Louisiana is one of the unhealthiest states in the country. According to the latest edition of America’s Health Rankings, Louisiana ranks 49 in overall health, ahead of only Mississippi.
Many Louisianians face barriers to accessing healthcare, which leads to poor health outcomes. Uninsured people are less likely to receive medical care and more likely to have poor health status. Health insurance facilitates entry into the healthcare system and can ultimately improve long-term population health outcomes.
When certain parts of the Affordable Care Act take effect later this year, there will be new ways for individuals, families and small businesses to access health insurance. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, individuals in every state will be able to shop for health insurance and compare plans through newly established “marketplaces,” comparative shopping tools not unlike many of the web-based travel sites all of us frequent for deals on everything from airline tickets to rental cars.
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.
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.
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.”
March 27th, 2013
Researchers reported Tuesday that they have linked 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide to sugary drinks, including about 25,000 adult Americans.
Overall, 1 in 100 deaths of obese people globally can be blamed on too many sweetened beverages, according to a study presented at an American Heart Association scientific conference in New Orleans. Mexico leads the 35 largest nations in deaths attributable to over-consumption of sugary drinks, with the United States third. Japan, which has one of the lowest per-capita consumptions of sugary drinks, had the fewest sugar-related deaths.
In New Orleans, the Louisiana Public Health Institute and the Crescent City Beacon Community are striving to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes through the txt4health program. Txt4health is a mobile health information service designed to help people understand their risk for type 2 diabetes and become more informed about the steps they can take to lead healthy lives.
Click here to read the full story.
March 21st, 2013
“Calling it a step aimed at easing the local mental health care crisis, a state lawmaker told the New Orleans City Council Thursday that Children’s Hospital has agreed to reopen the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital in Uptown New Orleans.
The hospital, known as NOAH, was closed four years ago by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Department of Health and Hospitals.
Rep. Neil Abramson told City Council members that Children’s Hospital has agreed to reopen NOAH, which is near Children’s Hospital’s main campus. It is expected to offer both inpatient and outpatient services to mentally ill children.”
Read the full story and any updates on WWL-TV by clicking here.
New research shows that an age-old recommended stress-buster may actually work for this group of women: yoga.
Pregnant women who were identified as psychiatrically high risk and who participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga intervention saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms, according to a University of Michigan Health System pilot feasibility study. Mothers-to-be also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb.