Health & Wellness

Friday, July 21, 2017

West Nile virus discovered in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 4:05 PM

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Time to dump out the kiddie pool. New Orleans' Mosquito and Termite Control Board has discovered West Nile virus in mosquitoes in the parish for the first time in 2017, according to an announcement from City Hall. There have not been any reported human cases of the virus or the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, however.

West Nile also was discovered in 14 samples in St. Tammany Parish. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly one in five people infected with the virus develop fever and other symptoms, and less than 1 percent develop a serious illness.

The board and the New Orleans Health Department will be "aggressively applying insecticides by airplane and truck" to target the virus-carrying southern house mosquito, as well as "applying larvicide to storm drains and standing water, reducing breeding sources, and educating residents through community outreach efforts."

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Edwards joins bipartisan group of governors saying Senate should reject repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM

President Donald Trump said today, "Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier." - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President Donald Trump said today, "Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier."

The Senate health care replacement for the Affordable Care Act may have collapsed (though Congressional GOP leaders and President Donald Trump have expressed support for "just repeal" rather than "repeal and replace"), but a bipartisan group of governors — including Gov. John Bel Edwards — has issued a statement calling for the repeal's rejection.

"The Senate should immediately reject efforts to 'repeal' the current system and replace sometime later," the statement reads. "This could leave millions of Americans without coverage. The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets."

Since Edwards implemented the federal Medicaid expansion in Louisiana one year ago, more than 400,000 Louisianans have gotten health care. The repeal would leave them in limbo. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was set to reveal its analysis of the bill yesterday, but did not do so.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

At New Orleans East town hall, panelists defend Medicaid expansion, oppose Senate health care bill

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 9:54 PM

Paneilsts Nick Albares, Dawn Hebert, Dr. Keith Winfrey and Cyndi Nguyen lauded the 2016 expansion of Louisiana's Medicaid program.
  • Paneilsts Nick Albares, Dawn Hebert, Dr. Keith Winfrey and Cyndi Nguyen lauded the 2016 expansion of Louisiana's Medicaid program.

In the bright front room at New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center (NOELA), a crowd of about forty people gathered July 13 for a town hall that gradually mounted a firm opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The panel, which was organized by Louisiana Budget Project, included LBP senior policy analyst Nick Albares, NOELA chief medical officer Dr. Keith Winfrey, VIET executive director Cyndi Nguyen and community advocate Dawn Hebert. (Nguyen and Hebert are both New Orleans City Council candidates running for the District E seat, which includes New Orleans East.) Panelists cited the importance of the ACA-connected Medicaid expansion to New Orleans East residents and Louisianans, and called on audience members to urge their senators to vote against the BCRA.

"At the end of the day, what [the BCRA bill] means is hundreds of thousands of people will lose heath insurance, including 50,000 children," Albares said. "It would reverse all the progress that we've been making over the past year."

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

#FightLikeJulie: Social media goes pink in support of Julie Stokes' breast cancer fight

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 1:48 PM

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Last week, state Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, announced she would not be running for state treasurer, as she had previously announced, due to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Today her colleagues in the state legislature, as well as supporters and well-wishers around Louisiana, wore pink and sent photos and good thoughts to Stokes on Twitter using the #FightLikeJulie hashtag.
Take a look:


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Louisiana Budget Project hosting health care town halls

Posted By on Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Demonstrators at a March event to support the Affordable Care Act. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Demonstrators at a March event to support the Affordable Care Act.

With few (if any) public appearances and community meetings held by Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy, public policy and fiscal analysis group the Louisiana Budget Project (LBP) will host a series of informational town halls to discuss and answer questions about the U.S. Senate's proposed health bill.

The LBP will host two town halls in the New Orleans area — one in New Orleans East this Thursday, July 13, and another in Metairie at the Jefferson Parish Library on W. Napoleon Avenue on July 18.
The Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act is estimated to cut Medicaid — which has signed on more than 436,000 people in Louisiana since its expansion in 2016 — by more than $770 billion by 2026. Gov. John Bel Edwards estimates the bill would force the state to increase costs to keep the expanded Medicaid program up to $250 million a year by 2022, or "end expansion outright," ending care plans for the anticipated 540,000 Louisianans insured through Medicaid by 2020.

The number of uninsured people in the U.S. will likely climb to 22 million.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Three people arrested during demonstration at Sen. Bill Cassidy office

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Three people were arrested outside U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's Metairie office during a sit-in urging Cassidy to vote against the Senate's health bill. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Three people were arrested outside U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's Metairie office during a sit-in urging Cassidy to vote against the Senate's health bill.

As part of a national demonstration urging Senators to vote against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, three people were arrested July 6 while inside the Causeway Boulevard building that houses U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's Metairie office.

Roughly 20 demonstrators demanding Cassidy vote against the Better Care Reconciliation Act joined a nationwide "sit-in" at Senate offices across the U.S., a multi-pronged effort coordinated by Democratic Socialists of America chapters as well as Democracy Spring, Our Revolution, #AllOfUs, Progressive Democrats of America, Ultraviolet, The People's Consortium, ResistHere.org and The Working Families Party. The national Sit-In to #StopTrumpcare also calls for single-payer health care through a Medicare For All platform.

The organizations also called for Senators to protect Medicaid, which likely faces a chopping block if the bill passes. More than 436,000 people in Louisiana have qualified for Medicaid coverage following the state's 2016 expansion of the health program.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Screening, panel July 1 talk about black women's maternal mortality crisis

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 11:27 AM

CONIFERCONIFER / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • CONIFERCONIFER / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

To coincide with this weekend's Essence Festival, Black Mamas Matter Alliance and Planned Parenthood Federation of America host a screening of the documentary The Naked Truth: Death by Delivery Saturday.

The Fusion-produced film documents the rising maternal mortality rate for black women and babies, often attributed to problems with access to health care for women of color and systemic inequities in the greater health care system. It's one facet of a larger maternal mortality crisis affecting the U.S., where women are more likely to die during pregnancy or in childbirth than in any other developed nation.

A panel discussion featuring The Root managing editor Danielle Belton and representatives from the Black Lives Matter movement, the National Birth Equity Collaborative, SisterSong Women of Color Collective and Planned Parenthood follows the screening.

The event takes place at Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. If you're interested but can't make it, the full film also is available online.

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Health care reform: First, do no harm

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 9:05 AM

On health care reform, Sen. Bill Cassidy, a physician, appears genuinely torn between his conscience and his political party. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • On health care reform, Sen. Bill Cassidy, a physician, appears genuinely torn between his conscience and his political party.

Louisiana’s Republican U.S. Sens. John Neely Kennedy and Bill Cassidy soon must decide how they want to be remembered by future generations: as partisan hacks who put their party ahead of their constituents, or as courageous independents who sought to end America’s bitter political divide.

That’s what’s at stake when the two men vote on the GOP’s latest health care reform bill. Ultimately, the decision both men must make is whose interests they serve — their constituents or those who pour money into their campaign war chests.

In most instances, that’s an easy call: They follow the money, because voters don’t pay attention to most bills. That’s not the case with health care reform, which dominates all political discussion. The fight to establish and preserve universal coverage has become the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century, dividing us along lines of race, economic class and party.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panel and book signing June 29 highlight gun violence survivors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America. - COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America.

One of every five people pictured in Kathy Shorr's Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America was shot in an incident of domestic violence.

There's Shyrica, who was shot by her husband in a Walmart parking lot. Elizabeth was shot in the face by her estranged husband, who then killed her 18-year-old daughter. A Miami woman was shot in the parking lot of her apartment building by her husband, a veteran with PTSD.

These women all appear in the book, along with portraits of 98 other survivors. They represent just a small fraction of the thousands of people in America who are victims of gun violence each year, many of whom have no personal involvement with criminal activity. Shorr presents the book at a panel discussion at Treo Thursday night, where she'll appear with a trauma surgeon and some of of the people she photographed.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Y@ Speak: storm's a-brewin'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 6:37 PM

In this week's edition: the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on its health bill and we get the cold shoulder from Tropical Storm Cindy.

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