January 24th, 2014
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.
January 9th, 2014
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.”
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).
November 14th, 2013
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.
In response to growing local and national interest in health system performance improvement, two New Orleans-based public health organizations, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM), recently partnered to launch the Health Systems Analytics Research Center (HSARC).
As the first center of its kind in the region, HSARC will focus on improving health system performance and efficiency through systematic analysis of health data related to human, technological, and social factors affecting health outcomes. Sample projects HSARC will be involved with include analysis of frequent use of emergency departments using Health Information Exchange (HIE) data, examination of pharmacy data to study the effects of medication on patient health outcomes, and the study of how medical homes impact quality of clinical care.
October 24th, 2013
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
The upcoming season’s flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine.
Click here to view the PDF 3-brief.
September 6th, 2013
A new law passed during the legislative session requires all public colleges in Louisiana to develop a smoke-free policy that will be effective as of 2014. The law also bans cigars, pipes, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco products on campuses.
August 28th, 2013
The LSU AgCenter and Pennington Biomedical Research Center are embarking on an ambitious nutrition education program in West Carroll Parish. The program, called Healthy Communities, aims to improve the health profile of the West Carroll Parish population. The goals are to promote healthy eating and physical activity and provide access to healthful foods and recreational facilities, such as parks and trails.
Click here to read the full story from the News Star.
August 15th, 2013
“State health officials are reporting seven new West Nile cases, bringing this year’s total to eight.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says there were two neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, with one each from Calcasieu and Ouachita parishes. That’s the most serious type of the virus, infecting the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.
DHH also reports four West Nile fever cases, milder viral infections, with one each in Ascension and St. Tammany parishes and two cases in Lafayette Parish.
In addition, there was one asymptomatic case reported in St. Tammany Parish. The majority of people who contract West Nile will be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms. Those cases are typically detected through blood donations or routine medical tests.”
Full story reported from AP/WWL-TV. Click here.
August 12th, 2013
Here’s a cool new tool to help keep you on track and healthy! Google recently revealed its new nutritional information search function, which makes it simple to look up the calories, protein, carbs, and other nutrients in nearly any food or dish.
Google tech wizards have added nutritional data to the Knowledge Graph, a feature of Google Search that enables users to get information instantly. It’s simple: You enter a question about the nutritional content of a food or drink (for example: “How many calories are in a banana?” or “How much sugar is in a cupcake?”) and hit search. The answer will show up in a box at the top of the results, with the option to change the serving size for even more accurate information. Below Google’s result, the standard search results page appears with links to other sources and websites if you’d like a second opinion. The Knowledge Graph data includes full nutritional information: Calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals like sodium and potassium.
Click here to read the full story and to check it out.