Baton Rouge — In an effort to emphasize the importance of primary and preventive care in Louisiana, Gov. M.J. "Mike" Foster has proclaimed the first week of November CommunityCARE and KIDMED week. The proclamation recognizes efforts the Department of Health has made to ensure primary care services for Medicaid clients and increase preventive health screening for children through these programs.

"We are pleased with the advances our department has made in providing better primary and preventive care for our citizens," said Secretary David W. Hood. "Too often, people wait until they are severely ill to seek medical help. By encouraging citizens to see a doctor for a physical before they get sick, we can lessen the incidence of serious diseases such as cancer or diabetes in Louisiana."

CommunityCARE creates a "medical home" for Medicaid clients, linking them to primary care providers who can help manage their health care before medical problems become severe. The program aims to decrease rates of serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes in Louisiana by having patients see doctors regularly to monitor their health. The program also aims to cut down on unnecessary emergency room visits. All Louisiana parishes will be enrolled in CommunityCARE by December 2003.

The KIDMED program was established by Congress in an effort to offer quality preventive health care for children up to 21 years old. This program provides complete physical exams, dental exams, vision and hearing checkups, immunizations, blood and urine tests, sickle cell anemia tests, health education, eyeglasses, hearing aids and more at no cost to the recipient.

The outcomes of these screening have produced many success stories over the years. One example of the success of the program this year is a 1-year-old child who had a cyst discovered in her throat during a KIDMED screening. The girl was immediately referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who treated her with a course of antibiotics for 14 days. The problem was luckily resolved before there were further complications such as airway obstruction or a secondary blood infection.

Throughout the coming week, representatives from local parish Medicaid offices will be in the community to provide CommunityCARE clients and providers with more information about the program. They also will be looking to enroll potentially eligible families into LaCHIP or Medicaid so that these families can also obtain the benefits of these crucial medical services. A list of activities taking place in different parts of the state is provided below.

For more information about the program or activities scheduled throughout the state this week, call toll-free 1-800-359-2122 or visit the Web site at

Friday, October 31
Teche Action Ashland North Clinic (1p.m. – 5 p.m.), 189 Mozart Drive, Houma

Saturday, November 1
Kiwanis Club Arts & Crafts Show (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.), Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles

Sunday, November 2
Kiwanis Club Arts & Crafts Show (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.), Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles

Monday, November 3
 Daycare Blitz (7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Contact: Tracy Penrod, 1- 800-873-9027
North Oaks Pediatric Clinic (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), 15695 Professional Plaza Club Deluxe Road, Hammond
Plaquemines Parish Civic Center ( 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.), 100 Civic Center Drive, Port Sulphur

Tuesday, November 4
Home Health Provider Training (Noon - 3 p.m.) at Holidome, 2032 NE Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette
LaCHIP/Community Care Outreach (1-4 p.m.) Winn Parish Health Unit, 301 West Main St., Winnfield

Wednesday, November 5
Ouachita Parish Health Unit (8a..m. - Noon) 1650 DeSiard St., Monroe

Thursday, November 6
CommunityCARE Kickoff (9:30a.m.-Noon) at Holiday Inn Westbank, 100 Westbank Expressway, Gretna
Ouachita Parish Job Center (8 a.m. - noon) 3158 Louisville Ave., Monroe
Home Health Provider Training (2-5 p.m.) at Holidome, Highway 165, Monroe 
CommunityCARE outreach at Rayville Brookshire’s (1-3 p.m.), 816 Julia St., Rayville
Campti Health and Information Fair (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.), Downtown Campti on Edenborn Street
LaCHIP/Community Care Outreach (9a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) at LaSalle Parish Health Unit, 1673 N. 2nd St., Jena

Friday, November 7
Grandparent’s Forum (Time TBA) at Doubletree Hotel, 300 Canal Street, New Orleans
CommunityCARE outreach at Marksville Winn Dixie (9 a.m.– noon) 241 Tunica Village SC, Marksville
Salvation Army’s Ninth Annual Stand Down (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), 200 East Stoner Ave., Shreveport

Saturday, November 8
March of Dimes Walk America (8a.m.-Noon) @ Mandeville Lakefront area