The Louisiana Department of Health celebrates National Women's Health Week, May 12-18.  National Women's Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. It also encourages women to take steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower risks of certain diseases.

LDH is planning a variety of events in observance of National Women's Health Week at the Bienville Building in Baton Rouge and Benson Tower in New Orleans including health seminars, vendor fairs, health pledges, group walks and giveaways.  LDH encourages the public, state employees and partners to unite and raise awareness about women's health issues and educate Louisiana women about how they can live healthier lives.

Women make up 51 percent of Louisiana's population and LDH continues to work with other state agencies to create and maintain policies and programs that positively impact the quality of women's lives and overall well-being.  The 2012 Louisiana Women's Policy and Research Commission Report to the Governor stated that chronic disease remains one of the largest risks to women's health. The report is available here.

DHH's Office of Public Health strives to educate and combat chronic disease in Louisiana.  Chronic disease includes diabetes, heart disease, smoking and obesity.  Currently, one in four deaths in Louisiana results from heart disease and the state's obesity rate continues to rise. 

"I challenge women in Louisiana to take a look at unhealthy habits like smoking, overeating and lack of exercise and become knowledgeable of the deadly risk these activities have on their lives," said LDH Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health J.T. Lane.  "With lifestyle changes, Louisiana women can be healthier and less susceptible to preventative diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. I also want to challenge their loved ones, friends and families to support them -- especially working mothers. Sometimes the biggest barrier to being healthy is time. If a loved one can free up as little as 15 minutes or a half hour on a regular basis for a working mom to go for a run, meditate or lift weights, it may transform an unhealthy future into a healthy one. " 

"As a woman, staying healthy helps ensure I'm present for the important milestones in my family's life," said LDH Interim Secretary Kathy Kliebert.  "A commitment to making healthy choices impacts my physical and mental health in the long run.  A healthy diet coupled with an active lifestyle allows me to take charge of my well-being and I encourage all Louisiana residents to do the same."

LDH programs available for women include the Birth Outcomes Initiative, which aims to educate all Louisiana residents that healthy pregnancies are imperative to a healthy mother and baby.  Further, LDH administers the Maternal and Child Health Program, with allows pregnant women, infants and children to gain access to specialized healthcare services; the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, which ensures pregnant women, infants and children have access to nutritious food; and the state Medicaid program, which provides health care coverage and coordination to eligible pregnant women and children.

To request an interview or inquire about additional information related to Louisiana activities of National Women's Health Week, please contact the Bureau of Media and Communications at 225-342-1532 or