This is Public Health

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.

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.

Wheat selection

It can be tricky to identify what’s legitimately a whole grain product in today’s market, since food labels can often be misleading. Those seemingly whole grain Cheez-Its and Ritz crackers, for example, have more white flour than whole wheat flour. And with just one gram of fiber, the nutritional stats are essentially the same as the regular versions.

In fact, even something labeled as 100 percent whole grain doesn’t mean that it contains only whole grains. Original Wheat Thins don’t contain any refined flour, so they’re legitimately labeled as 100 percent whole grain. However, they also contain sugar, malt syrup, and invert sugar – not exactly what you’d call wholesome ingredients.

Click here to read the full story from the Times-Picayune and learn more about how to spot false labels and be sure you’re really getting the healthy snacks you love.

Three Soda Bottles

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.

Health IT

The Crescent City Beacon Community (CCBC) and its numerous partners, convened by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), was recently awarded the 2013 Innovator Award from Healthcare Informatics for its efforts to transform the healthcare delivery system in the Greater New Orleans area.

The CCBC program and the Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (GNOHIE) are part of a larger healthcare improvement revolution that demonstrates how health information technology investments and meaningful use of electronic medical records advance the vision of patient-centered care, while achieving the triple aim of better health, better care, and lower costs.

In April 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology chose the Greater New Orleans area as one of only 17 federally funded Beacon communities. Since then, CCBC has advanced several innovative projects, including creating a new patient-centered care coordination system for the New Orleans area, enabled by the GNOHIE, the city’s first Health Information Exchange.

Click here to read the full story.

The Fit NOLA Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Project, led by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), in partnership with the City of New Orleans Health Department, is slated to receive a total of $2.2 million in funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and pledged matching funds from community partner organizations to increase use of neighborhood parks and access to healthy foods in three underserved neighborhoods. The project will work to transform policies, systems and the environment in parks and surrounding neighborhoods to address barriers to both physical activity and access to healthy food.

The Fit NOLA Project will work to create innovative linkages between community health clinics, parks, and farmers markets in the St. Roch, Gert Town, and Hoffman Triangle-Central City neighborhoods, with a goal of connecting  approximately 64,000 residents with new opportunities for family-oriented physical activities, nutritious foods, and community centered health clinics that support and promote better nutrition and increased physical activity to improve long-term, community health outcomes.

Click here to read the full story.

Salad dressings are often the cherry on top of what should be a fairly healthy meal – until we load them with a quarter of a bottle of ranch. All oils are not created equally and some are better for us, in moderation, than others. When topping your salads this summer, consider these tips that a research study from Purdue University came up with to give you great taste, and keep you healthy an on track at the same time.

Click here to read the full story.

We all know what sugar is – that thing some of us crave, others add to morning coffee and still others avoid like the plague. However you identify the sugars you eat daily, we should all understand the basic differences between Fructose and Sucrose sugars.

Fructose is found mainly in fruits and honey.  It can also be found in high fructose corn syrup, but not regular corn syrup.  Regular corn syrup contains mostly maltrose (malt sugar) with various levels of other types of sugars, including fructose and glucose.  Fructose should not be confused with either high fructose corn syrup or with regular corn syrup, since it is a “naturally” occurring sugar that doesn’t need a lot of chemical processing to be extracted from fruits and honey.

Sucrose is the sugar that’s found in many different types of plants world-wide.  It is the most easily obtained sugar just by doing something as simple as eating a carrot.  The sucrose that a person uses as a sweetener in baking and other food making processes is usually extracted almost exclusively from sugar cane and sugar beets.

Check out the full article for greater detail.

As we get older, our nutritional needs change as well. Whether it be for general good health, preventing or maintaining diabetes, or other health risks, this article has some great tips for adults 50+ to recognize signs they aren’t getting all the nutrients they need.

Read the full article here.


A recent study has revealed what many of us probably already knew, yet may finally encourage some of those out there to get up and increase their activity levels.

A sedentary, or couch potato, lifestyle can amplify a genetic disposition to obesity, but just walking briskly, and briefly, each day can cut that effect in half.

When you consider the other detrimental health effects obesity can be a factor of, like type 2 and 1 diabetes, heart problems, etc., its obvious that we need to drastically cut back our average 4-6 hours of TV consumption and spend more time exercising.

For more info on the study, click here.