Baton Rouge – The Department of Health is moved by one legislator’s determination to get moving. 

 Rep. Patrick Williams (D-Shreveport) is walking from Shreveport to Baton Rouge to symbolize the long road of hard work that still lies ahead to improve the health of its children.  He is also hoping to bring some much-needed attention to critical issues such as jobs, education and health care.

 “Childhood illnesses such as autism and childhood obesity are growing in our state and in the country,” Williams said.  “I am committed to doing whatever it takes to move Louisiana forward in resolving these issues that are affecting our children.”

 Williams began his walk at 7 a.m. on March 20 from LSU-Shreveport.  He is walking the entire 226 miles from his hometown and hopes to arrive at the State Capitol steps in Baton Rouge before the Regular Legislative Session begins on March 31.

 LDH Secretary Alan Levine said, “It’s very uplifting to see a legislator so dedicated to his state and his cause that he’s willing to put forth this kind of monumental effort and personal time to convince others.  It’s a wonderful reminder that our legislators are working every day to improve our quality of life.”

 Pam Romero, Coordinator of the Louisiana Council on Obesity Prevention and Management, said she is particularly appreciative of Williams’ effort for the attention it may shine on child obesity in the state. “Louisiana has the ninth most overweight youths in the country, according to a recent report,” she said. “The report also noted that eight of the ten states with the highest rates of overweight children were found to be in the South.”

 To learn more about the Louisiana Obesity Council, visit

 For more information on Rep. Williams’ walk, contact his legislative assistant, Renada Young, at (318) 676-5990.