Baton Rouge – In the weeks following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many of the Department of Health – Office of Public Health’s (DHH-OPH)

 Parish Health Units were closed. This was due to many health units that were left without power and drinkable water. However, even once those services were restored, many health units still could not open. This was largely due to lack of available staff. Many of the staff that would normally run the health units were called upon to provide services at the special needs shelters that had been established around the state. Special needs shelters are emergency shelters that are established by LDH-OPH and the Department of Social Services to house those with medical conditions who have no other place to go.

Currently there are special needs shelters that are still open in a number of regions, including Lafayette,AlexandriaBaton RougeMonroe and Shreveport. These shelters require medical staffing 24 hours a day. Teams have been brought in by the United State Public Health Service and other volunteer medical organizations that will supplement the LDH-OPH workforce. These teams have relieved the public health medical staff and have enabled them to turn their attention toward the parish health units. There are currently a great number of health units that have opened for regular service and many more that are slated to open within the next few weeks. The current status of the health units in each region is listed below:

  • Region 1 (New Orleans area) – Currently the only health unit that is open is the Jefferson Parish Health Unit in Metairie. At this time, the health unit is only open for immunization and sexually transmitted disease clinics, but additional services are scheduled to open within the next few weeks. For more information on services or hours of operation, please contact the health unit directly at 504-838-5100. All other health units in Orleans, Jefferson-Marrero, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes are closed until further notice.
  • Region 2 (Baton Rouge area) – currently all health units are operational, although some are operating at limited capacity. Health units in Iberville, West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana are fully operational. For more information on the services that are currently being offered at Ascension, East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana please contact the health units directly.

                        Ascension Parish – 225-474-2004

                        East Baton Rouge – 225-242-4928

                        East Feliciana – 225-683-8551

  • Region 3 (Houma/Thibodaux area) – At this time, all health units are open and fully operational
  • Region 4 (Lafayette area) – At this time, all health units are open and fully operational. Additional primary care services are being offered at the Lafayette Parish Health Unit.
  • Region 5 (Lake Charles area) – Currently, the only operational health units are located in Allen and Beauregard parishes. Both of these health units are operating at limited capacity. For more information on services offered at these health units, please call the health units directly: Allen Parish (318) 335-1147 and Beauregard Parish (337) 491-2080. At this time, the health units in Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes are not open. These clinics will open once authorization is granted from parish officials. The health unit in Cameron Parish sustained severe damage due to Hurricane Rita and will be closed indefinitely.
  • Region 6 (Alexandria area) – At this time, all health units are open and fully operational.
  • Region 7 (Shreveport area) – At this time, all health units are open and fully operational.
  • Region 8 (Monroe area) – At this time, all health units are open and fully operational.
  • Region 9 (Slidell area) – Currently, health units are open and fully operational in LivingstonSt. Helena, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. Announcements will be made as additional services are added. The health unit in Slidell sustained severe damage and flooding from Hurricane Katrina and will be closed indefinitely. A temporary site in the St. Tammany Parish government Information Van has been established in front of the Wal-Mart on Airport Drive in Slidell for immunization services. This is a walk-in clinic that is operated from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm. Immunizations are also being offered at St. Tammany Parish Hospital Community Wellness Center in Covington. To make an appointment, please contact the center directly at 985-871-6030. Those in the Slidell area in need of WIC services are encouraged to contact Slidell Memorial Hospital’s WIC Program at 985-847-0720.

Currently, vital records services are limited throughout the state due to damages sustained from Hurricane Katrina to the central office in New Orleans. In most cases, those born after 1983 should be able to obtain full copies of their birth certificates from any vital records issuing site that is currently open within the state. Those born before 1983 may only receive birth cards (smaller versions of their birth certificate) until the vital records office in New Orleans can reopen.