risk of dementia. And in those with dementia, exercise improved memory and helped people stay independent longer, a rigorous review of past studies found.

Click here to read more.

mosquito

 

“Six people in Louisiana have been diagnosed with chikungunya virus, most in the Greater New Orleans area.

State epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said each of the six cases — four in Jefferson Parish, one in Orleans Parish and one in Tangipahoa Parish — were contracted while the individuals were traveling in the Caribbean.

Like West Nile virus, chikungunya virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Though it is not usually deadly, people who are infected with chikungunya usually develop fever and joint pain as well as headaches and sometimes a rash. There is no vaccine to prevent it.”

Click here to read the full story from NOLA.com

Health IT

Men can make their health a priority. Take daily steps to be healthier and stronger. This week is National Men’s Health Week, June 9-15, 2014. There are many easy things you can do every day to improve your health and stay healthy, including:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Quitting tobacco
  • Moving more
  • Eating healthier
  • Taming stress
  • Seeing your doctor

Click here to learn more about Men’s Health Week.

medical-check-up

National Women’s Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. National Women’s Health Week also serves as a time to help women understand what it means to be well.

Click here for tips on what it means to be a well woman.

 

diversewomen

We encourage moms to make their health a priority and take simple steps to live a safer and healthier life. While being a mother means caring for others, here are a few things moms can do to take care of themselves. Moms of every age can take steps to live a safer and healthier life.

Click here to read more.

piggybank

The Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC) is an important program that provides preventive, primary care and mental health services to 53,000 residents in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes who would otherwise be uninsured.  This critical program which has been operating since 2010 is in jeopardy of shutting down in August 2014 if the state does not continue the funding required for GNOCHC.

Without GNOCHC, the state will see approximately a $59 million increase in healthcare costs annually as patients seek non-emergency care in emergency rooms at local hospitals where they cannot be turned away.  Additionally, local businesses could be forced to lay off more than 300 employees that support the health care industry, including 121 people working in health care centers. The financial impact of this devastating cut to primary care and mental health coverage in the region is one that we simply cannot afford.

Click here to sign a petition requesting state legislators to save the GNOCHC program.