Health & Wellness

Thursday, October 19, 2017

NOPD to carry opioid overdose antidote as part of citywide plan to combat 'epidemic'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 4:30 PM

A naloxone kit of the kind carried by first responders. - PHOTO BY DORA SISON
  • A naloxone kit of the kind carried by first responders.

New Orleans Police Department officers will begin carrying a potentially life-saving drug to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose, following more than 160 opioid-related deaths in the city in 2016.

As part of a sweeping plan to address the “opioid epidemic,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu and city officials revealed Oct. 18 that NOPD will carry naloxone, the life-saving overdose-reversal drug. A 2016 Gambit cover story found that no Louisiana law enforcement agency carried naloxone — locally it was only previously carried by EMS and New Orleans Fire Department first responders, despite a 2014 statewide law encouraging law enforcement to carry it.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Editorial: The latest GOP health care bill brought great harm — to Sen. Bill Cassidy's reputation

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 8:30 AM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.

As the latest rushed attempt to end the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) collapsed this week, it took with it another casualty: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s reputation.

Cassidy, a mild-mannered physician, had insisted for months that he would hold President Donald Trump to his campaign promise that any health care replacement would have to be affordable, cover preexisting conditions and insure more people. None of that made it into the GOP’s latest repeal effort. The “Graham-Cassidy plan,” sponsored by Cassidy and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, was widely agreed to be the worst repeal bill of all.

It was slammed by major medical organizations, physicians’ groups and hospitals, and some health insurance giants for its plan to turn over responsibility and most funding to the states while phasing out Medicaid dollars entirely. This was the bill that Cassidy and Graham sought to push through Congress in little more than a week.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Onion eviscerates Sen. Bill Cassidy over the imploded GOP health care plan

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:50 PM

  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.

As news came out today that the latest GOP health plan — the so-called "Graham-Cassidy plan" led by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana's own Sen. Bill Cassidy — was dead before it came to a vote, The Onion raked Cassidy over the coals in a fake op-ed piece titled "Being A Senator Means Making Tough Decisions That Aren’t Always Popular, Smart, Politically Viable, Or Beneficial To Your Constituents":
I want everyone in Washington and around the country to know that I will not cave to what’s smart, practical, and resoundingly favored just to score some cheap political points. You don’t put an Obamacare repeal-and-replacement bill like this forward because it’s the popular thing to do—you do it because you believe with the very core of your being in an unwanted, preposterous, unfathomably cruel, politically toxic idea that analysis after analysis has determined will send vast swaths of low- and middle-income America to an early grave. Period.
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassidy vs. Sanders headed to CNN Sept. 25

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN. - PHOTOS BY AFGE & GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN.

CNN will air a "town hall" Monday, Sept. 25 with U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham debating Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar over proposed health care legislation.

Anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute event, aired live at 8 p.m.

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Music for Mental Health concert brings storytelling and songs to destigmatize mental illness

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Kathryn Rose Wood joins a lineup at the U.S. Mint Sept. 22 for Music For Mental Health.
  • Kathryn Rose Wood joins a lineup at the U.S. Mint Sept. 22 for Music For Mental Health.
As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, several New Orleans songwriters have banded together for an intimate performance with a focus on mental health to end stigma surrounding mental illness — with musicians as a medium for discussion. The inaugural Music for Mental Health: An Evening of Song and Discussion on Sept. 22 sidesteps the silos in which people typically discuss mental health and centers it among five artists trading stories and songs in a stripped-down, candid storytelling performance.

"One of the best ways of doing that is music. It’s not confrontational — you don’t meet anyone who doesn’t like music," says singer-songwriter and concert organizer Kathryn Rose Wood, who lost her brother following his suicide two years ago. "That medium where people feel a bit more comfortable or expressive."

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel: 'Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 10:23 PM


U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy got lots of publicity in the last few months for saying any GOP health care plan would have to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test" — a term he coined after talking with the late night talk show host, whose son needed open-heart surgery shortly after birth. Cassidy, a physician, promised Kimmel and others that any Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act would include coverage for all; no discrimination for pre-existing conditions; lower premiums for families; and no lifetime caps on coverage.

The new Graham-Cassidy health care bill, unveiled this week, does none of these things, as many medical groups have pointed out — as have Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee, who wrote letters objecting to the proposed legislation. Kimmel chimed in tonight on his talk show, saying, "Bill Cassidy just lied to my face."
"Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son's health problems. Because I have to."
"There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," Kimmel concluded. "It's a lie detector test, and you're welcome to stop by the studio and take it any time."

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Monday, September 18, 2017

NOAF hosts annual 'sex ed bingo' night Sept. 20

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 1:00 PM


New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF) hosts its annual sex ed bingo night fundraiser at Bayou Beer Garden Sept. 20.

NOAF is the local organization which raises money to assist low-income women who need an abortion; its bingo night features four rounds of bingo (obviously), fun sex trivia, comedy performances and networking for people interested in women's health care issues. If you're a bingo fanatic it's possible to buy extra cards with an additional donation. There are prizes for game winners.

This fundraiser also spotlights the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 law that prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion care in most cases — a regulation women's health advocates say disproportionately penalizes poor women.

Tickets are $20 and are available online. Extra bingo cards are $5. The event begins at 6 p.m.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

'Deafening Sound,' gallery show about domestic and sexual violence, opens at NOPA Sept. 9

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 2:15 PM


Photographer Annie Flanagan made the first image in her upcoming show about misogyny, domestic violence and sexual violence when she was 14.

She's been photographing one of her central subjects, a close friend who spent five years in an abusive relationship, for most of her life. "Deafening Sound," a show of photographs, artifacts and more documents that friend's experience and recovery. It also creates a larger narrative about gender-based violence and the experiences of American women.

"There's so much silence around rape, and there's so much silence around intimate partner violence," Flanagan says. "[The show is about] the deep roots of misogyny and rape culture in the United States."

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Report: Cassidy-Graham health care plan could cost Louisiana $2.3 billion in health care funding; Cassidy's office responds [updated]

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 1:45 PM

  • Bill Cassidy.

It's been almost a month since a dramatic, wee-hours vote July 28 felled so-called "skinny repeal," the Senate's most recent bill intended to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . The Senate officially returns from summer recess Sept. 5; though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested tax reform will be his top priority for fall, Sen. Bill Cassidy met with Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price July 31 to continue advocating for his health care ideas.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, released a new analysis this morning evaluating the effects of the Cassidy-Graham amendment attached to the Senate's most recent health care plan. Should Cassidy-Graham form the basis of a new ACA repeal effort, as some have speculated it might, the report warns it may share many problems with earlier Senate plans. According to the analysis, under a Cassidy-Graham plan, Louisiana could lose $2.3 billion in health care funding by 2026.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Orleans Musicians' Clinic's 'Tropical Blood Drive' party returns Aug. 27

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 11:46 AM


New Orleans Musicians' Clinic & Assistance Foundation, The Organ Grinders and The Blood Center host their annual free party, concert and blood drive at Tipitina's from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There's a bunch of entertainment and the party has an enjoyably tacky Hawaiian theme.

Five Blood Center buses will park outside the venue in an effort to collect 250 pints of blood from donors, which hospitals can use for as many as 3,000 blood transfusions, a release about the event said. Inside, there are music performances from a list of acts including Soul Brass Band, Bonerama, Nick Name & the Valmonts and DJ Fayard Lindsay. There also are appearances by several of the better-known marching groups, including Krewe of Rolling Elvi, Camel Toe Lady Steppers, Roux La La, The MuffALottas, NOLA Cherry Bombs, Cosmonaughties and others, plus raffles and a limbo contest.

If you'd like to donate blood, you can pre-register with The Blood Center. Theme-appropriate costumes (your best grass skirt, perhaps?) are encouraged.

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