Help Is Here Express’ Bus Tour Comes to Louisiana March 2-6
To Help Patients in Need Access Prescription Medicines

The “Help is Here Express” bus tour will be in Louisiana communities on March 2-6 to help uninsured and financially-struggling Louisianans access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free.
The bus tour is part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) – a nationwide effort sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research companies – raising awareness of patient assistance programs among residents who face layoffs or a loss of health care benefits in a struggling economy. Additionally patients who visit the bus can also learn about developing medicines to fight chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.
Individuals should bring identification, their Medicare card if applicable, and a list of their prescriptions when they visit the bus.
“We’ll be on the tour helping to identify the 20,000 low income adults in Louisiana who qualify for programs which would enable the to get their prescriptions for free,” said Senior Health Insurance Information Program Director Vicki Dufrene. “We and the local representatives will be at every stop to help take applications for drug assistance programs on the spot.”
“At a time when national unemployment is the highest in almost two decades, the PPA has become an important lifeline for a growing number of patients,” PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin said.  “Millions of Americans have been added to the jobless rolls over the last several months and there could be a sharp increase in the number of our citizens losing health care benefits.’’
To date, the PPA has helped more than 5 million patients, including more than 128,000 Louisianans. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 2,500 cities to raise awareness about patient assistance programs. This is the ninth tour of Louisiana.
The “Help is Here Express” is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help uninsured patients of all ages access information on more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.  When the “Help is Here Express” moves on, patients can visit PPA’s easy-to-use Web site ( or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) where trained operators field calls in 150 languages.
The scheduled stops are:

Monday, March 2, 9 a.m.
Bastrop Municipal Center
1901 Moeller Drive at Holt Street
Bastrop, LA

Monday, March 2, 2 p.m.
Minden Civic Center
West parking lot
520 Broadway
Minden, LA

Tuesday, March 3, 9 a.m.
Caldwell Health Unit
501 Collins Rd.                    
Columbia, LA

Tuesday, March 3, 2 p.m.
Many City Hall
Police Department Parking Lot
965 San Antonio Ave.
Many, LA

Wednesday, March 4, 9 a.m.
Vernon Parish Health Unit
406 W. Fertitta Blvd.
Leesville, LA

Wednesday, March 4, 2 p.m.
Ville Platte Medical Center
800 E. Main Street
Ville Platte, LA
Thursday, March 5, 9 a.m.
Acadia Parish Health Unit
530 West Mill St
Crowley, LA

Thursday, March 5, 2 p.m.
Teche Action Clinic
1115 Weber Street
Franklin, LA

Friday, March 6, 9 a.m.        
East Feliciana Public Health Unit
12080 Marston Street
Clinton, LA

Friday, March 6, 2 p.m.
LSU Bogalusa Medical Center
400 Memphis St.
Bogalusa, LA

Former Louisiana Congressman Tauzin added that the PPA is currently helping “thousands of people every day,” including those who need treatments to fight such debilitating chronic diseases as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.  In Louisiana alone, there are millions of cases of chronic diseases, according to the Milken Institute and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.  Nationwide, more than 133 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, which is responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    
“With the number of people affected by chronic disease going up every year, and economists predicting that unemployment will continue to grow well into 2009, the PPA and its message of hope are now more relevant than ever,” Tauzin said.  “No one – and I mean no one – is helped by a medicine that sits on the shelf and is out of reach financially.  In Louisiana, we will continue to help folks all over the state for as long as the assistance is needed.”
Sharon Buchert, State Coordinator, said, “One of the most important ways to help adults stay healthy and independent is to make healthcare, especially medicines, affordable and accessible. Senior Rx and other programs exist to serve that purpose.”

For more information, contact: Cheron Brylski at 504-897-6110, or 504-460-1468.


Peoples Health Evolves into 100 Percent Locally Owned
Medicare Health Plan Provider

Metairie, La. (February 23, 2009) – Peoples Health, the largest Louisiana-based administrator of Medicare Advantage plans, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to redeem Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s interest in the company and will now be 100 percent locally owned and operated.  Tenet previously owned 50 percent of Peoples Health.  Peoples Health was founded in 1994 as a collaborative effort between physicians and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

“Our plan members won’t see any change in the way they receive their health care, or in their plan benefits,” said Peoples Health Chief Executive Officer, Carol Solomon. “Peoples Health will become completely locally owned and, as a part of the southeast Louisiana community, we couldn’t be more proud of the evolution of our company.”

This transfer of financial interest marks the progression of Peoples Health into the only locally-based Medicare Advantage company managed by physicians. While many health care organizations have suffered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Peoples Health has continued to grow exponentially, now serving 42,000 plan members. The company services an area spanning from Baton Rouge to New Orleans and employs more than 450 people. Peoples Health was recently accredited by URAC, a Washington, DC-based health care accrediting organization, and CEO Carol Solomon was recognized by CityBusiness as New Orleans’ “Woman of the Year” for 2008.

“Our network of doctors has worked for more than a decade to get us to this point. To have a Louisiana-based, physician-managed Medicare health plan means a tremendous amount to our senior population,” said Dr. Goodwin, chairman of the board for Peoples Health. “As doctors, we understand our patients’ needs and as Medicare providers, we can make sure that these needs are met.”

The company focuses on meeting individual needs by developing and adapting its plan benefits so they are best suited for each member. For example, Peoples Health is the only Medicare health team in the market that utilizes nurse case managers and social workers to offer in-home visits and individualized care.

Subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals, the projected closing date for the transaction is April 3.


            New Orleans, LA – Through a competitive process, Dr. Sheila Chauvin, Professor and Director of the Office of Medical Education Research and Development at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has been awarded a grant by the Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) to develop a collaborative model that will increase the number of residency and student clinical rotation programs at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), or Community Health Centers (CHCs), across the State of Louisiana.
            “This project will increase the number of primary care health professionals including physicians, community health nurses, dentists, and allied and public health professionals, and improve access to care for people living in Louisiana’s rural and under-served communities,” notes Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.   
            Both residents (physicians who are completing post-graduate medical training in order to be licensed to practice) and health professions students need clinical experience to complete their education. Under faculty supervision, they also deliver health care services at clinical sites where they rotate. The team working on this project includes professionals from the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Allied Health Professions and Public Health.
            Under Dr. Chauvin’s direction, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans will conduct an initial assessment to evaluate and analyze existing Louisiana Community Health Centers’ academic residency/clinical rotation programs. Then, using proprietary methods, her team will develop a standardized academic residency/rotation program model that can be implemented by Louisiana FQHCs as well as a set of recommendations and partnership strategies to develop effective rotations. They will also foster collaboration and develop academic-community health center partnerships among stakeholders including FQHC leaders, the Louisiana Primary Care Association, Area Health Education Centers, the Louisiana Rural Health Association, and the Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health
            “In this project, we will be using strategies to facilitate academic-community collaboration and developing a model that community health center leaders can use with academic partners to create new academic residency and clinical rotations in these centers,” said Dr. Chauvin.  “Such efforts align directly with LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans’ commitment to enhancing access to quality health care for all of our state’s citizens.  Such rotations can also provide essential community-based learning and experiences for our students.  Finally, increasing academic clinical rotations in these centers can contribute significantly to increasing the number of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans graduates who choose a career in primary care and professional practice in rural and under-served areas.”  
            There is a national shortage of primary care health professionals. In Louisiana, based upon information provided in the 2006 report of the Louisiana Interagency Task Force on the Future of Family Medicine, 97% of Louisiana parishes after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have areas classified as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. While Louisiana ranked 10th in per capita production of physicians, it was 38th in the country for primary care physicians, with only one-third of Louisiana physicians practicing in primary care.
            Individuals who are uninsured, live in under-served areas, or lack the supplemental resources to meet related health costs, such as Medicare recipients lacking funds or supplemental insurance for co-payments or medications, lack access to basic health care services. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 20% of Louisiana’s population is uninsured. That is nearly 850,000 people.
            Numerous publications provide evidence that engaging residents and other health professions students in community health centers and clinics influences their decision-making about specialty choice. Such experience also enhances recruitment to primary care specialties and practice in rural and under-served areas, and particularly CHCs.                  
            Louisiana has FQHCs in Baton Rouge, Natchitoches, Tallulah, Clinton, Port Allen, Albany, Zachary, Kentwood, Greensburg, Shreveport, New Orleans, St. Gabriel, New Iberia, Innis, Bastrop, Independence, Monroe, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Opelousas, Luling, Franklin, St. Joseph, and Sicily Island. In addition, satellite clinics affiliated with FQHCs are located in Gilliam, Haynesville, Minden, Abbeville, Wisner, Leesville, River Ridge, Edgard, and Houma.
            Following the completion of work, the LSUHSC team will conduct a 6-month implementation evaluation and will submit a final report to the Louisiana Primary Care Association with an overall evaluation of the project and its success.


            New Orleans, LA – Yumei Feng, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral trainee in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Keisa Mathis, a graduate student in Physiology, at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, are the only two New Orleanians to successfully compete for the 2009 Caroline tum Suden/Francis A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award from the American Physiological Society (APS). Thirty-six recipients were selected from 91 applicants by the APS Women in Physiology Committee.
            The award provides funds for junior scientists to attend and participate fully in the Experimental Biology meeting which will be held this year in New Orleans in April. The awardees receive $500 and complimentary registration for the Experimental Biology meeting. To be considered for the award, the candidate must be the first author of an abstract submitted to APS. To receive the award, recipients must attend the Experimental Biology meeting and present their work.
            Dr. Feng’s abstract is titled ACE2 expression in the central nervous system reduces angiotensin-II-mediated hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in transgenic mice. It reports progress in research on an enzyme in the brain that helps regulate blood pressure. Dr. Feng works in the laboratory of Eric Lazartigues, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.
            Mathis’ abstract is titled Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor improves survival from hemorrhage in rodents. It describes how a centrally-acting inhibitor of an enzyme that breaks down a certain neurotransmitter improved outcome in hemorrhagic shock. Mathis works in the laboratory of Patricia Molina, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Physiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.

EJGH Calendar of Events
Community Cholesterol Screening
March 5 & 19, 8 a.m. – Noon. $30 (EJGH Wellness Center members), $40 (nonmembers). EJGH Wellness Center, 3601 Houma Boulevard, Ste 204, Metairie, Call 456-5000 to schedule an appointment. Know your risk factors for heart disease.  Screen provides total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, TC/HDL ratio, triglycerides, and glucose.

AARP Driver Safety Program
March 24, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. $12 (AARP members), $14 nonmembers. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie,  To register or for more information, call Larry Lemoine at 454-4168.  The AARP Driver Safety Program is a four-hour course taught by trained volunteer instructors.

AARP Tax Aid Program
Feb 2 – April 15, E-file returns only at this site, no appointment necessary. Monday thru Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (no returns started after 1 pm), EJ North, 1st floor, 4320 Houma Blvd. Call 454-4066 for information.

Successfully Managing Diabetes in Today’s World
March 31, Noon – 4 p.m. Free. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie,  Call 456-5000 to register.  A comprehensive seminar for people with diabetes and their caretakers. Vendors will provide information on resources available for successful diabetes management. Experts will present topics as related to diabetes including cooking, gum disease, alcohol, and exercise.  Eat lunch prior to event. Diet soft drinks and water will be available.

Look Good…Feel Better
March 23, 6 – 8 p.m. Free. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie,  Call 456-5000 to register.  EJGH’s Regional Cancer Center, along with the American Cancer Society, offers this program for women undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Volunteer cosmetologists will help patients enhance their appearance. Please provide us with your skin type (either light, medium or dark).

Prenatal Class
March 17 – 31, 7 – 9 pm.  Free. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie,  Call 456-5000 to register. This three-week course provides information on anatomy and the changes to expect during pregnancy, all the way through the last trimester, emphasizing birth as a normal, natural, healthy process. Signs and stages of labor will de discussed, along with when to go to the hospital, where to go, and what to expect. Comfort measures, including natural, pharmacological and epidural anesthesia are addressed, and a film on Cesarean birth will be shown. The postpartum experience both in the hospital and beyond can be a difficult one. The final class focuses on healthy relationships, postpartum emotions and feeding your baby.

March 9 – 30, 6 – 9 p.m. $100 per couple. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie, Call 456-5000 to register. This course, for expectant mothers and their companions, is designed to help parents have a positive birth experience.

Sibling Preparation
March 14, 9 – 10 a.m. or 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Free. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie,  Call 456-5000 to register.  Children ages 3 to 10 (with a parent) discuss the changes that come when a new baby arrives as well as learn how to hold and diaper a baby.

Becoming a Woman
March 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. $20. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie,  Call 456-5000 to register.  Girls aged 9 to 12, with their mother or a guardian, learn about the changes that come with adolescence.

Diabetes Dynamics
March 4 & 5, 1 – 4:30 pm. EJ North, 4320 Houma Boulevard, 7th floor Conference Room, Metairie. Please call 849-8600 for more information.  This two-class interactive course taught by a certified diabetes education RN and a dietitian covers the basics of diabetes management, nutrition, foot care, exercise, goal setting and motivation.  A physician’s RX is required.

Core Stability Functional Training
March 2 – 30, Mondays and/or Wednesdays, 1:30 – 2:15 pm. EJGH Wellness Center, 3726 Houma Blvd, Metairie, Call 456-5000 for fees and to register. Exercise training for people with osteoporosis, back problems and a low level of balance. A physician’s release is required.

Fibromyalgia Aquatic Program
March 2 – 30, Mondays and/or Wednesdays, 11:30 am – 12:15 pm or 5:30 – 6:15 pm. EJGH Wellness Center, 3726 Houma Blvd, Metairie, Call 456-5000 for fees and to register. Slow, controlled movements along with gentle stretches for the tender points, designed to improve muscle tone, endurance, and flexibility. A physician’s release is required.

Multiple Sclerosis Aquatic Program 
March 3 – 31, Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, 1 – 1:45 pm. EJGH Wellness Center, 3726 Houma Blvd, Metairie,  Call 456-5000 for fees and to register. Conducted in a temperature-controlled pool to help promote flexibility, strength and endurance, as well as to prevent fatigue. A physician’s release is required.

Parkinson’s Program
March 3 – 31, Tuesdays, 2:30 – 3:15 pm. 3726 Houma Blvd, Metairie, Call 456-5000 for fees and to register. Designed to address problems such as shuffled gait, stooped posture, bradykinesia, as well as hesitance in movement, muscular rigidity, and respiratory difficulties. A physician’s release is required.

Alzheimer’s Family Support Group
March 10 & 24, 4 p.m.  EJGH Adult Day Center, 3929 West Metairie Avenue, Metairie.  Call 837-2629 for more information.  Provides support and education to caregivers, family and friends of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bosom Buddies
March 18, 6:30 – 8 pm. East Jefferson General Hospital, Breast Care Center, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie.  Call 883-8989 for more information.  Education and support group for women with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Cancer Survivors’ Group
March 18, 5 – 6:30 p.m.  East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie.  Call HealthFinder at 456-5000 for location and additional information.  An education and networking series for cancer patients and their caregivers.  Presented in partnership by EJGH, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the American Cancer Society.
Caregivers’ Support Group
March 17, 6:30 – 7:30 pm. EJGH Counseling Center, 4228 Houma Boulevard, Ste 320 Metairie.  Call 456-5106 for more information.  Support and encouragement offered to those caring for a loved one.

Compassionate Friends Support Group
March 9, 7 – 9 pm. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie. Call Denise Pezant at 454-5078 for more information.  This group is for families who have experienced the loss of a child.

Diabetes Support Group
March 26, Noon – 1 pm. EJ North, 4320 Houma Boulevard, 7th Floor, Metairie.  Members share information and support each other to promote successful management of diabetes.  Please call 849-8600 for more information.

Grief Support Group
Every Wednesday, 6:30 – 8 pm. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie. Call 456-5000 for more information.  Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this program is for those who have experienced the death of a loved one.

I Can Cope
March 10, 6 – 7 p.m. East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie.  Call 456-5000 for location.  Supportive, educational environment offered for those caring for someone diagnosed with cancer, or dealing with a diagnosis himself or herself.

Stroke Support Group
March 25, 6:30 p.m.  East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Boulevard, Metairie.  Call 456-5000 for more information. Offers support to stroke survivors and their families.

Delgado to Hold Public Health Career Showcase March 25

New Orleans, La. – Delgado Community College will hold an Allied Health & Nursing Career Showcase, providing information of college programs, financial aid opportunities and career options, on Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2009, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. The fair will be held in the Michael L. Williamson Complex/Gym in Building 11 on the City Park Campus (615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, La.). The event is free and open to the public.
Anyone interested in a career in the health field will be able to meet program faculty, in-program students, and receive information on all of Delgado’s Allied Health and Nursing programs and courses, as well as financial asistance resources and career opportunities in each of the program fields.  Programs include:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Dietetic Technician
Emergency Medical Technician
Funeral Service Education
Medical Laboratory Technician
Nuclear Medicine Technology
Nursing (CAN, LPN, RN)
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ophthalmic Medical Assisting
Pharmacy Technician
Physical Therapist Assistant
Radiologic Technology
Radiation Therapy
Respiratory Care Technology
Surgical Technology
Veterinary Technology
For more information about the showcase, please contact Ms. Brown at (504) 671-5041 or <>  For more information about Delgado Community College and its Allied Health and Nursing programs, visit <> .