This is Public Health

TFL_Constant-Contact_Background-Art (2)

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.

LPHI Color (high resolution)

 

Joseph Kimbrell, CEO of the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) was recently interviewed by the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans for its One-on-One feature. Below is an excerpt. Click here to read the full story.

“Joseph Kimbrell began his public health career working for the New Orleans City Health Department and later served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Public Health from 1979 to 2000. He has a Master of Arts degree in History from Notre Dame Seminary and a Masters in Social Work from Tulane University.

Chief Editor Smith W. Hartley: What is the Louisiana Public Health Institute and how did it get started?

Joe Kimbrell: Eric Baumgartner, our Director of Policy and Program Development, and I were both at the Office of Public Health at the State and wanted to find a more nimble vehicle to do population health from a public/private partnership perspective without some of those encumberments that you find in government, in particular, but also sometimes in your academic community. The idea was to be more neutral and nimble, be able to make things happen quickly, and to be an innovative force. We established LPHI in 1997. At that time I was still at the state health department and we had a part time CEO for a few years, and then I became the full-time CEO in 2000, when I retired from state government. We are one of about 39 similar institutes around the country. It gives us that network nationally to try to keep current on the business. “

ACA

Thirty Louisiana health agencies have been awarded $6.6 million in federal dollars to expand primary care services in neighborhoods.

The funding is part of $295 million awarded to health centers nationally under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare.

Grantees include seven agencies in New Orleans, two in Jefferson Parish and two in Baton Rouge. Among the health centers getting the money in the New Orleans area will be those run by Daughters of Charity, Excelth Inc., Common Ground Health Clinic, MQV Community Development Corp., New Orleans AIDS Task Force and St. Thomas Community Health Center. The City of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish have awardees, as well as Jefferson Community Health Care Centers in Westwego.

Click here to read the full story from NOLA.com/Times-Picayune.

 

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.RGB-FOR SCREEN and WEB

The Louisiana Public Health Institute has been designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Center and the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition. LPHI received this designation because it provides time, space, and support for employees who breastfeed or pump milk to feed their babies.

Businesses that support employees who are breastfeeding have lower health care costs, lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and positive public image in their communities. To qualify as Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, workplaces must offer:

  • reasonable break time for working mothers to pump breast milk each time they need to throughout the day;
  • one or more permanent breastfeeding rooms, or a clean, private, and safe space with an outlet, other than a toilet stall that mothers can use for lactation when needed;
  • a working sink near the breastfeeding location where mothers can clean pumping equipment;
  • and lactation support communicated to all current and future employees.

The Mary Amelia Center recognizes businesses as Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces to honor the work that family-friendly businesses are doing to support the health and well-being of women and children in our community.

For more information about LPHI or employment opportunities, click 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.

bike-lane

Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing the street — especially if you’re walking the streets in Louisiana. According to a recent study, the Pelican State has the fifth highest pedestrian death rate in the country.

The report, prepared by the Center for Planning Excellence and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, evaluated 10 years of federal fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report demonstrates a need for more state and city planners to incorporate pedestrian and cyclist safety into traffic plans, according to Rachel DiResto, CPEX executive vice president.

Read the full story from The Advocate and review the documents here. 

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.

Medical record

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.

Click here to read the full story.