public health

A new report finds that Louisiana has the second worst dentist shortage in the nation. Because of this, many residents are not getting adequate dental care, especially children and people who live in rural areas.

The Pew Charitable Trusts examined the lack of access to dental care nationwide. The findings revealed a scarcity of dentists who participate in Medicaid. In Louisiana, the report comes as the state Department of Health and Hospitals is slashing reimbursement rates paid to dentists through the Medicaid program with the July 1start of the new fiscal year.

It’s been almost a year since the Arc of Acadiana was awarded the state contract to privatize a Bossier City residential facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A total of 390 employees of the former Northwest Supports and Services Center were invited to reapply for jobs. For director April Lee, it was not just about keeping her job. As the administrator, her house on the 100-acre grounds was on the line, too.

An organization formed to help people fleeing the Vietnam War establish themselves in the U.S. is now helping a Gulf Coast community deal with the impact of much more recent history.

My, how we love our characters in New Orleans. Which is a good thing. 

Locals still talk about Ruthie the Duck Girl, even though she died in 2008. In my neighborhood of Tremé, we have a tall man with a scraggly beard who pushes a grocery cart around, having random conversations with a street corner. Or an empty can. 

We celebrate these characters. We tenderly laugh with them. But we don’t always see that, underneath the eccentricity that makes for a funny story, is often a mental illness that is anything but funny.

Dr. Karen Elkind-Hirsch is part of a group of researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Woman's Hospital who will be following 306 pregnant women with smartphones.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

New Orleans is one of six cities in the United States to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Road Maps to Health Prize, a $25,000 award dedicated to improving health at the population level.

Shreveport Medical Students Treat 1,300 Kenyans

Mar 11, 2013

A group of medical school students from LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport recently returned from Africa where they provided medical treatment to 1,300 people living in a remote area of Kenya. The students work through a nonprofit they formed several years ago and partner with other global mission organizations. According to Dr. Lisa Hodges, assistant professor of pediatrics and medicine, the students hold fundraisers throughout the year and purchase medicine to take with them during the month-long health mission.

Shrimp Trawling Comes With Big Risks

Mar 7, 2013

Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.

Commercial fishermen have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities of any occupation in the country — 116 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010. A majority of the deaths happen when a fishing vessel sinks. About a third occur when someone goes overboard.

The early start to flu season that's sweeping the country hasn't spared Louisiana and Mississippi.

While the outlook for the rest of the season isn't clear, experts are encouraging people to take precautions such as getting a flu shot and making it a practice to wash hands often to prevent the spread of germs.

Both states are among 29 reporting high levels of flu-like illness. Although 18 children nationwide have died from the flu since early October, none was in Mississippi or Louisiana.

Doctors in Baton Rouge are looking for 306 overweight, pregnant women to participate in a study of whether getting advice by smartphone can help them control weight gain as well as meeting with a coach or doctor.

Study co-leader Leanne Redman says more than two-thirds of overweight or obese women gain 30 to 50 pounds more than recommended during pregnancy.

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