What do bioterrorism response, restaurant inspections, nutrition programs and childhood immunizations have in common? Although they seem unrelated, all are programs run through the Department of Health – Office of Public Health.

The week of April 4-10 has been designated National Public Health Week to help raise awareness about the many ways the nation’s public health systems affect everyday life. The theme for this year is “Empowering Louisianians to Live Stronger, Longer,” giving special emphasis to the need for preventive health care such as prenatal screenings, annual exams, immunizations and proper eating habits. In each region of the state, local LDH Offices of Public Health will provide information about the different programs available through the parish health units and outreach programs.

On April 4, LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise and other public health workers will host a press conference at Ralph Brennan’s Bacco Restaurant in New Orleans to announce the launch of an online restaurant inspection database. The database will be available on the LDH Web site at www.oph.dhh.louisiana.gov and will allow anyone interested to check restaurants throughout the state to see recent health inspection results. This project has been in development for almost two years, and its launch is set to coincide with National Public Health Week.

During the week, LDH-OPH will distribute 100 stroke education and 100 women’s heart health tool kits statewide to doctors with the CommunityCARE program, which focuses on primary and preventive health care for Medicaid recipients. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association donated the Go Red for Women! heart health kits and the LDH-OPH Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program donated the Stroke Patient Education tool kits.

In the Baton Rouge area, nurses with LDH-OPH will participate in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system’s Kindergarten Round-Up, administering childhood immunizations to pre-K and kindergarten children at 40 area schools. This event will take place Wednesday, April 6, to help children get up-to-date on their childhood vaccines before starting school in the fall.

OPH ‘s Parish Health Units throughout the state will provide a variety of health awareness events and promotions for all Louisianans, such as  medication management for the elderly at the Councils on Aging,   adult immunization, education on colon, breast and cervical cancers, nutrition, blood pressure screening, emergency preparedness, injury prevention, tobacco-free living, as well as health education seminars, health demonstrations and luncheons to promote quality of life, help individuals assume responsibility for their own health and enhance access of basic health care services for those in need. 

Local Wal-Marts and the American Cancer Society are among the many businesses and organizations participating in Public Health Week Activities, as well as local governments making proclamations to acknowledge National Public Health Week.

For more information on public health activities taking place in your region, please contact your local Office of Public Health (a list of regional phone numbers is included below.) Or, visit the OPH Web site at  http://www.oph.dhh.louisiana.gov click on “April 4th is Public Health Week” (on the top right of the screen), then click on for more information on Public Health Week activities.

New Orleans area --- (504) 599-0100    
Alexandria area --- (318) 487-5262
Baton Rouge area --- (225) 925-7200    
Shreveport area --- (318) 676-7470
Houma/Thibodaux area --- (985) 447-0916    
Monroe area --- (318) 361-7201
Lafayette area --- (337) 262-5311    
Florida Parishes --- (985) 871-1300
Lake Charles area --- (337) 475-3200