SHREVEPORT –– All three teaching hospitals of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport –– LSU Hospital in Shreveport, E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe and Huey P. Long Hospital in Pineville –– have received prestigious Louisiana Hospital Quality Awards, which recognize improved quality of patient care.

To be eligible, hospitals must be active in clinical quality improvement in one or more of four clinical topics: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, community-acquired pneumonia or surgical care improvement.

E.A. Conway in Monroe received the platinum level award, which is the highest level and recognizes improvement in each of the four clinical areas. Huey P. Long and LSU Hospital in Shreveport both received the silver award, which recognizes gains in two of the four areas. In order to be considered, a hospital must achieve at least 25 percent improvement from baseline to re-measurement or maintain a high level of performance greater than 90 percent.

This is the second consecutive year in which all three hospitals of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport have been recognized with Louisiana Hospital Quality Awards.

Breast Cancer Surgeons Devote $1 million to Help Women
NEW ORLEANS –– Drs. Frank DellaCroce and Scott Sullivan, the founders of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery and the St. Charles Surgical Hospital, the only hospital in the world dedicated to breast reconstruction for women with breast cancer, have formed the St. Charles Charities Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

They announced that the first advised donation will be made to the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans, or CAGNO, to underwrite the creation of BREASTORATION, which will assist women nationwide who are considering breast reconstruction in the Greater New Orleans area and will provide educational resources to all women at risk for or diagnosed with breast cancer.

“We saw a great need among our patients and felt compelled to find a way to support their desires to feel whole again,” Sullivan said in a press release. “Many women are unable to even explore the various surgical options available to them, and BREASTORATION will provide the funding for ancillary expenses for patients who seek consultations, treatments and surgeries in the Greater New Orleans area.”

Sullivan and DellaCroce have pledged $1 million over the next decade to help women in the fight against breast cancer and have also committed to providing breast reconstructive surgeries to four cancer patients in financial need annually.

CAGNO will screen all applicants who want to receive financial support from BREASTORATION, and a panel of breast cancer survivors from around the U.S. will decide which women will receive the pro bono surgeries.

Fight Continues Against Childhood Obesity
LAFAYETTE –– According to the Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, one in five Louisiana children is overweight and nearly one in three is obese.

During the fall of 2009, more than 14,000 children in six pilot districts around the state took part in the Fitnessgram, a physical fitness assessment that measures aerobic capacity; muscular strength; endurance; flexibility; and body mass index, or BMI.

The results were upsetting and came on the heels of the state’s passage of Act 256, which calls for the expansion of physical fitness assessments being implemented in 12 parishes with the goal of statewide implementation. The act also coordinates key entities in Louisiana to work together to try to curb childhood obesity.

“Numerous state and private agencies across Louisiana are developing interventions to put a stop to the alarming rise in childhood obesity, and our role in the legislation is to keep track of how well that effort is going,” Dr. Billy R. Stokes, executive director of the Picard Center, said in a press release. “We’ve seen over three decades of children gaining weight due to poor eating habits, a decrease in physical activity and an increase in television and media use. Turning this trend around will take time, but we’re headed in the right direction by collecting the right data to use for effective interventions.”

Fitnessgram assessments were performed again in the spring, and after final analysis is complete, the Act 256 agencies will collaborate with the Obesity Council and other universities to identify the best strategies for overall general health of Louisiana children as well as the most effective interventions for overweight and obese children and those at risk of chronic health problems.