This is Public Health

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.

Get Out Ahead

April 9th, 2014

Health IT

Prevention is now a nationwide priority, and as the public health system evolves, there are more options than ever when it comes to preventive health measures.  Public health and clinical health professionals must work collaboratively to help individuals identify and pursue the best preventative health options.

Read more about today’s National Public Health Week theme: Get Out Ahead.

Be Healthy from the Start

April 7th, 2014

High Chair

April 7-11 is National Public Health Week, and today’s theme is “Be Healthy from the Start.” Public health starts at home. From family nutrition and maternal health to safety precautions and disaster preparedness, the first step the community takes toward public health are in the comfort of their own home. Empower your community to take action at home through better meal planning, conducting safety upgrades and preparing for emergencies.

Click here to read tips for preparing your family for a healthy future.

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.

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.

istock_000000245060xsmallEric Lawson, who died of COPD on Jan. 10, was one of many models and actors who portrayed the rugged “Marlboro Man” over the course of the ad campaign. that began in the early 50s. Others include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995. The latest Surgeon General’s report links smoking to a myriad of diseases that include diabetes, liver cancer and colorectal cancer.

Click here to read the full story from USA Today.

Louisiana Map

A new website recently launched in Baton Rouge features a high-tech mapping tool, allowing people to delve into data ranging from where parks and libraries are located to crime statistics and educational levels mapped out across the parish.

The new “City Key” website also features neighborhood forums, so people can post events and other communications for residents in their neighborhoods.

Click here for more information from the Advocate.

LPHI Color (high resolution)

The Louisiana Clinical Data Research Network (LACDRN) was recently approved for a funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to develop and expand a health data network that will be part of PCORnet: the National Patient-Centered National Clinical Research Network. The LACDRN is one of 29 such networks that were approved nation-wide for a total of approximately $93.5 million from PCORI on Dec. 17, 2013, to form this new national resource that aims to boost the efficiency of health research.

The LACDRN is a partnership between the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Tulane University. This project, including its requested budget of $6.9 million, is approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract. During the next 18 months, this collaborative partnership will work together to build an infrastructure for clinical research that may benefit millions of patients in Louisiana. Additionally, the team will advance the capacity to conduct efficient clinical research on two highly prevalent health conditions, obesity and diabetes, along with multiple associated comorbidities, sickle cell disease, and some rare cancers.

“We are thrilled to receive this PCORI award,” said Dr. Anjum Khurshid, Principal Investigator and Director of Health Systems at LPHI. “The LACDRN is a unique collaboration between a top-level research center (Pennington Biomedical), an academic institution of great repute (Tulane) and an established, community-based public health institute (LPHI). The infrastructure investments in IT in this region and the strong relationships with our community partners provide an unprecedented opportunity to involve patients, clinicians and researchers in meaningful clinical research. Not only does the LACDRN promise to bring opportunities for funding clinical research in our state, it also opens numerous opportunities for economic development, entrepreneurship, and job creation in this region and puts Louisiana and New Orleans on the map of major players in biomedical and translational medical research.”

Click here to read the full story.

Medical Insurance

 

 

Good news for those in the state who may have been facing problems finding new insurance under the Affordable Care Act!

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has agreed to implement a federal health care act adjustment that could mean 93,000 Louisianians who were facing canceled health insurance policies might be able to keep their existing plans for another year.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana — which provides 60,000 of the 93,000 plans in jeopardy — has said it will try to extend all of the coverage that it had previously slated for cancellation, after Donelon’s decision. Donelon and the insurance company made their announcements Wednesday night (Nov. 27).

Click here to read the full story from NOLA.com.

Halloween Candy 3

Even more frightening than Halloween itself can be the mountains of leftover candy that will take over offices across the country on Friday, November 1st. Many co-workers, trying to keep temptation out of their houses, bring candy into the office. You can run, but you can’t hide from the candy temptation. Here are a few tips to help you not be haunted by leftover candy.