OUR AREAS OF FOCUS
CHAMPIONING WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND FAMILIES
LCHE champions women’s health by addressing disparities through policy advocacy and community engagement. For ten years, LCHE and partners have hosted the Annual Women’s Health Day Celebration – a legislative policy advocacy, information and resources event held at the Louisiana State Capitol. Topics have included child and maternal health, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDs, human trafficking, sexual and other forms of abuse, access to healthcare and more. Due to COVID-19, in 2020 LCHE hosted two webinars, More Power: Women at the Polls and in Policy and Maternal Health – Racial Concordance HerStory and Policy that featured several prominent local and state officials, community leaders and subject matter experts.
Currently, LCHE’s most prominent women’s health initiative is its Campaign to Establish the Louisiana Office of Women’s Health – an effort designed to concentrate resources and policy efforts toward improving health outcomes and eliminating disparities unique to women, especially pertaining to maternal health.
During the 2022 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 116 by Senator Regina Barrow, now ACT 676, to create the Office on Women’s Health passed. While acknowledging establishing this office as a significant step forward and progress towards ensuring better health outcomes for Louisiana women, LCHE has expressed concerns about the current law. Read LCHE’s statement here.
IMPROVING HEALTHCARE ACCESS AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
As the only state in the Deep South to adopt Medicaid
Expansion, Louisiana has made great strides to improve healthcare access for its residents. Still, despite over 500,000 individuals obtaining health insurance coverage under Medicaid expansion, our 2022 state’s health ranking is 50th in the country. This figure represents a clear disconnect between in having insurance coverage and access to quality, equitable healthcare treatment and preventative care. Just as LCHE led the Campaign for Healthcare for Everyone- Louisiana that resulted in Medicaid Expansion becoming a reality, we continue to advocate fair wages, quality education, affordable housing and safe neighborhoods.
In 2020, LCHE announced its LA40by2030 Bold Vision along with policy recommendations as blueprint to boosting Louisiana’s health ranking to 40th by 2030. To this end, LCHE continues its advocacy efforts to advance policies aimed at increasing behavioral health support for Louisiana’s youth and legislative action and
advancing women’s health through the newly establishment of the Louisiana Office on Women’s Health.
ADVANCING RACIAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
At LCHE we understand that social and political determinants of health are the drivers that influence community health outcomes. Accordingly, the solutions that we employ as a society must be holistic in nature to make a sustainable impact. By addressing issues such as the lack of access to quality and affordable healthcare, economic insecurity and other inequities, we work to inform, advise, and implement strategic solutions aimed at solving these systemic problems. The mitigation of systemic injustice is at the forefront of everything we do. We acknowledge that dismantling long standing economic and racial systemic barriers is necessary to achieve equity.
LCHE Calls for Boycott of Ochsner Health in Response to Disparate Treatment of Black Patients
The allegations of disparate treatment of Black patients with COVID-19 by Ochsner Health, as outlined in ProPublica’s ‘Sent Home to Die’ article, warrant a bold and direct community response. As such, the Louisiana Center for Health Equity has called for a boycott of Ochsner Health, which was announced during a January 13th press conference and subsequent press release.
LCHE is aware that many community members seek primary care and specialty care with Ochsner Health. We by no means are asking the community or anyone to jeopardize their health in any way, but where there is an opportunity for choice to consider seeing other healthcare providers. The Louisiana Center for Health Equity is asking the community to boycott Ochsner Health until a full and complete investigation is completed which includes interviews with loved ones of patients who died of COVID-19. Check out coverage regarding the boycott:
Sent Home to Die – ProPublica Article
On February 25, 2021, LCHE filed a complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights. The boycott remains in effect until this federal investigation is complete. Click here to read the full statement.
LEADING A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH TO ADOLESCENT HEALTH
LCHE advocates for policies and systemic changes relevant to adolescent health with a primary focus on education, behavioral health, violence prevention and improving overall health outcomes. Through the Together We Are More Adolescent Health Collaborative, LCHE employs data-driven public health approaches to address these needs in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. LCHE’s founder Alma C. Stewart Allen has also worked alongside other prominent health leaders through the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s National Children’s Health Leadership Network, a leadership development program that empowers state leaders to design and promote policies to address racial and health disparities affecting children and youth.
In collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health, LCHE and LSU Health New Orleans – School of Medicine have partnered with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative to launch Bringing Respiratory Health Equity for Asthmatics Through Healthier Environments program (BREATHE). Through this initiative, we have expanded this partnership and developed a plan to decrease the number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to asthma complications in Baton Rouge. BREATHE provides home-based care, health education, and environmental remediation so children living with asthma can achieve better health and quality of life outcomes with lower health care costs. Find out more here.