Friday, December 15, 2017

What you need to know before buying lottery tickets as a gift

Author: Quinetta Womack, Director of Problem Gambling Services

A quick Google search shows pages and pages of ideas on ways to give lottery tickets as gifts or as decorations for the holidays. This isn’t unusual as gambling is often characterized as being harmless fun. During the holidays well-meaning parents and relatives often give lottery tickets, scratch-offs and other gambling games to children, allowing the child to dream, if just for a minute, of having all the toys in the world.

In reality, no one ever points out that the odds of hitting the jackpot are miniscule. Instead, we are actually, but inadvertently, promoting gambling to our children.  According to the Association of Problem Gambling (APGSA), studies show that some of the highest rates of problematic gambling are among young people under age 18. This simple stocking stuffer, given with all good intentions, can help promote problem gambling. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

How we are helping providers better serve people with complex developmental disabilities and medical needs

Author: Mark Thomas, Assistant Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health
Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities


In Louisiana, there are over 38,000 people identified as eligible for services in our disability data system.  They are your friends, relatives, parents and children.  At the Louisiana Department of Health, we strive to assist those with disabilities who need our support and services. 

These benefits are achieved through our Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, or OCDD, which serves as the single-point-of-entry into the developmental disabilities services system and oversees public/private residential services and other services for people with developmental disabilities. Local human services districts/authorities serve as the points of entry* for individuals to receive those services.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Your chances of surviving an emergency are better because you live in Louisiana

Author: Dr. Rosanne Prats, Executive Director, Emergency Preparedness


When November ended, so too did the hurricane season. In Louisiana, each spring begins with trepidation of hurricanes and the unknown storm(s) that may rip up the state from bottom to top. So, when the season ends in November, it is with the relief of surviving yet another season.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Don’t let food poisoning spoil your holiday meal

David J. Holcombe, M.D., M.S.A., Regional Medical Director, Region 6 (Alexandria Region)

The recent jambalaya fund-raiser in central Louisiana that resulted in an outbreak of Salmonella demonstrates the potential for food contamination when large meals are prepared. The outbreak made nearly 160 people getting sick, sent 45 people to the hospital and is suspected to have caused one death, staggering numbers for a city of only 384 people.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Behavioral Health Partnership Supports Quitline Sustainability

Author: Melissa Martin, Director, Well-Ahead Louisiana

Since 2014, the Louisiana Department of Health’s Well-Ahead Louisiana initiative and Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) have partnered to address tobacco use in the behavioral health population. The partnership has allowed for better data collection that shows a large percentage of callers to the Quitline also have a mental illness.