Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Abortion rights documentary Jackson screens at Treo March 5

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 2:00 PM

A protester holds a sign at a rally for abortion rights at City Hall.
  • A protester holds a sign at a rally for abortion rights at City Hall.

which took home the prize for best documentary at last year's New Orleans Film Festival, will screen at Treo at 7 p.m. Sunday. The screening is hosted by New Orleans Abortion Fund, Women's Health Care Center and Delta Clinic.

The film documents the fight to close Mississippi's last abortion clinic and explores how restrictions on abortion access specifically penalize women of color and of lower socioeconomic status. Its points are especially relevant amid calls from legislators to defund Planned Parenthood and recent votes by House lawmakers to make the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions, permanent. Closer to home, access to abortion is imperiled by measures such as last year's bill that tripled the waiting time required of women who wish to receive an abortion.

A short panel discussion follows the film. Admission is $8 and includes a raffle ticket.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Emergency room or urgent care? Knowing where to go, and when

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM


A trip to the emergency room is rarely a happy one.

As if an injury or illness isn’t harrowing enough, throw in notoriously long ER wait times and the fear that the coughing person in the next seat is contagious. It’s no wonder that people who experience an acute complaint end up going to urgent care or treating it at home instead.

Many factors affect the decision to go to the emergency room or urgent care, but there are medical reasons to keep in mind that dictate which option is best.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

At Planned Parenthood rally Feb. 10, supporters embrace the new activism

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 6:33 PM


At the edge of Duncan Plaza facing Perdido Street, several protesters formed a wall.

Holding up signs with messages including "No more wire hangers" and "Don't tread on me" (with a drawing of a uterus), they made a human barrier, preventing a small group of counter-protesting anti-abortion activists from entering a rally in support of Planned Parenthood that took place Friday afternoon.

"Taking away people's access to health care is violence," one man said, addressing the counter-protestors.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Affordable Care Act is subject of first bill pre-filed for the 2017 Louisiana legislative session

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 1:27 PM

State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington.
  • State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington.
State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington, in a bill filed almost three months prior to the 2017 general legislative session, is seeking an exemption for Louisiana residents from Affordable Care Act (ACA) noncompliance penalties.

The filing of House Bill 6 came shortly after President Donald Trump signed a similar executive order on Inauguration Day, mandating ACA-related federal departments and agencies waive provisions imposing a financial burden on states or individuals.

In his order, Trump said the aim was to “minimize unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act” pending its repeal by Congress.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

NOLAW hosts fundraiser, community action night Feb. 7 to fight violence against women

Posted By on Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 1:24 PM

A NOLAW ref shields her eyes at a brawl. - EMMA RAYNOR
  • A NOLAW ref shields her eyes at a brawl.

In the seething maelstrom of news that's enveloped us all since Election Day, one issue in particular rang alarm bells for New Orleans Ladies Arm Wrestling League (NOLAW) members: the Trump administration's proposed cuts to grants administered by the Office on Violence Against Women. These grants fund local organizations which fight sexual violence, help women escape domestic abuse and offer resources for survivors.

In response, NOLAW will host a fundraiser and evening of community action designed to spotlight the potential cuts and organize people in the ongoing fight against violence against women. It's at Twelve Mile Limit (500 S. Telemachus St.) the evening of Feb. 7.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Dillard University recognizes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with "condom contest"

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 5:16 PM


It's a middle school rite of passage: the ceremonial fitting of a banana or cucumber with a condom. (The produce aisle was never the same.) At a Feb. 7 event to celebrate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day, Dillard University students can compete in an event to see if they still have those slightly risque health class skills. They'll be judged on whether they have the proper condom technique to prevent pregnancy and disease transmission.

The contest is part of activities on the historically black university's campus that day to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Louisiana. This state has the country's highest rate of new positive diagnoses — a disturbing statistic in a time when the public health conversation around the disease has diminished somewhat since the epidemic's peak in the 1990s. And African-Americans account for 71 percent of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in the state.

The event is sponsored by the university's Public Health Club and We PrEP Together, the St. Thomas Community Health Center program which helps people gain affordable access to PrEP treatments, which reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Admission is free for university students. Events are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louis C.K., 'alternative facts,' a market for Marigny and other stories you may have missed this week

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM


• FEST, FEST, FEST: The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup was announced. You people on Twitter had a few thoughts. And Aaron Neville is part of the just-announced French Quarter Fest lineup.

• COMING TO TOWN: Louis C.K. is coming to town this week for a couple of just-announced shows. The Pixies are coming later.

• LGBT NEWS: The LGBT Community Center is getting a new home. And a new eldercare group is launching a health care provider network for LGBT seniors.

• KRISPY KRUNCHY KING CAKE: Where you can eat king cake topped with crickets.

Lots more under the jump ...

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Surrounded by gravestones, protesters speak out in favor of Affordable Care Act

Posted By on Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Father Fred Kammer of Jesuit Social Research Institute opened and closed the protest. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • Father Fred Kammer of Jesuit Social Research Institute opened and closed the protest.

Before the  Affordable Care Act (ACA), schoolteacher Alaina Comeaux viewed age 25 as a death sentence.

That's the age when she would be ousted from her parents' insurance and forced to try and find insurance on the private market to cover her treatments for Crohn's disease and ankylosing spondylitis. One treatment she receives as many as eight times a year costs $21,000 — per session.

"My doctor actually tried to hide my diagnosis from insurance companies for more than a year," she said. "[Without regulations related to the ACA] I'd go bankrupt pretty quickly. ... It's pretty hopeless."

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LGBT elder-care group NOAGE kicks off health care provider network Jan. 26

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 1:58 PM

NOAGE staffers and volunteers walk in the Southern Decadence parade. - COURTESY JIM MEADOWS
  • NOAGE staffers and volunteers walk in the Southern Decadence parade.

America is graying. In the next 20 years, the population of seniors ages 65 and older is expected to nearly double as the Baby Boomers reach retirement age and advancements in health care extend life expectancies. As demographics shift, seniors are sure to take center stage in discussions about health care and social services — including the needs of unique constituencies, such as seniors who identify as LGBT.

According to New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) executive director Jim Meadows, an estimated 20,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans seniors live in the Greater New Orleans area. Many of them aren't getting what they need from their doctors, therapists and social workers. On Thursday, Jan. 26, NOAGE launches Greater New Orleans LGBT Elders Provider Network to help heath care professionals better serve this population.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Purple, green and good for you: Keeping well during Mardi Gras

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 6:13 PM


Carnival is upon us — ready or not — as is the continuation of the holiday binge that began around Halloween. Everyone sees it coming: it began as an extra slice of pie (or three) while cooking the Thanksgiving turkey and morphed into a half-gallon of eggnog daiquiri right before Christmas, and will finally denigrate into a case of beer on the parade route Endymion Saturday, Bacchus Sunday and Orpheus Monday, and lead to profound Ash Wednesday guilt when looking back on the caloric choices made over the last four months.

Julie Fortenberry, a wellness dietitian at Touro Hospital, sees this gastronomic saga play out every year. At a time when the rest of the country has moved on to the contrition of New Year’s resolutions, New Orleans is just revving up for Mardi Gras season.

“The average six weeks of holidays (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s) becomes 12 weeks in New Orleans including Carnival season,” says Fortenberry. “That’s three months. If the average person gains 5 lbs. through the holidays, that’s 10 lbs. through Mardi Gras — that’s a lot.”

Fortenberry finds that her clients put off resolutions to eat right and lose weight until after the overindulgence of Carnival, but warns that this is not a healthy solution.

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