Health & Wellness

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THINX founder Miki Agrawal removed from NOEW women's summit lineup

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:42 PM

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The Idea Village, one of the organizing groups behind New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), has released a statement regarding the cancellation of THINX founder Miki Agrawal's appearance at a women's summit at the conference.

Agrawal originally was scheduled to give a "fireside chat" at the summit, which highlights issues women face in the workplace. The high-profile founder of THINX, which makes underwear designed to disrupt the lucrative menstrual pad and tampon market, was known for her colorful interviews and quirky (some might say eccentric) behavior.

But this week, news broke of sexual harassment allegations against Agrawal from a former employee — a serious charge for anyone, but especially for a figurehead who espouses feminist ideals and women's empowerment. The allegations follow a flurry of criticism from current and former employees about poor working conditions for the company's women, including inadequate maternity leave, a toxic office culture and low pay.

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Inaugural Disability Pride Festival March 25 is for and by people with disabilities

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 11:41 AM

TIM & SELENA MIDDLETON/CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • TIM & SELENA MIDDLETON/CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

New Orleans often has lagged behind other cities when it comes to anticipating and accommodating the needs of people with disabilities. In more recent incidents, bus stops failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and a renovation to New Orleans Public Library's Nix branch overlooked a ramp for for people who use wheelchairs.

But a new festival has the potential to shine a greater light on people with disabilities, who make up as much as 19 percent of the American population. At Saturday's all-ages Disability Pride Festival, people with disabilities, their friends, families and allies will gather for New Orleans' first celebration of disability pride — a key aspect of the growing disability rights movement.

The festival is divided into two parts. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Advocacy Center of Louisiana (8325 Oak St.), there's a resource fair featuring food, art and social service vendors. Afternoon entertainment follows and includes performances from Irwin Royes (the "world's smallest magician") and an exhibition game from the Rollin' Pelicans wheelchair basketball team. Events are designed to help community members connect and encourage conversations about what it means to be a person with disabilities.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Gambit TV: CUE turns 10

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson stops into WWL-TV to talk CUE magazine's big 10th anniversary issue, on newsstands now.


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Saturday, March 18, 2017

At second line for health care, doctors and nurses speak out for Affordable Care Act

Posted By on Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 4:38 PM

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Who fears the loss of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? The previously uninsured, of course, including the more than 300,000 Louisianans who gained coverage under last year's expansion of the state's Medicaid program.

But at a rally and second line held March 18 in support of the act sometimes known as Obamacare, another key constituency spoke out in the program's defense. One after another, health care providers took the mic in front of City Hall to describe the ACA's positive effect on their patients.

"Before the expansion, my patients were often uninsured and lived in fear of a new medical diagnosis," Jason Halperin, a doctor who works with CrescentCare, said. "I see the Medicaid expansion as much more than a card or number. ... Most of all, it upholds dignity."

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Friday, March 17, 2017

With vigil to save the Affordable Care Act, protesters send message to Sen. Bill Cassidy

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Gambit editor Kevin Allman last photographed this 6-year-old at Cassidy's recent, disastrous town hall. His family wants answers from the senator on prospective health care cuts.
  • Gambit editor Kevin Allman last photographed this 6-year-old at Cassidy's recent, disastrous town hall. His family wants answers from the senator on prospective health care cuts.

The Causeway Boulevard building that houses Senator Bill Cassidy's office is private property. Or it's private property, unless you have an appointment. Or it's only people with appointments who can park in the parking lot. Or the problem is a small pile of signs, which needed to be moved from the sidewalk.

With increasing irritation that erupted into a testy exchange with protestors, a blue-shirted representative who seemed to work for building management company Select Properties tried out these potential deterrents. He was doing his best to shoo off a small group of activists attending a two-day "vigil" outside Cassidy's office in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). (Apparently, his efforts had been repeated throughout the day, to limited success.)

Around 2 p.m. Friday, about 10 people stood outside the Metairie high rise as traffic sped past them, making their signs whip in the wind. There was retired educator Mary Ryan and 12-year-old Journey Wills, who had come on a field trip of sorts; in a recent homeschool unit on the Constitution, Wills became a big fan of the First Amendment. There was the actor and artist Todd d'Amour, who rattled off a startling number of objections to individual Trump cabinet officials while praising the way "Obamacare" has helped him pursue his art; and Anne Davis, whose attendance at today's protest was her first appearance at a demonstration since protesting the Vietnam War at age 12.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Editorial: 'Obamacare sucks'? No, what really sucks is ...

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 12:01 PM

At a town hall in Metairie last month, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy attempted to explain his proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which he called the "Patient Freedom Act." This week, he expressed disappointment with the GOP's proposed American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million next year. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • At a town hall in Metairie last month, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy attempted to explain his proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which he called the "Patient Freedom Act." This week, he expressed disappointment with the GOP's proposed American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million next year.


“I don’t mean any disrespect, but Obamacare sucks,” said U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy last fall, back when he was making folksy commercials to promote his Senate candidacy.

Of course, not having health insurance sucks, too. Receiving health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicaid expansion, only to have it snatched away? Sucks. Massive premium hikes for the elderly? Sucks. Not getting the health care you need, being forced to use emergency rooms for basic treatment, and having to choose bankruptcy if you want to stay alive? Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

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Women's summit March 23 features THINX founder Miki Agrawal, STAR talk on sexual harassment in business

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 10:16 AM

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Miki Agrawal, the colorful founder and self-described "she-e-o" of THINX "period underwear" — you might remember a controversy in which the New York City subway system objected to her company's ads, which used creative visuals to allude to menstruation — will participate in a women's summit and fireside chat during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) next week.

Other speakers include Rebecca Marchiafava, vice president of Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR), who will discuss navigating "gray area" behavior in the workplace (such as inappropriate touching, or an invitation that seems a bit too friendly); Lisa Chow, who co-hosts the StartUp podcast; and local entrepreneur Lelia Gowland.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Free HIV training for health care professionals takes place March 11

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 5:50 PM

JON RAWLINSON, CREATIVE COMMONS
  • JON RAWLINSON, CREATIVE COMMONS

The Tulane University AIDS Education and Training Center and HIV experts from the Tulane University School of Medicine host a training at Amici Ristorante & Bar Saturday about the basics of HIV care for health care professionals. There are discussions of testing and prevention, the PrEP treatments which can help prevent HIV transmission, adolescent HIV, HIV and sexually transmitted infections and other topics designed to familiarize doctors, nurses and other healers with the evolving needs of people with HIV and AIDS.

A Q&A, lunch and a viewing of the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day parade follows the panels.

It's free to attend for anyone who works in health care, but advance registration is required. Sign-in begins at 9 a.m.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Panelists discuss history of HIV/AIDS in New Orleans March 8

Posted By on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 10:15 AM

ACT UP was one of the earliest advocacy organizations for people with AIDS.
  • ACT UP was one of the earliest advocacy organizations for people with AIDS.

Panelists at New Orleans Public Library's Norman Mayer branch discuss the history of HIV and AIDS in New Orleans at an event Wednesday night.

Dr. Russ Burkett, attorney Mark Gonzalez and Crescent Care executive director Noel Twilbeck will discuss their experiences battling the HIV/AIDS crisis. Such discussions are locally relevant in a state with one of the country's highest rates of new infections; some public health experts have speculated that HIV transmission may be on the rise as cultural memory of the worst of the crisis fades.

The panel begins at 6 p.m. It's free to attend, and event sponsors LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana provide wine.

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

At "milk carton" protest, constituents clamor for absent senator's response

Posted By on Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 5:46 PM

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Senator John Neely Kennedy's photograph peered out sheepishly from the side of a super-sized cardboard milk carton in front of the Hale Boggs Federal Building Sunday afternoon. "MISSING," said the legend above the photo.

The milk carton was constructed by Step Up Louisiana, one of several progressive groups who co-organized the protest March 5 to highlight what they say has been a lack of communication and response from the just-elected senator, especially about his position on high-priority issues such as the protection of the Affordable Care Act and the Trump's administration's moves to restrict immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

"You are missing and you are making bad decisions while in office," Step Up Louisiana co-director Maria Harmon said, addressing the absent Kennedy. "We don't serve [legislators]. They serve us."

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