Louisiana Medical News
Health updates from around the state
Improvements Being Made For Women, Infants And Children Programs
BATON ROUGE – The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) recently announced that it is enacting big changes in its administration in the State’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Beginning this month, vendor inspections will be done by health inspectors who conduct retail food inspections throughout the state. The effort will allow for the sharing of information between the sanitarians and the Women, Infants and Children program staff. The unit employees have already been making referrals to health inspectors when they notice unsanitary conditions at WIC-approved vendors. This process began in November 2013 when the DHH requested an audit of its operations, including enhanced procedures for monitoring vendors, prices and performance. The DHH will also improve communication with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is run by the Department of Children and Family Services. Assistant Secretary for Public Health J.T. Lane was quoted in a DHH-generated press release as saying, “Over the next year, we expect to see a transformation that drastically improves the state of WIC in Louisiana.” Nutritionists for the WIC program are now actively monitoring WIC clinics and utilizing data within their regions to enhance clinic operations and efficiencies. Their current administrative responsibilities will be shifted to the State agency staff so that they can focus their attention on the vendors in their regions.
Willis-Knighton Partners With American Heart Association
SHREVEPORT – Since November, a partnership between Willis-Knighton Health System and the American Heart Association has been addressing a serious heart health crisis. Currently less than 1 percent of the population meets the American Heart Association criteria for ideal cardiovascular health, and these programs aim to vastly improve that statistic. A key goal for the program, called “My Heart. My Life.” is to foster an understanding between health and risk of heart disease and stroke. This comprehensive health, wellness and fitness platform aims to encourage people to make healthier choices. One of the outcomes, they hope, is that cardiovascular health of all Americans will improve 20 percent, while deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke will be reduced by the year 2020.
Willis-Knighton will implement supplemental programs, including the establishment of walking paths at its campuses that are accessible to the public. Willis-Knighton will also host open seminars that address heart health issues.
Ochsner Applauded For Top Liver Transplant Program
NEW ORLEANS – CareChex, a division of COMPARION, recently named Ochsner Health Systems as the No. 2 facility in the country for liver transplants. Ochsner was also named as the No. 1 liver transplant center in the state of Louisiana. It received a score of 99.9 out of 100 in the national rankings. More than 4,000 hospitals around the country were ranked in the Overall Hospital Care Category, which rates inpatient medical conditions and surgical procedures treated and performed by full-service hospitals, such as cancer care, cardiac surgery and spinal surgery, among others.
Ochsner was also named No. 2 for kidney transplants. “As our transplant program continues to grow both regionally and nationally, we remain committed to providing the best service and care for our patients,” said Dr. Nigel Girgrah, Ph.D., Head of Hepatology, Medical Director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Institute, in an Ochsner press release. “We work with so many patients and families over long periods of time, so we know what a difference a successful transplant can make in someone’s life.”