LPHI Statement on the FDA’s Decision to Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Cigar Flavors

“We fully support the FDA’s decision to ban menthol cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. This decision will not only lower smoking rates, but it also addresses the racist and inequitable practices Big Tobacco has used for generations to market highly addictive menthol cigarettes to the Black community, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

This decision builds on the momentum we’re seeing right now for strategic conversations at the federal, state, and local levels about health equity and addressing institutional racism. People need the foundational understanding of our history to carry forward effective conversations and actions to address racial inequities. Eliminating menthol and cigar flavors is a step in the right direction to help us further address and eliminate inequitable health outcomes that disproportionally affect Louisiana residents.

Through our work on the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living and Project ASIRT, we provide specialized support to community members, community-based organizations, and clinics to promote tobacco education and cessation efforts, with a special focus on addressing tobacco-related health disparities in the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. This decision aligns with our state-wide efforts and allows us to further our cessation work to better the overall health and wellness of all. Those interested in starting their quit journey can call 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669) or visit QuitWithUsLA.org.”

Tiffany Jeanminette
Director
Policy & Equity
Louisiana Public Health Institute

Delta Center Awards More than $1.6M in Grant Funds to LPHI and 13 Other State Associations Across the U.S.

Last Fall, the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net (Delta Center) received three additional years of support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to continue the initiative. The initiative seeks to advance payment, policy, and practice change that ultimately cultivates health policy and a care system that are more equitable and better meets the needs of individuals and families. The Delta Center is excited to announce that it has awarded six grants totaling over $1.6 million to primary care and behavioral health state associations nationwide, as part of its second cohort of the State Learning & Action Collaborative. The second cohort expands the initiative’s reach to eight additional states, increasing the Delta Center’s impact. In addition, the Delta Center also awarded eight alumni grants to states that participated in the 2018–2020 cohort.

The project brings together state primary care associations (PCAs) and behavioral health state associations (BHSAs) to build relationships and take collective action to advance policy, payment, and practice changes that will benefit millions of people served by health centers and community behavioral health organizations. The Delta Center is managed by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council), MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (MacColl Center), and Families USA as strategic partners.

The Delta Center is proud to work with the selected organizations in the new cohort:

  • Alaska Primary Care Association
  • Alaska Behavioral Health Association
  • Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc.
  • Bi-State Primary Care Association
  • Community Care Network of Kansas
  • Community Health Center Association of Mississippi
  • Louisiana Public Health Institute
  • Louisiana Primary Care Association
  • Mississippi Association of Community Mental Health Centers
  • New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association
  • Oklahoma Primary Care Association
  • Oklahoma Behavioral Health Association
  • Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers
  • Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association (Pennsylvania)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, several states are centering telehealth in their projects, with a focus on developing equitable policies and practices. Other states bring a focus to behavioral health and primary care integration through implementation of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model, engagement of state agencies and legislatures, and coordination of healthcare huddles between community health centers and community mental health centers. In alignment with Delta Center goals, grantees are elevating consumer voice in the design and implementation of their projects.

“RWJF is committed to pursuing a future in which healthcare is better positioned to coordinate with social services, public health, and to address community needs through integrated services. Through our work with the Delta Center, we have seen how passionately grantees are working towards that goal in service of improving patient outcomes and advancing racial equity.” said Andrea Ducas, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We are excited to learn from the new cohort’s efforts over the next two years!”

Read more about the initiative and partners.

$4.9 Million for Patient-Centered Study of Adult Congenital Heart Disease Awarded to LPHI & Children’s National Hospital

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has awarded $4.9 million to investigators at the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and Children’s National Hospital to study how gaps in health care affect the health and well-being of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD).

The award supports the research team’s efforts to gather data on patients aged 18 years or older who have a CHD diagnosis, via 14 sites across the country. The study will draw on the vast health data resources of PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Institute, to conduct this study more efficiently. With health records for 66 million patients available for observational studies, the PCORI-funded PCORnet provides vast scale to power research on conditions affecting even small numbers of people.

This project will leverage the first patient-powered registry for adults with CHD—the Congenital Heart Initiative (CHI). Led by the team at Children’s National and launched with seed funding from the Heart Research Alliance at University of California – San Francisco (UCSF), the CHI was co-developed with input from patients, clinicians and researchers. Patients who are recruited for this research will participate via enrollment in the registry, which will allow researchers to ask patients directly about health, wellness, and any specific barriers to care.

“This unprecedented look at the health of adults living with congenital heart disease allows us to get a full spectrum view by combining clinical data with patient-reported health data,” said LPHI Chief Data Officer and Principal Investigator Thomas Carton.

The research is led by Thomas Carton and Anitha John, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the Washington Adult Congenital Heart Program at Children’s National, two patient co-investigators, Ruth Phillippi and Scott Leezer, in addition to Mark Roeder from the Adult Congenital Heart Association and Anu Agarwal, M.D., representing the Heart Research Alliance at UCSF. Together, the team will examine rates of complications or associated illnesses, as well as how adult patients have accessed health care throughout their lives. The findings may help predict which patients are at greater risk of falling out of routine health care and when these gaps in care are likely to occur across a patient’s lifespan.

As identification, understanding, and treatment of CHD have improved over the last few decades, the number of adults living with CHD now exceeds the number of children born with these various structural defects today.

“With the increasing number of adult patients with CHD, it is important for us to understand how current recommended practices influence patient outcomes,” says Dr. John. “This project will guide us on how to best care for our patients, not just through childhood, but across their entire lifespans.”

PCORI’s Board has approved this award pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract. PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians, and other healthcare decision-makers with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care choices.

Complimentary Haircuts and Beard Trims for Acadiana Musicians

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) is partnering with Frederick Hair Studio and Archie’s Beauty & Barber Salon to host “Get Your Groove Back On,” a day of complimentary haircuts and beard trims for musicians in the Acadiana area.

Through its Healthier Air for All initiative, TFL has worked to support the overall health of musicians by making all public places in Louisiana, including music venues, bars, and gaming facilities, smoke-free. When musicians feel good, whether from breathing healthier air, feeling supported by the community, or from receiving a fresh new haircut, they perform better.

This complimentary haircut day is being offered to any Acadiana musicians regardless of their ability to pay. Appointments are required and can be set up by calling 337-234-4054 and mentioning Get Your Groove Back On.

WHO:
Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
Frederick Hair Studio
Archies Beauty & Barber Salon

WHEN:
Monday, April 26
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE:
Frederick Hair Studio
317 Jefferson St, Downtown
Lafayette, La. 70501

LPHI Releases Second Statewide COVID-19 Survey Data

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) released findings today from the second statewide COVID-19 survey that was conducted in February 2021. The survey was commissioned by the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and builds upon data collected in LPHI’s original COVID-19 survey that was conducted in June 2020. The main focus of the 2021 survey was vaccine willingness. Both survey reports and additional information are available on LPHI’s website here.

The survey broke down vaccine willingness into three categories: willing, hesitant, and unwilling. According to the 2021 survey data, 50 percent of Louisianans are willing to get the vaccine. Thirty-five percent of survey respondents indicated that they are hesitant to receive the vaccine and 15 percent say they are unwilling to get the vaccine.

Vaccine hesitancy is highest among white women and Black men, while unwillingness is highest among Black women. When looking at age, hesitancy is highest in men and women between the ages of 18 and 29. One in three respondents who identify as women and are of reproductive age say they are unwilling to get the vaccine. Location also plays a role, with Louisianans in urban areas indicating that they are more willing to get a vaccine than residents in rural areas.

“This data helps us better understand vaccine willingness in Louisiana based on a variety of factors and what information is needed to help Louisianans make an informed decision about getting the vaccine,” said Shelina Davis, CEO of LPHI. “We appreciate the support from the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and hope that information from the survey will help organizations around the state with their COVID-19 outreach and vaccination efforts.”

The biggest motivator cited for getting the vaccine was “Protecting my family.” The biggest factors for hesitancy and unwillingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine are concerns about side effects, safety, and efficacy. When respondents were asked “What information about the Coronavirus vaccine would like you like more of,” the COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, and side effects were the top choices.

When looking at sources of information about the COVID-19 vaccine, respondents indicated that doctors, healthcare providers, and friends and family were the most trusted sources. The least trusted sources are public figures, including athletes, musicians, and business owners. The top forms of media from which people get information about COVID-19 differed based on age. TV was the top source for individuals overall. Social media, the internet, and friends and family were also top sources for those between 18 and 44. Social media was also a top choice for Black residents and those who indicated they are unwilling to get the vaccine.

LPHI and Healthy Blue Announce Actionable Next Steps Following Racial and Health Equity Symposium

On Thursday, March 11, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and Healthy Blue hosted the first annual Racial and Health Equity Symposium, bringing together more than 550 individuals and organizations from across Louisiana and beyond to address systemic inequities and build relationships to achieve racial and health equity. The Symposium explored how systemic racism has impacted public health efforts for generations and declared it a public health crisis.

During the event, speakers discussed and answered participant questions on topics including the impact of poverty on community health; the intersection of mental health, the education system, and mass incarceration; and how the healthcare industry can address race-based disparities and access to quality healthcare.

“The first annual Symposium was inspiring and thought-provoking,” said Dr. Christy Valentine, Healthy Blue Plan President. “I want to thank our speakers and panelists who challenged norms, generated ideas, and facilitated discussions around how attendees and partners can work together to address racial and health inequities in Louisiana.”

During the conclusion of the Symposium, LPHI announced the creation of a coalition dedicated to ending institutional racism in Louisiana, and participants were offered the opportunity to sign up and further their advocacy. Healthy Blue will continue the work towards equity by sponsoring a series of Racial Equity Learning Labs that LPHI will facilitate throughout the year.

“We wanted to ensure that the momentum from the Symposium was not lost and that actionable opportunities were created for attendees to continue the important work of achieving racial and health equity,” said Shelina Davis, CEO of LPHI. “The coalition and learning labs offer an opportunity for participants to better understand how to start and continue working on these issues in their own communities – leading to a healthier and more equitable Louisiana.”

The coalition will work with diverse individuals and multi-sectoral organizations to recognize and address structural racism as a social driver of health, by acknowledging and addressing persistent racial disparities in criminal justice, housing, education, healthcare, employment, worker protections, climate, food access, and technology; and engage all communities to advance health equity.

The LPHI coalition will also work with the state to declare racism as a public health crisis in Louisiana.

Similar declarations are currently happening across the nation. Currently, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, have legislation towards this end. These declarations are an important step to receiving funding and resources to achieve health equity. Those interested in joining the coalition can register here. The first meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

The Racial and Health Equity Learning Lab is a unique professional development experience for Louisiana community and public health leaders. Twenty-five community leaders will be selected to participate in the six-month cohort. Interested individuals can submit an application here.

With support from Healthy Blue, LPHI is partnering with the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) to conduct its ADJUST (Advancing Justice Together) Workshop that will increase the statewide technical knowledge and training capacity of community health leaders in Louisiana. During the Learning Lab, participants will increase their knowledge of core racial equity concepts and develop action plans for local application of training curriculum.

Participants will be better equipped with understanding, compassion, and capacity for action around issues of equity, equality, and fairness in the public health field and our communities. These trainings will provide the foundation for a collective community strategy with strategic goals and benchmarking for creating statewide movement for equitable practices, policies, and procedures that encourage and sustain diversity and positive changes.

These collective efforts by LPHI and Healthy Blue will culminate at the Second Annual Racial and Health Equity Symposium in 2022.

LPHI and LDH to host “All Things Covid-19 Vaccine – A Tele-Townhall for Sharing Information and Answers”

Join LPHI and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) for a series of virtual community conversations called “All Things Covid-19 Vaccines – A Tele-Townhall for Sharing Information and Answers.” Each event will be moderated by Shelina Davis, CEO of LPHI, and Earl Benjamin-Robinson, director of LDH’s Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity. Local panelists will include each region’s medical director, faith-based leaders, and community advocates.

The goal of these events is to provide information about the COVID-19 vaccine, dispel myths, and answer direct questions from participants. The dialogue will also focus on equitable health outcomes for all Louisianans, especially the African American community who has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Monday, April 12
Region 4 & 5 (Acadiana and Lake Charles Areas)
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Recording available here

Tuesday, April 13
Region 6, 7, & 8 (Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe Areas)
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Recording available here

Wednesday, April 14
Region 1, 3, & 9 (Greater New Orleans, Houma-Thibodaux, and North Shore Areas)
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Recording available here

Thursday, April 15
Region 2 (Baton Rouge Area)
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Recording available here

LPHI Events

Statement from LPHI CEO in Response to Increased AAPI Hate Crimes

I felt compelled to share and acknowledge what has transpired this week. I stand in solidarity and commit to action with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. My heart aches for the eight individuals, six of whom were of Asian descent, who were shot and killed in their workplace.
I’m also reminded that this is not new – acts of discrimination, hate, and xenophobia against our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities have happened long before this moment and continues to persist. Stop AAPI Hate – an Asian-American and Pacific Islander advocacy organization – indicated that nearly 3,800 hate incidents were reported against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide over the last year. This is maddening and unacceptable in 2021!
We must unite to eliminate racism and the policies that perpetuate it – in all forms – from our society. I acknowledge our collective exhaustion and frustration, particularly that of people of color. Let’s all do our part to commit to understanding how we can dismantle systems that are grounded and rooted in racism, oppression, and discrimination.
As I shared in June, I continue to join my colleagues and commit my organization, the Louisiana Public Health Institute, to addressing Racism as a public health crisis. I call upon our partners, our policymakers, our neighbors to join us in identifying and adopting anti-racist policies so that we uphold the human right to be healthy and afford an equal opportunity for us all to live and thrive!
Let’s continue to shine positive light, love, and resist hate of all forms.
Shelina Davis
CEO
Louisiana Public Health Institute

Louisiana Teens Encouraged To “Take Down Tobacco” By Participating In Video Contest

To celebrate Take Down Tobacco Day on April 1, 2021, a national day of action that empowers people to stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry, the Louisiana Public Health Institute and The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living are hosting the Next Era Take Down Tobacco Day Video Contest.

Louisiana high school students can submit a :30 second to two-minute-long video explaining why Louisiana needs to take a stand against the vaping and tobacco industries. Participants can choose their own topic but are encouraged to focus on the dangers of vaping and/or tobacco use, nicotine addiction, how to quit vaping and/or using tobacco products, or how tobacco/vaping negatively affects our state. Selected videos will earn a $500, $200, or $100 stipend.

Videos will be judged on their ability to engage and inspire others, creativity, the clarity of the Take Down Tobacco Day theme and message, and video quality. Submissions must be sent in a .MOV or .MP4 format by 11:59 p.m. on March 28, 2021, along with a completed entry form and consent form. Videos and paperwork can be sent directly to NextEra@LPHI.org or via DropBox or WeTransfer.

The full contest rules and details are available at https://wearenextera.org/contest/.

Policy and Equity

Overview

LPHI has more than 15 years of experience addressing health disparities and educating stakeholders and communities about the disproportionate impact of chronic diseases on communities of color. With the current multi-layer public health crisis of COVID-19 and racial injustice, LPHI seeks to increase the state’s capacity to address systemic barriers and social inequities that impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color’s (BIPOC) opportunity to attain their full health potential.

For effectively addressing the many social determinants of health, more statewide coordination is needed to provide clear and consistent guidance and communication messages for strategic implementation of health equity programs and authentic community engagement. LPHI seeks to implement a collective impact approach for building a health equity infrastructure for the state that would provide the needed coordination across partners and communities. The first phase of this approach is to build the capacity of organizations to lead community conversations and conduct trainings to promote health equity.

LPHI’s Policy and Equity team leads and coordinates internal and external efforts to advance federal, state, and local policy solutions and enhances LPHI’s overall commitment to health and racial equity. This is part of LPHI’s larger strategic effort to increase our effectiveness and to broaden the impact of our policy, advocacy, and equity work. The core principles are built upon authentic community engagement and the promotion of shared accountability and collective impact in collaboration and coordination across internal LPHI projects and with strategic partners and communities. As a catalyst in promoting internal excellence in public health policy and equity, the program is enhancing organization’s core infrastructure that ensures intentionality of equity and sustainable community impact through policy change.

Understanding that racial and health inequities go hand in hand, LPHI created this team to look at all of our projects and programs through an equity lens, furthering the impact of our public health work. This team will also provide technical assistance, training, and education to build internal staff and community capacity to design and implement policy and health equity strategies.

Programs and Initiatives

Project ASIRT

LPHI has selected 10 rural community-based organizations and health clinics to participate Project ASIRT (Addressing Systemic Inequities to Reduce Tobacco) funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  This program is designed to reduce tobacco use among African Americans, address and recognize tobacco-related inequities and influence policy change at the local and state level and features a learning collaborative model, focused on capacity and skills-building training, community mobilization, and increasing access to and quality of traditional and non-traditional cessation services. The following CBOs were selected through an RFP process and will serve as the designated Community Engagement Partner for their area: Delta Interfaith (Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish); LaSalle Community Action Association (Jonesville, St. Joseph, Newellton; Catahoula Parish, Tensas Parish); Morehouse General Hospital Healthcare Foundation (Bastrop, Morehouse Parish); Opelousas General Health System Foundation (Opelousas, St. Landry Parish); Prek-12 and Beyond (Tallulah, Madison Parish); The United Hands Youth Center (Ferriday, Concordia Parish). The following rural community health centers have been selected as a Rural Health Partners for this project: Catahoula Parish Hospital District #2 (Jonesville, Catahoula Parish; Ferriday, Concordia Parish); Southeast Community Health Systems (Kentwood, Tangipahoa Parish); Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Center (Opelousas, St. Landry Parish).

Project ASIRT is funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Building Capacity to Reduce Tobacco Inequities in the South and Midwest. 

 

Learn More

Louisiana’s Racial & Health Equity Symposium

LPHI and Healthy Blue hosted this inaugural virtual symposium to create momentum among our state leaders and drive forward intentional action to address the health and racial inequities that continue to impact the social wellbeing, health, and health outcomes of our communities. Symposium participants heard from health equity experts, community leaders, and community health professionals on efforts that promote health and racial equity and address those social determinants of health. 

 

Learn More

Racial & Health Equity Learning Lab

LPHI is conducting Racial Equity Learning Labs, a training series that will increase statewide technical knowledge and training capacity to conduct similar labs throughout the state through sponsorship by Healthy Blue. For effectively addressing the many social determinants of health, especially racism, LPHI aims to implement a collective impact approach for building programs that provide clear and consistent guidance, build community capacity and standardizes communication messages for strategic implementation of health equity programs and authentic community engagement across the state.

With support from Healthy Blue, LPHI has partnered with the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) to conduct its ADJUST (Advancing Justice Together) Workshop that will increase the statewide technical knowledge and training capacity of community health leaders in Louisiana.  There are potentially two components of the LA Race & Equity Learning Lab: (1) knowledge-building of core racial equity concepts, and (2) collaborative meetings to develop action plans for local application of training curriculum. 

As a collective, those participating in the learning lab will be better equipped with understanding, compassion, and capacity for action around issues of equity and fairness in the public health field and our communities. These trainings will provide the foundation for a collective community strategy with strategic goals and benchmarking for creating statewide movement for equitable practices, policies and procedures that encourage and sustain diversity and positive changes.

Team

Partner Organizations

Events

LPHI Events

Doing Mental Health Differently

Learn how to identify, understand, and respond to mental illness and substance use disorders in this free community seminar. 

March 23, 2022

5 – 7 p.m. 
Ashe’ Power House Theater

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/doing-mental-health-differently-tickets-291237026787

 

LPHI Racial and Health Equity Symposium

With the second annual Racial and Health Equity Symposium, LPHI and Healthy Blue are continuing their commitment to address the health and racial inequities that continue to impact the social wellbeing, health, and health outcomes of our communities throughout Louisiana. Join us for this free, virtual event.

 

Thursday, April 7

9 a.m.

Registration: https://www.racialandhealthequityla.com/ 

 

 

 

LPHI Staff Share Personal Reflections on Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, a few members of the LPHI staff have generously shared their personal reflections and stories about what Black History Month means to them, honoring someone who has inspired them, and so much more.

We invite you to share your own reflections and stories with us via LPHI’s social media channels. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Feamula Bradley
“Black History Month is set aside as an opportunity to show respect and honor the tremendous contributions and sacrifices of African Americans. While this is a noble gesture, it is also an opportunity to acknowledge the intentional and systematic omission of these contributions from our collective history. The truths of the past, and the lingering present-day trials and inequities, should properly be included. It is incumbent that “we the people” continue to learn, advocate, teach, and print how African Americans truly shaped, and are shaping, America. While February is a focal point, there should be a continuous effort to amplify the consciousness of all humankind beyond the month of February, until our walk, together, is parallel and becomes a daily occurrence.”

Daniele Farrisi
“Black History Month is an opportunity for me to seek out and learn about people and events that have been erased from the history I was taught in school. Without Black history, our understanding of history is incomplete. This year, I learned about Onesimus, an enslaved African man, who introduced the practice of smallpox inoculation to the American colonies in the early 18th century. Not only did his contribution save lives during that period, his legacy lives on as we seek to end the COVID-19 pandemic through a massive vaccination campaign. That’s a legacy we can all celebrate and be thankful for! As I learn more about Black history, I can help make sure those stories get told by sharing them with my own community.”

Liana Narcisse
“For me, Black History Month is a time to remember everyday heroes not found in history books. The people in our towns, communities, and even our own families who stood up to racism and oppression and decided to be the change. For me, Black History Month is honoring my mother who became a teacher in the same community where she faced racism, so future generations would not experience the same. It’s my childhood friend’s family who whole-heartedly welcomed me into their home. And her mom who dressed us in matching outfits and hairstyles so we could be “twins,” never addressing our racial differences. I like to think of Black History Month as a time to honor all the people, who when faced with the choice, chose love and acceptance over hate and fear.”

Michelle Ozah (video submission)
https://youtu.be/oUo6R1PpX_s

Leslie Clay
“Black History Month is a reminder for me to be a consistent student of history, especially American history and all of the people that are a part of that history. Until I was 9 years old, I was oblivious to Black History or the accomplishments of Black people. I grew up in predominately white/majority/mainstream spaces until then. I had a teacher named DeWitt Williams when I transferred, and he was a great teacher with a lot of information for a black girl like me. I was totally unfamiliar with any black history facts, as well as anything having to do with the African countries where my enslaved ancestors came from. He taught us Swahili, showed us artifacts from his trips across the diaspora from the “West Indies” to countries on the African continent like Ghana, Egypt, and Liberia. The most important thing that he taught me is that I should do the research for myself. What he was teaching was beyond the textbook and too much for 28 days. The complete history of the Americas is a 365 day a year venture and far fuller than our current textbooks can imagine. I am so grateful for Carter G. Woodson, who sat in the South Side YMCA in Chicago and decided to lobby for Negro History Week. Without his tenacity, vision, and lack of patience we got the seed that has brought us to Black History Month as well as whatever lies beyond the confines of the month of February.”

Ashley Babineaux
“Black History Month is always bittersweet to me. Sweet because each year I’m in awe of the contributions black people have made and are making for the world. Bitter because we think back to darker times and how our current circumstances mirror the past. It is a time for celebration and for mourning. Black history month is unique in its dichotomy because the history of black people in America has woes as does it have exultation. That duality lives in us always. Black history month fills me with pride and joy for where I come from and hope for where I am going. I keep that feeling with me throughout the year, always learning and uncovering things about black people in America that is not “mainstream”. I love learning about local pioneers and how their actions directly affect my life. Black history month reminds everyone about how valuable black lives are, even when we are conditioned to think otherwise.”

Tiffany Jeanminette
“As we close out this month of February, we want to ensure that our community and stakeholders know that we will continue, every day of the year, to honor our black ancestors and lift up our modern-day heroes, like our black scientist, doctors, nurses, and frontline health care staff working to ensure health through this COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring that we eliminate systemic barriers and challenges for all in Louisiana to be healthy and well with equal access to a high quality of life. May we continue to share great homage and appreciation for those who have died and sacrificed for us to be here.”

Symposium

Thank you for attending the Symposium on Racial & Health Equity in Louisiana.

A recording of the symposium, along with all speaker presentations, and community partner videos are posted below. If you registered for the symposium you will receive an email notification when the materials have been posted. 

Please visit our Coalition Overview & Learning Lab information pages.

 Presented by:

2021 Symposium Information & Materials

The 2021 symposium was held Thursday, March 11 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. with the theme Partnerships in Action: Collectively Achieving Racial Equity to Improve the Health of Our Community.

Symposium Materials for Download

Symposium Schedule

Welcoming Remarks – 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Speakers: Dr. Cheryll Bowers-Stephens – Healthy Blue Performance Medical Director, Shelina Davis – Louisiana Public Health Institute CEO, Dr. Kathleen Kennedy – Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy Professor and Dean, Dr. Courtney Phillips – Louisiana Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Christy Valentine – Healthy Blue Plan President
Moderator: Kathy Victorian – Healthy Blue Medicaid Territory Marketing Manager

Opening Plenary Session – 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Session Topic: “Make Me Do It.”: FDR’s Advice to A. Philip Randolph and Us
Speaker: Dr. Mindy Fullilove, The New School Professor of Urban Policy and Health
Moderator: Tiffany Netters, Louisiana Public Health Institute Director of Policy & Equity

Session Description: As local, state, and national leaders, including the American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association, declare racism a public health crisis, the movement to advance racial equity and justice must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action to improve health for all. Explore the underpinnings of how social and environmental factors affect the health of communities and how collective action can address these disparities across different sectors. Discuss implicit bias as a barrier to health care and how we address it.

Break – 10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Please note: All morning track sessions are repeated in the afternoon track.

Morning Track – 10:40 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

TRACK 1A – TOPIC: Breaking the Poverty Cycle to Achieve Economic Security and Better Health
Speakers: Nicole Jolly
– Urban League of Louisiana Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Assistant to the President, Andreanecia M. Morris – GNO Housing Alliance and Housing NOLA Executive Director, Dr. Andre Perry – Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program Senior Fellow
Moderator: Robert Blue – Healthy Blue Tribal Liaison


Session Description:
In this session, we will explore the detrimental impacts of the poverty cycle on community health. A person’s access to financial resources affects everything – where they live, educational options, and access to meaningful employment. Panelists will share insights on the correlation between racial and economic disparities as they relate to health outcomes. We will discuss solutions aimed to dismantle race-based policies that have been passed over the years and rebuild equitable systems (like housing) that support health in communities. 

TRACK 2A – TOPIC: Reforming Systems of Education and Incarceration to Improve Louisianan’s Quality of Living
Speakers: Maryam Henderson-Uloho
– SisterHearts Thrift Store CEO, Jee Park – Innocence Project New Orleans Executive Director, Bruce Reilly – Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) Deputy Director, Will Snowden – Vera Institute of Justice’s New Orleans Office Director
Moderator: Lisa Ellsworth
– Healthy Blue Community Relations Representative

Session Description: This session will examine the intersection of mental health, the education system, and the entrenched system of mass incarceration at a local and state level. Mass incarceration exacerbates many facets of this country’s divides – in income and health, access to justice, and over race. Learn how community leaders in the education and justice field are working on various reforms that address systemic oppression. Examples of collaborations with local government and community organizations will be shared.

TRACK 3A – TOPIC: Achieving Health Equity and Racial Health though Health Care Transformation
Speakers: Gerrelda Davis
– Louisiana Primary Care Association Executive Director, Charlotte Parent – University Medical Center New Orleans Vice President of Business Development, Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood – Ochsner Xavier Institute for Health Equity and Research Medical Director, Dr. Denese Shervington – Tulane University School of Medicine Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) President and CEO
Moderator: Thom Hart – Anthem Disability Policy Engagement Director

Session Description: In this session, panelists will share insights on public health efforts that explore the intersection of race and access to quality health care. Accountability, data, and leadership are critical to addressing race-based disparities in healthcare outcomes.


Break – 11:40 a.m. – 11:50 p.m.

Please note: All morning track sessions are repeated in the afternoon track.

Afternoon Track – 11:50 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

TRACK 1B – TOPIC: Breaking the Poverty Cycle to Achieve Economic Security and Better Health
Speakers: Nicole Jolly
– Urban League of Louisiana Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Assistant to the President, Andreanecia M. Morris – GNO Housing Alliance and Housing NOLA Executive Director, Dr. Andre Perry – Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program Senior Fellow
Moderator: Robert Blue – Healthy Blue Tribal Liaison


Session Description:
In this session, we will explore the detrimental impacts of the poverty cycle on community health. A person’s access to financial resources affects everything – where they live, educational options, and access to meaningful employment. Panelists will share insights on the correlation between racial and economic disparities as they relate to health outcomes. We will discuss solutions aimed to dismantle race-based policies that have been passed over the years and rebuild equitable systems (like housing) that support health in communities.

TRACK 2B – TOPIC: Reforming Systems of Education and Incarceration to Improve Louisianan’s Quality of Living
Speakers: Maryam Henderson-Uloho
– SisterHearts Thrift Store CEO, Jee Park – Innocence Project New Orleans Executive Director, Bruce Reilly – Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) Deputy Director, Will Snowden – Vera Institute of Justice’s New Orleans Office Director
Moderator: Lisa Ellsworth
– Healthy Blue Community Relations Representative

Session Description: This session will examine the intersection of mental health, the education system, and the entrenched system of mass incarceration at a local and state level. Mass incarceration exacerbates many facets of this country’s divides – in income and health, access to justice, and over race. Learn how community leaders in the education and justice field are working on various reforms that address systemic oppression. Examples of collaborations with local government and community organizations will be shared.

TRACK 3B – TOPIC: Achieving Health Equity and Racial Health though Health Care Transformation
Speakers: Gerrelda Davis
– Louisiana Primary Care Association Executive Director, Charlotte Parent – University Medical Center New Orleans Vice President of Business Development, Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood – Ochsner Xavier Institute for Health Equity and Research Medical Director, Dr. Denese Shervington – Tulane University School of Medicine Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) President and CEO
Moderator: Thom Hart – Anthem Disability Policy Engagement Director

Session Description:
In this session, panelists will share insights on public health efforts that explore the intersection of race and access to quality health care. Accountability, data, and leadership are critical to addressing race-based disparities in healthcare outcomes.

Break – 12:50 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.

Closing Plenary Session – 12:55 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.
Session Topic: Call To Action for LA Health Equity
Speaker: Dr. Sandra Brown, Southern University College of Nursing and Allied Health Dean
Moderator: Sylvester Tumusiime, Louisiana Public Health Institute Informatics Manager

Session Description: At the Closing of the Symposium, we will summarize the knowledge gained through the earlier sessions, share excitement about next steps as a collective and culminate in a Call to Action for participants.

Program Closing – 1:25 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Speakers: Dr. Cheryll Bowers-Stephens – Healthy Blue Performance Medical Director, Shelina Davis – Louisiana Public Health Institute Chief Executive Officer
Moderator: Kathy Victorian – Healthy Blue Medicaid Territory Marketing Manager

LPHI Releases COVID-19 Data on Behaviors, Vaccine Willingness, and Mental Health

Approximately 1,250 residents participated in two studies conducted during Phase 2

Between June and August 2020, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) conducted two separate studies on the impact COVID-19 has had on residents of Louisiana. The first is a state-wide survey that investigated risk perceptions, perceived severity, preventative behaviors, mental health impact, vaccine willingness, and more. The second was a study funded by Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) that looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral health (mental health and substance use) needs and services in the Greater New Orleans (GNO) area. At the time of both studies, Louisiana was in Phase 2 of reopening.

“The pandemic has clearly shown how existing health inequities were exacerbated by COVID-19,” said Shelina Davis, LPHI’s CEO. “These reports allow us to look at the data through an equity lens and use the information to begin creating equitable solutions now and not as an afterthought – especially around vaccinations and mental health services.”

A total of 1,126 Louisiana residents over the age of 18 completed the online survey, which was open from June 18 – 26, 2020. Overall, results from the survey show that many Louisianans are knowledgeable and worried about COVID-19 and have adopted the recommended preventive behaviors. The full LPHI COVID-19 Survey Report can be found here. A high-level results fact sheet has also be created to provide an overview of the report.

“Our goal with this state-wide survey was to get a broader understanding of how Louisianans view COVID-19, how they have been impacted, and what efforts they have taken to protect themselves and prevent the spread,” said Beth Nauman, managing director at LPHI. “We’re making this information available to policymakers, health systems, and community organizations so they can make informed, equitable, and data-driven response decisions.”

Results also include a breakdown of Louisianan’s willingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine willingness increases with age, is higher in men than women, shows that White Louisianans are more likely than Black Louisianans to state they would get the vaccine, and those with health insurance coverage are more likely to state they would get the vaccine compared to those without insurance.

The BCM assessment was conducted using a mixed-methods approach to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral health care in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, and Plaquemines parishes. Data were collected between August 3 -19, 2020 through interviews, focus groups, and surveys with 154 behavioral health providers and clients.

“COVID-19 will have a longstanding impact on mental health and could change how services are provided even after the pandemic has ended,” said BCM Board Chair Slade M. Simons. “We remain committed to improving the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the individuals we serve and will continue to monitor and address our community’s needs and access to services.”

The BCM assessment, available here, shows that behavioral health needs worsened since the start of the pandemic. The most impacted groups, according to the assessment, are communities of color and people experiencing unstable housing. Most behavioral health services transitioned to telehealth, creating new challenges for access and quality of care. Though organizations implemented operational changes to safeguard employees and clients, behavioral health providers and staff experienced increased stress and anxiety.

“We knew going into this assessment that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on mental health, provider capacity, and service capabilities,” said Adrienne Warren, BCM program director. “We were able to identify specific issues through the assessment and create recommendations to address those needs at both the policy and provider levels.”

The assessment includes the impact COVID-19 has had on behavioral health and offers potential strategies and reforms to help address existing challenges, minimize future risk, and increase the resiliency of the behavioral health system and the GNO community.

Additional results fact sheets were created for a high-level overview with information that is helpful for policymakersgeneral behavioral health providers, and youth-specific behavioral health providers.

Louisiana Public Health Institute Announces Community Grant Recipients to Address Systemic Inequities to Reduce Tobacco Use

Through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) is working to address systemic inequities to reduce tobacco use among African Americans in the South (Project ASIRT). LPHI has selected six community engagement partners and three rural health partners as Project ASIRT grantees.

These organizations will participate in a learning collaborative to build the capacity of Louisiana’s rural communities to reduce tobacco use among African Americans, address and recognize tobacco-related inequities, and influence policy change at the local and state level. Each of the grantees are in one of the Project ASIRT priority locations, which include Ferriday, Jonesville, Lake Providence, Tallulah, Bastrop, Delhi, Opelousas, Kentwood, St. Joseph, and Newellton.

“We’re excited to be working with these nine organizations to address tobacco use and cessation efforts on multiple fronts,” said Tiffany Jeanminette, LPHI’s director of Policy and Equity. “Working with local organizations allows us to better understand each community and create solutions that address tobacco-use, health inequities stemming from tobacco-use, and enact equity-focused policy changes.”

Community engagement partners will each receive $20,000 to increase rural community capacity and engagement to mobilize around tobacco- and tobacco-related issues facing their communities and eliminating tobacco-related health disparities. The recipients are:

  • Opelousas General Health System Foundation (St. Landry Parish)
  • The United Hands Youth Center (Concordia Parish)
  • LaSalle Community Action Association, Inc (Catahoula and Tensas Parishes)
  • Prek-12 and Beyond (Madison Parish)
  • Morehouse General Hospital Healthcare Foundation (Morehouse Parish)
  • Delta Interfaith (East Carroll Parish)

Rural health partners will each receive $7,000 to increase access to tobacco cessation and prevention education, and service and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities.

The rural health partners are:

  • Catahoula Parish Hospital District #2 (Concordia and Catahoula Parishes)
  • Southeast Community Health Systems (Tangipahoa Parish)
  • Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Center, Inc. (St. Landry Parish)

Both LaSalle Community Action Association, Inc. and Catahoula Parish Hospital District #2 are receiving more than the stated funding amount since they are serving multiple communities.

In addition to working with community engagement partners and rural health partners, Project ASIRT will engage local community leaders, organizations, and residents in rural communities to work towards building capacity for grassroots policy change to address systemic inequities and increase the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco cessation programs for tobacco users who want to quit smoking.

For additional information on Project ASIRT, click here.

Quit with Us, LA Brand Receives Update to Make the Tobacco Quit Journey Even Easier

Tobacco users now have a new, easy-to-use, and encouraging Quit With Us, Louisiana website at quitwithusla.org to help them quit, thanks to the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living and Well-Ahead Louisiana.

“With this brand refresh, we are letting those who wish to quit smoking know that we understand the only thing more powerful than the difficulty of quitting tobacco is the decision to try to quit,” said Chrishelle Stipe, Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living cessation manager. “We are here to guide and empower those who want to quit and ensure our resources are as easy to access as possible, just in time for New Year’s resolutions.”

The new website features three sections, depending on where tobacco users are in their quit journey. They can prepare to quit, take action when they are ready to quit, or learn how to maintain once they have quit tobacco.

“We just completed a research study that found that 74 percent of tobacco users in Louisiana want to quit, and most users make more than one quit attempt,” said Melissa Martin, director of Well-Ahead Louisiana. “The ease of the new website and tools like Text-to-Quit let residents who want to quit know that we are here to help and coach them through the moments that feel impossible.”

Louisianans interested in quitting tobacco can visit www.QuitWithUsLa.org or call 1-800-Quit-Now to connect with a quit coach and create a personalized Quit Plan. Coaches are available 24/7, seven days a week. Quit With Us, Louisiana also provides counseling services over the phone, via text, through an app, or on the website chatbox. Quit Coaches can also provide cessation medication and make recommendations on what prescription medications participants can review with their doctor.

 

COVID-19 Impact on the Greater New Orleans Behavioral Health System


COVID-19 Impact on the Greater New Orleans Behavioral Health System

With funding from Baptist Community Ministries, LPHI conducted a mixed-methods assessment to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral health (mental health and substance use) needs and services in the Greater New Orleans (GNO) area. Data were collected through interviews, focus groups, and surveys with 154 behavioral health providers and clients participating from Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, and Plaquemines parishes. All data were collected from August 3 to August 19, 2020, during Phase 2 of Louisiana’s recovery plan.

The assessment, found here,  shows that behavioral health needs worsened since the start of the pandemic. The most impacted groups, according to the assessment, are communities of color and people experiencing unstable housing. Most behavioral health services transitioned to telehealth, creating new challenges for access and quality of care. Though organizations implemented operational changes to safeguard employees and clients, behavioral health providers and staff experienced increased stress and anxiety.

The assessment includes the impact COVID-19 has had on behavioral health and offers potential strategies and reforms to help address existing challenges, minimize future risk, and increase the resiliency of the behavioral health system and the GNO community.

Additional one-pagers were created for a high-level overview with information that is helpful for policymakers, general behavioral health providers, and youth-specific behavioral health providers.

COVID-19 Survey

LPHI has conducted two statewide surveys on COVID-19, the first in June 2020 and the second in February 2021.

The February 2021 survey focused predominantly on vaccine willingness, finding that 50 percent of Louisianans were willing to get the vaccine, 35 percent were hesitant, and 15 percent were unwilling. The survey also looked at various factors that influence vaccine decisions. The February 2021 LPHI COVID-19 Survey Report can be found here. A one-pager overview document is also available here.

The June 2020 survey asked participants about their knowledge of COVID-19, how their behaviors have changed during the pandemic, how the pandemic has impacted them, the status of their physical and mental health, vaccine willingness, and more. During the time the survey was conducted Louisiana was in Phase 2 of reopening, which permitted certain establishments to open at 50 percent capacity. The June 2020 LPHI COVID-19 Survey Report can be found here. A one-page overview document is also available here

If you have questions about the reports or would like permission to use the data, please send an email to EvalandResearch@lphi.org.

LPHI Announces Findings from State-Wide COVID-19 Survey

LPHI conducted a state-wide survey on COVID-19 to ask participants about their knowledge of COVID-19, how their behaviors have changed during the pandemic, how the pandemic has impacted them, the status of their physical and mental health, vaccine willingness, and more. A total of 1,126 Louisiana residents over the age of 18 completed the survey, which ran from June 18 – 26, 2020. During that time, Louisiana was in Phase 2 of reopening, which permitted certain establishments to open at 50 percent capacity.

Overall, results from the survey show that many Louisianans are knowledgeable and worried about COVID-19 and have adopted the recommended preventive behaviors. Results also include a breakdown of Louisianan’s willingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine willingness increases with age, is higher in men than women, shows that White Louisianans were more likely than Black Louisianans to state they would get the vaccine, and those with health insurance coverage are more likely to state they would get the vaccine compared to those without insurance. 

The full LPHI COVID-19 Survey Report can be found here. We’ve also created a one-pager to provide a synopsis of the report, which can be found here

If you have questions about the report or would like permission to use the data, please send an email to EvalandResearch@lphi.org.

LPHI Releases RFP for Strategic Planning Consultant

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to identify qualified consultants to guide and execute an equitable strategic planning process for the organization. The three-year strategic plan will achieve the following goals:

  • Refine the language we use to describe who we are and what we do (mission, vision);
  • Solidify the way we operate (culture, values), the way we do our work (guiding principles, frameworks), and how we are organized (operational excellence, organizational structure);
  • Create a shared internal understanding of who we are, where we are going (strategic goals, growth opportunities); and
  • Establish performance indicators and anticipated outcomes that reinforce our accountability to each other, the communities we serve, our stakeholders and funders (performance and success metrics/indicators, outcomes).

The deadline for receipt of proposals is December 22, 2020, at 5 p.m. CT. Notice of selection will be announced by January 18 and the potential contract start date is February 1, 2021.

Additional information on eligibility, project scope, project goals, and the selection process is available here.

Defend the Affordable Care Act

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression, opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are continuing their legal attempts to repeal the landmark law in court this week.

The health care repeal lawsuit, California v. Texas (formerly Texas v. US), will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court today. If successful, it would topple the popular ACA and all of the consumer protections it provides, leaving hundreds of thousands of Louisianans without preventive care, treatment options or long-term coverage.

“The ACA has been good for Louisiana, providing vital protections and healthcare coverage for Louisianans struggling to make ends meet,” said Stacey Roussel, policy director for the Louisiana Budget Project. “Amid the health and economic crisis of Covid-19, it is a shame that we have some leaders who want to take away life-saving health care coverage from Louisianans who can least afford it.”

The Louisiana Access to Care Coalition, which represents tens of thousands of patients and consumers, stands opposed to these actions and in support of the Affordable Care Act. The landmark federal law has resulted in record low health uninsured rates in Louisiana, largely due to the adoption of Medicaid expansion, which serves as a lifeline to more than 500,000 low-income adults.

“Medicaid expansion has been a game changer for Louisiana’s Community Health Centers and the patients in their care,” said Raegan A. Carter, Director of Health Policy & Governmental Affairs for the Louisiana Primary Care Association. “The Affordable Care Act has positively impacted our patients by expanding access to affordable health coverage, protecting those with pre-existing conditions, and empowering patients to take advantage of primary and preventive care.”

The ACA provides vital pre-existing conditions coverage for more than 900,000 impacted Louisianans, including Covid-19 survivors, and the funding to ensure coverage remains affordable. It also provides coverage to around 90,000 Louisianans through the private health insurance marketplace, with more than 80% receiving federal subsidies to keep their insurance premiums affordable.

The ACA has also been good for Louisiana’s economy, bringing an estimated $1.7 billion a year in federal funding that supports doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care providers in every parish.

Ron McClain, chairman of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Public Policy Committee, said the ACA provides critical support for low-income working families that struggle to survive just above the poverty line  “Accessing quality healthcare is essential for many citizens especially ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families,” McClain said. “We need to continue to work hard to ensure health care is available to all who need it regardless of their income.”

Public health advocate Jamila Freightman of Baton Rouge relied on Medicaid coverage during a recent gap in employment, and wants the program to be available for other people who experience life’s unexpected hardships and interruptions. “It worries me to think that this lawsuit could overturn all the progress we’ve made, especially during the COVID-19 public health emergency. I feel fortunate to have a job today, but I know that many of my fellow Louisianans are not as lucky,” Freightman said.

Medicaid expansion has helped stabilize the state budget and ensured that health care providers get paid for the services they provide. It’s one reason rural hospitals in Louisiana have kept their doors open while hospitals in non-expansion states have been forced to close.

“Ending the Affordable Care Act would be fatal for hundreds of thousands in our state. Some would lose immediate access to health care, and many rural hospitals would close. Louisiana should be fighting FOR the ACA, not against it,” said state Rep.Mandie Landry of New Orleans, who authored House Resolution 43 requesting that Landry withdraw Louisiana from the lawsuit.

Now is the time to build on the ACA and ensure health care coverage is affordable, accessible and equitable, giving everyone a fair shot at getting through this crisis healthy and whole. It is not the time to make millions of Americans — including hundreds of thousands in Louisiana — more vulnerable and less able to access the care they need.

League of Women Voters

Louisiana Budget Project

Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families

Louisiana Primary Care Association

Louisiana Public Health Institute

National Birth Equity Collaborative

Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund

United Way of Southeast Louisiana

LPHI and Louisiana Department of Health to Host Three Tele-Town Halls on Flu & COVID-19

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) are hosting a series of tele-town halls called “Protecting our Communities from the Flu & COVID-19.” Each event will be moderated by Shelina Davis, CEO of LPHI, Earl Benjamin-Robinson, deputy director of LDH’s Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity, and Joynetta Bell Kelly, associate deputy director of LDH’s Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity. Local panelists will include each region’s medical director, faith-based leaders, and community physicians.

The goal of these informational sessions is to educate the community about the importance of getting the flu vaccine this year, especially given the similarities between flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. The dialogue will also focus on equitable health outcomes for all Louisianans, especially the African American community who has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  

Tuesday, November 17
Region 1, 2 & 9 (Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond, and North Shore Areas)
The event recording can be found here.

Wednesday, November 18
Region 6, 7, & 8 (Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe Areas)
The event recording can be found here.

Friday, November 20
Region 3, 4, & 5 (Houma-Thibodaux, River Parishes, Acadiana, and Lake Charles Areas)
The event recording can be found here.

The recording for each tele-town hall will be added once it is available.

Addressing Systemic Inequities to Reduce Tobacco Use among African-Americans in the South (Project ASIRT)

 

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) seeks to engage local community leaders, organizations, and residents in rural communities to work towards building capacity for grassroots policy change to address systemic inequities and increase the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco cessation programs for tobacco users who want to quit smoking. Through a selection process, LPHI will identify community-based organizations and Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers to partner on community capacity-building interventions at the local level.

The Project ASIRT target population includes African Americans living in 10 rural, low-income communities throughout Louisiana, specifically Ferriday, Jonesville, Lake Providence, Tallulah, Bastrop, Delhi, Opelousas, Kentwood, St. Joseph, and Newellton. 

Project ASIRT is funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Building Capacity to Reduce Tobacco Inequities in the South and Midwest. 

The Challenge
Louisiana communities, especially African Americans in rural areas, are heavily impacted by chronic disease caused by smoking and tobacco use. Policy changes at the local community and state levels can positively impact health outcomes and decrease the use of tobacco. Community-based organizations can bring a deeper understanding of community needs, priorities, and assets to projects like this one. Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers can provide primary care and support for quitting tobacco to socioeconomically and geographically disadvantaged communities.

Beyond reducing tobacco-use, LPHI aims to support communities in their individual efforts to improve the quality of life of their residents. This is an opportunity for community-based organizations and Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers to increase their capacity and resources to achieve other community goals.

The Opportunity
This project seeks to mobilize local community leaders, organizations, and residents in rural communities to build the capacity for grassroots policy change. Efforts will collectively address systemic inequities and increase the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco cessation programs for tobacco users who want to quit smoking and design and promote prevention strategies for those who aren’t tobacco users.

Partnership Grant Opportunities
LPHI proposes to select and award partnership grants to community-based organizations and Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers in the targeted parishes that are challenged with poverty, limited access to health care services, and complex social factors, like racial discrimination.

LPHI will convene, organize and house a learning collaborative of community-based organizations and Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers to build the capacity of Louisiana’s rural communities to reduce tobacco use among African Americans, address and recognize tobacco-related inequities, and influence policy change at the local and state level.  As a result of attending this learning collaborative, community organizations and Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers will be better equipped to mobilize their communities to promote healthier environments and offer more resources for those who want to quit tobacco.

Partnership Grant Period: December 20, 2020 to November 30, 2021

Awarded Partner Organizations

Community engagement partners are:

  • Opelousas General Health System Foundation (St. Landry Parish)
  • The United Hands Youth Center (Concordia Parish)
  • LaSalle Community Action Association, Inc (Catahoula and Tensas Parishes)
  • Prek-12 and Beyond (Madison Parish)
  • Morehouse General Hospital Healthcare Foundation (Morehouse Parish)
  • Delta Interfaith (East Carroll Parish)

The rural health partners are:

  • Catahoula Parish Hospital District #2 (Concordia and Catahoula Parishes)
  • Southeast Community Health Systems (Tangipahoa Parish)
  • Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Center, Inc. (St. Landry Parish)

A digital community engagement toolkit for partners can be found here

The timeline for the process can be found below. 

Important Dates


Important Benchmarks

October 16, 2020                           RFA Release Date – The RFA will be made available on the LPHI website.
October 26, 2020

Project ASIRT’s Request for Applications Information Session – A conference call was held with all interested applicants to discuss this grant opportunity.

A recording of the call is available here. An FAQ from the session is also available here

December 1, 2020Submission Deadline – Grant applications must be received, via online submission process by noon (CST).
November 18, 2020Award Notification – Applicants will be notified of funding decisions via email.
December 20, 2020Contract Signing Deadline – Grant contracts must be signed and returned to LPHI by this date.
January – February 2021

Required Meetings:

  • Grant Kick-Off Meeting
  • 1st Learning Collaborative Session

If you have questions, please reach out to Tiffany Jeanminette at tjeanminette@lphi.or

Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition Names New Co-Chairs

The Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition (LHCC), a statewide group that networks grassroots organizations to improve health across Louisiana, has named two new co-chairs: Jaime Cyprian and Michelle Kendall. Cyprian is a regional manager with the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL). Kendall is the policy coordinator at the Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs (LCP) at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. Both women are passionate about fighting tobacco and obesity, two core causes of chronic disease, as well as creating environments that allow people to be healthy.

“Advocating for tobacco prevention and control policies goes hand in hand with addressing health inequities and the priorities of the LHCC,” said Cyprian. “I’m looking forward to working with Michelle to lead the LHCC and make lasting changes that create opportunities for communities throughout the state to become healthier.”

Kendall is equally excited about her new role. “We know the public health problems in our state are too big to tackle alone. The LHCC network is a group of real change-makers, all working to make us healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous. We don’t want Louisiana to be last, or almost dead last, when it comes to health in this country.”

Under the leadership of outgoing Chair Mikal “Mack” Giancola, who is also LCP’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Manager, LHCC has defined itself as a network for Louisiana’s local and regional health coalitions. The coalition provides statewide leadership, resources, and training, communications, mini-grants, and hosts an Annual Summit where participants can learn from national and state public health and policy leaders, as well as make connections that further their work in local communities. Most recently, LHCC issued a series of recommendations to the governor’s Health Equity Task Force, formed in the face of COVID-19 to examine the racial disparities amplified by the disease.

Giancola said he was honored to pass the LHCC leadership baton to Cyprian and Kendall, adding, “Both are leaders and public health specialists, dedicated to transforming communities around the state into healthier places. They really want everyone to be able to live their healthiest possible life.”

Cyprian has been a leader in the public health field for more than 15 years.  As the TFL regional manager for Region 9/Florida Parishes, she has engaged and mobilized communities, leveraged partnerships, and worked with coalitions to educate people about the dangers of tobacco. These efforts have resulted in the passage and implementation of five comprehensive smoke-free ordinances that protect more than 40,000 Louisianans from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Cyprian also trains people in suicide prevention and verbal and physical de-escalation techniques. Her efforts earned her the 2015 Community Service Award from Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa. Cyprian is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public health, learning Spanish, and balancing life with her husband, Andra, and their three children. She is also a fan of television game shows, even trying out with her loved ones for Family Feud.

Kendall, who recently received her master’s degree in public health from LSU Health New Orleans and joined LCP to lead and monitor cancer legislation, started her work in public health before receiving her degree. Kendall was, and is, an integral force in the drive to advance downtown Hammond, by working with its farmers market and other improvements. It is the kind of policy, systems, and environmental change that LHCC espouses in order to make lasting change, and one of the major reasons Kendall is so prepared to take on LHCC’s work, especially in obesity. A proponent of local, healthy food, Kendall creates dishes with those ingredients to share with her partner, Houston, and enjoys home renovation projects and walking in downtown Hammond with Pinto, her Blue Heeler/Australian Cattle dog.

To learn more about LHCC, go to https://healthylouisiana.org, where you can also see last June’s Annual Virtual Summit, sponsored by Louisiana Healthcare Connections, and other trainings.

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About the Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition (LHCC)
The Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition (healthylouisiana.org) provides state-level support for locally driven efforts to fight tobacco and obesity. The Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs (LCP) and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) provide statewide team funding. To learn more, go to healthylouisiana.org

About the Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs (LCP)
The Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs eliminate suffering and death by focusing on cancers that can be prevented or detected early and cured, including breast, cervical and HPV-related, colorectal and lung and tobacco-related cancers. LCP is funded mainly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and housed at LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Public Health. To learn more go to louisianacancer.org.

About the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) engages in local and statewide tobacco control policy efforts that focus on tobacco prevention and initiation among youth, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, promote cessation services, and identify and eliminate tobacco-related disparities. TFL is guided by best practices in tobacco control and envisions a healthier Louisiana by reducing the excessive burden of tobacco use on all Louisianans. TFL is a program under the Louisiana Public Health Institute and is funded by Louisiana Cancer Research Center. For more information visit www.tobaccofreeliving.org. To find out more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and show your support for a smoke-free Louisiana, visit www.healthierairforall.org. To learn more about quitting tobacco, visit www.quitwithusla.org.

Louisiana Public Health Institute and University of California San Francisco Receive Nearly $5 Million for COVID-19 Research and Analysis

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) have launched a patient-driven study to analyze how COVID-19-related policies affect individuals and the spread of the disease. The study is made possible through a funding award of $4,979,798 from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The two-year collaborative project consists of two data collection efforts. The first occurs through the COVID-19 Citizen Science mobile app-based study developed by Mark Pletcher, MD, MPH, Jeff Olgin, MD, and Gregory Marcus, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco. The mobile app delivers short daily and weekly surveys to gain insight into respondents’ physical and mental health, behaviors, and experience with local policies related to slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The second project also analyzes electronic health records and insurance claims data from those who consent. It pulls data from the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) and other health networks with robust electronic health record systems to ensure a diverse patient population.

The two data sets together will shed light on which policies are most effective at reducing harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The goal of our COVID-19 Policy Study is to get information to policymakers about how people are currently suffering and what they need during this difficult time,” said Pletcher, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the director of informatics and research innovation at the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. “Policymakers need better information so they can make better policy decisions in the face of the evolving pandemic.”

While policymakers have daily COVID-19 case data, there is no organized way for them to hear from their constituents about the impact of their policies. This research will gather self-reported data on how shelter-in-place and reopening strategies affect participants’ finances, employment, and housing. It will also study how access to testing and contact tracing vary across the rural and urban, Black, Latinx, and white communities. The study includes community partnerships and paid advertising to drive recruitment among Black and Latinx communities, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“The information we collect will allow us to see how the different state-wide COVID-19 response strategies affect individuals living in those states,” said Thomas Carton, chief data officer at LPHI and principal investigator of the Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet), a member network of PCORnet. “The information from the surveys, cross-referenced with electronic health record and insurance claims data, allows us to investigate the range of impact by gender, race, socioeconomic status, and more, to further understand health disparities highlighted by the pandemic.”

While the mobile app is open to all adults, the PCORnet-specific effort will recruit participants from seven U.S. states with diverse policies, demographics, and disease-transmission dynamics. Survey data on behaviors, beliefs, testing, and symptoms of COVID-19 will be linked, for participants who consent, to electronic health records and claims data. The policy research will take place in California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Study design, data collection, recruitment, and dissemination strategies are shaped in part by an advisory board that includes Citizen Scientists representing vulnerable communities and policymakers from states, counties, and health systems for whom these results will be immediately actionable.

Those interested in participating in the COVID-19 Citizen Science Study can do so by visiting https://eureka.app.link/covid19 (if prompted, enter the study key: covid) or by texting “COVID” to 41411.

Infection Preventionist and Control Specialist, Office of Public Health

Infection Preventionist and Control Specialist, Office of Public Health

Summary

The Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDEpi) Section, within Office of Public Health, Center of Community and Preventive Health, Bureau of Infectious Diseases, is responsible for reducing the occurrence of infectious diseases of public health importance. This Section conducts surveillance activities to detect cases and identify trends and to institute appropriate intervention and follow-up control measures for more than 60 reportable infectious diseases.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed substantial gaps in infection prevention and control (IPC) knowledge and practice where healthcare is delivered in the United States. To stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, all healthcare personnel need at least a foundational understanding of IPC. With CDC’s Supporting Project Firstline supplement funding, a National Training collaborative for Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control, health departments will help build a foundation of IPC knowledge and a culture of IPC expertise in the healthcare and public health communities, in order to keep healthcare workers, patients, and the healthcare environment safe from COVID-19 and other infectious disease threats.

Four full-time positions will be filled and domiciled at the following Office of Public Health regional offices:

  • Region 5: 707-A E. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles, LA, 70615
  • Region 6: 5604-B Coliseum Blvd., Alexandria, LA, 71303
  • Region 7: 1525 Fairfield Ave., Shreveport, LA 71101
  • Region 8: 1650 DeSiard St., Monroe, LA, 71201

Positions may be funded through July 2024.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Clinical experience required
  • Possession of a valid Louisiana license or temporary permit to practice professional nursing or a multi-state license issued by a Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC/eNLC) state plus three years of professional nursing experience
  • Certified in Infection Control (CIC) a plus
  • Experience training healthcare personnel and experience in a public health agency preferred
  • Proven success in project management

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Conduct remote and on-site infection control assessments both independently as well as with regional public health staff in response to new and increases cases of novel infectious diseases. Train healthcare professionals on infection control competencies. (75%)

  • Assessment
    • Initiates evaluation and revision of standards of patient care practices according to established nursing care standards with healthcare facilities.
  • Polices & Procedures
    • Assists healthcare facilities in developing and updating infection control policies and procedures manuals.
    •  Writes infection control implementation, recommendations, and analysis plans for inpatient and outpatient settings as well as adult residential facilities.
  • Training
    • Conducts research for the development of infection control training courses. Determines needs for in-service training and continuing education courses for professional and non-professional employees. Develops and conducts in-service training and patient education programs, including the production of educational media.
    • Plans and implements effective infection prevention and control education program for healthcare facilities identified with transmission of infectious diseases.
    •  Serves as consultant to infection prevention and control staff on specific educational needs or problems. Presents specific certification programs, e.g., hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and transmission-based precautions, etc.

Generate facility-specific reports on infection control status and recommendations. Conduct follow up coaching for novel disease containment. (15%)

  • Performs quality assurance controls to ensure that standards of care are being met. Monitors the implementation and quality of patient care.
  • Assist in the supervision of activities in healthcare facilities to ensure that infectious diseases are not transmitted in healthcare facilities.
  • Prepares facility-level infection control plans.
  • Facilitates the reportable disease and syndromic surveillance in healthcare facilities. Assists in the development, implementation, and maintenance of a surveillance system that tracks hospital and ICU admissions and hospital beds occupied.
  • Provides direct infection control and prevention assistance to nursing homes, other long-term care settings, acute care hospitals, dialysis facilities, and other healthcare settings.
  • Provides infection prevention consultation to public health program clinics, communities, shelters and/or any additional site needed for public health services.

Other Responsibilities (10%)

  • Participate in meetings of the Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI) Program, HAI Program Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee, as well as Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section.
  • Serve as regional infection control staff.
  • Confer with regional medical directors to provide support prevention and disease containment recommendations that protect the health of patients at all levels of care.
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Salary/Benefits

Salary is dependent on education and experience.
A competitive benefits package is offered to all LPHI full-time staff.

Apply

Equal Opportunity Employer

LatinX COVID-19 Video Creation Contest

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Louisiana Public Health Institute are announcing a new contest aimed at our LatinX community to create a video in Spanish 59 seconds or less on two key issues:

1) Mask wearing: Video based on the graphic on page 2 of this document
2) Contact tracing: Video base on the information beginning on page 3 of this document

How to Submit:
Submissions are due July 10 and questions and videos should be sent to Megan Muncy at LSUHSC and prizes will be awarded the following week. Winning submissions will be widely circulated on social media and sent to Telemundo.

Prize Information:
Award: $1,000 for each winner and video will be sent to Telemundo.
One $1,000 prize for Mask wearing video
One $1,000 prize for Contact tracing video.
Additionally, appropriate submissions will be circulated and shared on social media

Judges will be from LatinX community.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid Training

Build community resiliency through Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

Overview

LPHI is committed to supporting Louisiana during difficult times by providing tools and trainings to build community resiliency. One important component of resiliency is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Often, someone who is experiencing a mental health or substance use problem does not know how to access care. By training members of the community in MHFA, we are building a community-based support network that has learned how to identify, understand, and respond to someone expressing signs of addiction, mental illness, or mental health crisis. These trainees become the first line of support in the community.

Our certified instructors offer MHFA skills-based training to across the state to advance behavioral health, community resilience, and disaster preparedness.  Participants will be taught how to help identify and refer someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis through a culturally responsive lens. When cultural respect and understanding are lacking in health care, disparities arise. Each MHFA course offers a module on Cultural Considerations, which prepares instructors to consider how culture may impact mental health and substance use challenges, to build skills to improve cultural awareness, and to use culturally relevant communication strategies during the training.

Though not a replacement for a robust, highly skilled behavioral health workforce, MHFA is a nationally recognized best practice program that trains medical and non-medical individuals in how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This program, guided by the National Council for Behavioral Health, has been adopted in states and communities across the US, and focuses on skills building for local community groups or sectors, including coalition members, school personnel, workforce programs, church members, and others.

Funding for the training of the LPHI team was provided by the Louisiana Hurricane Response Hub.

Services

Training highlights
  • Optimal class size of 25 participants (minimum of 10)
  • Virtual, in-person, or blended Mental Health First Aid training courses by paired instructors
  • Mental Health First Aid provides participants with the tools they need to:
    • to assess a mental health crisis
    • select interventions and provide initial help
    • connect persons to professional, peer, and social supports as well as self-help resources
  • Individuals who complete the training will receive a Mental Health First Aider certification (CEUs are also possible for this training)

Resources

For more information, visit the Mental Health First Aid website. If you are interested in having the LPHI team facilitate a Mental Health First Aid Training for your organization or community group, please contact LPHItraining@lphi.org.

Instructors

For more information please email:
LPHItraining@lphi.org.

 

Join TFLs Letter Writing Campaign to Re-Open Louisiana Smoke-Free

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) has reached out to Governor John Bel Edwards to encourage him to protect all workers and patrons by re-opening casinos and video poker outlets smoke-free. Louisiana could join New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – all major gaming states – in going smoke-free in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Governor has stated that for Louisiana to continue to make progress towards reopening, we must follow CDC guidelines and reinforce mask-wearing to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets, especially in indoor places. According to information from the CDC, not using facemasks increases the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 droplets, in addition to exposing workers and patrons to the harmful carcinogens found in secondhand and thirdhand smoke, which can be found on chips, cards, and machines.

Currently, there are:

  • Smoke and vape free gaming floors and bars in Jena Choctaw Pines Casino and Paragon Casino in Central Louisiana.
  • Five metropolitan areas (Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Monroe, and New Orleans) that already have comprehensive smoke-free ordinances, including casinos and bars.
  • 30 municipal comprehensive smoke-free ordinances throughout the state.

We are making progress to protect all Louisianians, but we need your help to create healthier air for ALL.

Make your voice heard by sending a letter to the Governor asking for casinos and video poker outlets to reopen smoke-free. We have provided a template below and you can submit your letter by filling out the form here.

 

Dear Governor Edwards:

As a Louisiana resident, I ask you to help Louisiana fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and establish smoke-free casinos and video poker outlets to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Such action would be a great step forward in protecting all workers and patrons at these establishments. Removing a mask to smoke goes against our state’s reopening guidelines to wear masks indoors and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

I support your decisions that have helped Louisiana continue to make progress towards reopening efforts and ask that we take one additional step. Smoking in casinos and other gaming establishments increases the reach of and exposure to COVID-19 droplets. Additionally, smoking exposes workers and patrons to the harmful carcinogens found in secondhand and thirdhand smoke, making them more susceptible to COVID-19.

As a state, we are making progress to protect all Louisianians, but we need to do more.

Put Louisiana’s wellbeing first. We cannot afford more sick workers and patrons. We need to support our communities by doing the right thing and wear facemasks AT ALL TIMES in ALL PUBLIC INDOOR settings.

Please add establishing smoke-free indoor during the reopening phases to your plan. Help Louisiana get healthy, reopen businesses safely, and keep them open.

Sincerely,

[INSERT YOUR NAME]

Louisiana Public Health Institute, HousingNOLA, & Green Healthy Homes Initiative Named 2020 Regional Convening Hosts

The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs (National Center), an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, has named the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), HousingNOLA, and Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) as hosts for the Complex Care Regional Convening. The three organizations, along with the National Center, will create an opportunity to bring together regional partners to address poor housing conditions as a barrier to health in the community.

Together, community and health care leaders will share information about existing resources and assets in the region that can be leveraged and scaled to address the root causes of poor health and health inequities. The focus of the convening is to foster engagement and buy-in from housing and health care leaders to support the advancement and scaling of healthy homes.

The National Center aims to improve outcomes for patients with complex medical, psychological, and social needs. It works to coalesce the emerging field of complex care by bringing together a broad range of clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and consumers who are developing, testing, and scaling new models of team-based, integrated care.

In developing the Blueprint for Complex Care, a strategic plan for advancing the field, the National Center heard the need for more local connectivity to create coordinated care for individuals with complex health and social needs. To address this concern, the National Center launched the regional complex care convening project in 2019, which facilitated information sharing and collaboration on a regional level and fostered ecosystems of complex care.

This year, the National Center held an open request for proposals to select six host organizations to hold a regional convening in their community. The National Center provides financial and logistical support, as well as access to national subject matter experts, to help host organizations gather local stakeholders. The five other host organizations include:

Additional information about the convening will be announced as it becomes available. If you have questions, please reach out to Barrie Black.

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Louisiana Public Health Institute Receives $85,000 from W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) has been awarded an $85,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support Orleans Parish community-based nonprofit organizations on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the grant dollars, LPHI will create and oversee the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to distribute mini grants up to a maximum of $10,000 to eligible organizations.

“The Kellogg Foundation wants for every child in New Orleans to thrive,” said Rhea Williams Bishop, director of programming for New Orleans and Mississippi at the Kellogg Foundation. “We know that COVID-19 has deepened the disparities facing our children and families, especially those of color, and non-profits like the Louisiana Public Health Institute are critical to getting resources to our communities and families during this pandemic.”

The Rapid Response Fund is open to community-based nonprofit organizations that are providing COVID-19 services, including health care services, engaging in direct COVID-19 response, and contributing to continued response and prevention efforts. Mini grants can be used for worker expenditures, financial assistance for patients and/or their families during a time of hospitalization, and/or purchasing COVID-related supplies. The funds can also go towards prevention and recovery needs, including the development or purchase of COVID-related educational materials, mental health treatment for frontline workers, and planning and preparedness for the next emergency.

“We know that individuals and organizations have had to quickly adapt to the new challenges of COVID-19,” said Shelina Davis, CEO of LPHI. “The grant from Kellogg and the creation of the Rapid Response Fund helps our community navigate this new normal and provide resources to help mitigate, prevent, and recover from COVID-19.”

The Rapid Response Fund application can be found on the LPHI website here. Applications will be accepted until July 31, or funds are exhausted, and the mini grants will be awarded on a rolling basis.

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About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
LPHI, founded in 1997, is a statewide community focused 501(c)(3) nonprofit and public health institute committed to ensuring all Louisianans have just and fair opportunities to be healthy and well. Our work focuses on areas that touch public health, including tobacco prevention and control, building healthier communities, assessing needs of communities, supporting the whole health needs of individuals and families from early childhood to older adults, and more. We create authentic partnerships with both communities and partners to align action for health. For more information, visit www.lphi.org.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund 

 

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) have partnered on an $85,000 grant initiative that will support organizations at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Orleans Parish. The Request for Proposals opened on July 1, 2020, and ran through July 31. The eight organizations that received funding are listed in the “Funding Recipients” section below.  

The Challenge 
Despite having been cited as one of the early epicenters of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Orleans Parish has responded with a robust and effective control strategy that has brought new infections to a manageable level. Nevertheless, with several regions of the country experiencing their highest rates of infection of the pandemic, Orleans Parish must prepare for the possibility of similar spike in cases given the recently phased reopening. It is essential that we provide our community-based organizations at the frontline of this pandemic the support they need to recover from these first few months and to prepare for the future 

The Opportunity 
In close collaboration with local and statewide partners and funders, LPHI will administer the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. This fund will be distributed directly to Louisiana-based nonprofit organizations in Orleans Parish that are providing community-based health care services, engaging in direct COVID-19 response, and directly contributing to response and recovery efforts in our community. 

Projects this Fund Aims to Support 
This fund will be directed at supporting organizational expenditures, including but not limited to lodging, meals, child-care, and transportation for workers; financial assistance to their patients and/or their families during a time of hospitalization; purchasing COVID-related supplies; the development or purchase of COVID-related educational materials, and initiating mid-term recovery efforts, such as mental health treatment for frontline workers; and planning and preparedness efforts for the next emergency.  

With this fund, LPHI is focusing on short- and medium-term projects and is, therefore, looking for projects that would be completed by December 31, 2020 (all funding must be expended by this date, as well).  

Funding Recipients
LPHI has selected eight organizations to receive mini-grants of up to $10,000. The recipients are:

LPHI Response to Supreme Court Ruling on Employment Protection for LGBTQ Employees

The LGBTQ community received a major victory from the United States Supreme Court this week regarding workplace discrimination. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court said language from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on a person’s sex, also applies to discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. This ruling is a bright spot during Pride Month, which has been drastically changed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pride was first held in 1970 to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. Police conducted an early morning raid on Stonewall Inn, during which patrons and neighbors fought back after the police became violent. The parallel between the Stonewall riots and the current uprisings happening across the country to protest systemic racism is not lost on us.

While the Supreme Court ruling is a milestone victory, we need to continue to work towards equitable health care protections for the LGBTQ community – especially for people who are transgender. Now more than ever, LPHI is committed to health equity for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, etc. We encourage our partners and stakeholders to join us in this commitment and identify actions they can take to reduce and eliminate health inequities.

LPHI Statement on the Passage of Shreveport’s Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance

On June 9, 2020, the Shreveport City Council passed a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance – building upon the state’s 2007 smoke-free law by including bars and gaming facilities. On behalf of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), we commend them for their courageous efforts to protect the health and well-being of all Shreveport residents!

This is a significant step towards a smoke-free Louisiana. Shreveport is the third most populous city behind New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which have already passed comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. There are now 30 municipalities in Louisiana that protect residents and workers from secondhand smoke, which represent protection for 27 percent of Louisiana residents.

Louisiana has proven during the COVID-19 pandemic that we can follow prevention measures to benefit the health of our communities. Now is the time to take it one step further. When planning how to reopen during the phased approach, we strongly encourage businesses and communities to consider reopening smoke-free.  Our program has resources to help you make that transition.

We are proud to call Louisiana our home. There are so many things that make our state great. Let’s ensure providing protection against the dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals of secondhand smoke is on that list. If you have questions or would like additional information on how we can help you take that next step to be smoke-free, please do not hesitate to contact me at TMoore@lphi.org.

Again, a big shout out to the city of Shreveport for continuing the momentum for Healthier Air For All in our state. Visit us at HealthierAirforAll.org or TobaccoFreeLiving.org for additional information on our state-wide efforts.

Tonia Moore
Director
Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
A program of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center and the Louisiana Public Health Institute

City of Monroe and LPHI to Host “Now Is the Time: An Open Conversation with Local Leaders about Race and Public Health” Tele-Town Hall

The City of Monroe and LPHI are hosting a tele-town hall title Now Is the Time: An Open Conversation with Local Leaders about Race and Public Health, which will take place on June 16 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. 

Monroe Mayor James Mayo and and LPHI CEO Shelina Davis will be joined by panelists for a conversation to examine existing inequities that continue to impact the health outcomes of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Monroe and across the country. These inequities include housing, education, built environment, health, and structural and systemic racism.

Please register and join us as we cover what must be done to close the disparity gap for African Americans now and beyond.

Panelists for the event include:

James Mayo
Mayor
City of Monroe

Shelina Davis
CEO
Louisiana Public Health Institute

Rev. Vance Price
New Saint James Baptist Church

Bishop Rodney McFarland
Greater Free Gift Baptist Church

Katrina R. Jackson
Louisiana State Senator
District 34

Dr. Avius Carroll
Wellness and Prevention Services Director
Northeast Delta Human Services Authority

Renita Bryant
Nurse Practitioner
Morehouse General Hospital

Dr. Kelvin C. Wade, MD
Internist
St. Francis Medical Center-Monroe

Dr. John D. Bruchhaus, MD
Pulmonology/Critical Care
St. Francis Medical Center

Dr. Rhiju Poudel, MD
Family Medicine
Ochsner-LSU Shreveport-Monroe

The full recording of the webinar can be found here.

Unpaid Practicum/Field Experience Opportunity

Unpaid Practicum/Field Experience Opportunity 

Organization Summary

The Louisiana Public Health Institute is a statewide, non-profit organization that has been promoting the health and well-being of Louisianans since 1997. LPHI is made up of over 100 employees based throughout the State in all nine Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) regions. We accomplish our goals at the local, state, and national levels alongside our over 500 partner organizations, which include communities, community-based organizations, foundations, healthcare systems, academic institutions, government agencies, and a diverse group of additional stakeholders. Our impact is felt across the state as we leverage our staff expertise and skills in all areas of public health. LPHI was named 2021 The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate Top Workplace and 2021 CityBusiness Best Places to Work. Our mission is to lead and partner with communities to ensure that everyone has fair and just opportunities to be healthy and well. At LPHI, we envision a Louisiana where all people will achieve their full potential for health and wellness.

Our Values

  • Accountability. We take responsibility and ownership of our work and our impact on one another, our partners, and our communities.
  • Community-Centered. We model the mantra “Nothing about us without us” in our work that is anchored in communities.
  • Creativity. We approach our work with imagination, ingenuity, and calculated risk-taking as a commitment to progressive transformation.
  • Equity. We are deeply committed to centering diversity, inclusion, justice, and fairness in all that we do.
  • Excellence. We are dedicated to exceeding expectations and are committed to continual improvement through listening, learning, and leadership.
  • Partnership & Trust. We build strong, long-lasting, and committed relationships through collaboration and teamwork, the cornerstones of our efforts to advance health and wellness.

Position Summary

This is a non-paid, practicum position that will provide undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to collaborate with public health professionals and contribute to LPHI’s projects and initiatives while fulfilling course and/or degree requirements. The practicum student will integrate and apply classroom knowledge in a public health work setting with an opportunity to enhance professional development skills.

While LPHI is based in New Orleans, this practicum may have the opportunity to be fulfilled virtually with consistent check-ins, team meetings, and supervision by video conference.  Candidates must have the ability to work fully remotely. The time commitment is part-time and will be based on the student’s university requirements. This is an unpaid, non-benefit eligible position.

The scope of this student’s responsibilities will be determined based on prior experience and qualifications of the selected candidate. The candidate will help support coordination of activities and an individual scope of work will be developed within one or more of the focus areas below based upon the candidate’s interest, experience, and qualifications as well as LPHI’s needs.

Our Focus Areas:

  • Community health assessment and health improvement planning
  • Disaster recovery and rapid response
  • Maternal child health and reproductive health
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Racial justice and health equity
  • Research and surveillance registries
  • Rural health

Our Action:

  • Administrative Support and Fiscal Sponsorship. Grants and Contracts Management.
  • Analytics and Data Translation. Community and health outcomes research and data governance and health information infrastructure.
  • Capacity Building and Technical Assistance. Clinical transformation with community-based organizations, healthcare organizations, and communities.
  • Community Action Forums. Convening and building collaboratives.
  • Marketing and Communications. Information and knowledge product development and dissemination.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning. Community and health outcomes research.
  • Public Health. Inclusive of addressing social determinants of health.
  • Public Policy. Capacity building, relationship building, and network development.
  • Thought Leadership and Strategic Development. Strategic advisory services for multisector leaders and coalitions.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Current student pursuing degree in public health, public administration, nonprofit leadership, marketing and communications, or related field and in need of practicum/field experience hours to complete degree requirements.
  • Keen interest in public health or closely related field.
  • Strong communication skills – written and verbal.
  • Well-organized, self-directed, and able to complete multiple tasks in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Ability to function independently and work collaboratively with a team.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities 

Varies depending on scope of work. Responsibilities will be determined based on organization and project needs as well as student interest. Examples may include but are not limited to:

          Policy Development/Program Planning

  • Research and design briefs, one-pagers and summaries on specific public health topics
  • Determine the feasibility and expected outcomes of policy options
  • Develop and coordinate programs and activities
  • Support quality improvement and evaluation projects
  • Gather information relevant to specific public health policy issues and develop policy recommendations
  • Research innovative and emerging public health programming in our priority public health areas

         Advocacy and Relationship Management

  • Collaborate on the development of an advocacy or social media campaign
  • Help explore new partnerships and grant opportunities
  • Promote public health policies, programs, and resources
  • Provide support and assistance in funding opportunities and grant writing

         Operational Advancement

  • Help inform strategy and approach for the organization to advance operational effectiveness and impact
  • Develop processes, tools, guidelines and recommendations to support operational priorities
  • Research leading nonprofit organizations and public health peer network organizations exploring best practice and innovative organizational structures, programming, performance metrics, annual reports, publications, and websites
  • Conduct literature reviews related to emerging issues, best practice and grant opportunity searches and create reader-friendly briefs and summaries of findings
  • Contribute to the measuring, reporting and continuous improvement of organizational performance

         Analytical/Assessment Skills

  • Analyze, interpret, and summarize de-identified survey data or public records data
  • Support needs assessments
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs
  • Organize, analyze, summarize and visualize data for a report

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  • Committed to LPHI’s Strategic Plan Priorities, Mission, Vision and Values with ability to demonstrate LPHI’s core competencies
  • Ability to learn new subject areas quickly
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Applications
  • Ability to collaborate with colleagues and partners
  • Strong emotional intelligence skills, including experience working with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds
  • Demonstrated practice of a learning orientation
  • Ability to deliver with quality and impact

Apply

Equal Opportunity Employer

LPHI Announces “Healthy Table Talk” Series

Today, we’re launching a new video series called “Health Table Talk with LPHI CEO Shelina Davis” to bring you discussions on a range of topics with those who know the community best.

Our first discussion, which can be found here, is with Reverend Darcy Roake, a Unitarian Universalist Minister, who has a wide background in pastoral care and social justice. In this episode, Shelina and Rev. Darcy discuss the importance of spiritual health in the midst of COVID-19.

While the episode covers information specific to changes our country is experiencing as a result of the pandemic, it is also relevant to the anger and frustration communities across are feeling right now following repeated displays of blatant racism and police brutality. Reverend Darcy speaks to faith-based organizations’ role and how they can participate in larger conversations around equity and making sure all people are cared for equitably.

Shelina also released a statement on Tuesday, June 2 calling for collective action regarding racism as a public health issue. Read the full statement here.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be releasing additional video interviews to discuss direct community impacts of COVID-19 and other timely topics. Check out this episode and be sure to subscribe to LPHI’s YouTube channel to receive updates about future episodes.

Statement from LPHI CEO Shelina Davis on Racism as a Public Health Issue in Response to the Murder of George Floyd

Watching the video last week of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a police officer as he said over and over “I can’t breathe” was horrific. I am angry. As a Black woman in this country, every single moment of every single day, I am made aware of my blackness. As a public health professional, family member, and friend who sees poor health outcomes disproportionately impacting Black people, year after year, including COVID, I know at the very core of all of this is the long standing, persistent presence of systemic and institutional racism that has plagued our nation since its founding.

Enough is enough. We must remember George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and the countless Black Americans who have been murdered because of ingrained racist beliefs and the countless policies at federal, state, and local levels that have taken lives, and opportunity from Black people. We must unite together to eliminate racism and the policies that perpetuate it — in all forms from our society.

I join my colleagues and commit my organization, the Louisiana Public Health Institute, to addressing Racism as a public health issue. We call upon our partners, our policy makers, our residents to join us in identifying and adopting anti-racist policies so that we uphold the human right to be healthy and well and afford an equal opportunity for Black people to thrive, live, and breathe.

The world feels dark, yet we will force light to shine through.

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