From the President

Alma Stewart, Founder of LCHE

“…we will make a difference along the way.”

Our Mission

Louisiana Center for Health Equity works to address the increasing disparities in health and health care across Louisiana. LCHE represents the interest of health equity by promoting the elimination of health disparities caused by poverty, lack of access to quality health care and unhealthy environmental conditions with a focus on wellness and community health.

LCHE is a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit organization with IRS status as a 501 (C) (3) tax exempt public charity established in January 2010. The Center functions primarily as an "eco-friendly virtual center," meaning as paperless as practical, with plans of evolving capability through this website.

LCHE is independently governed by a Board of Directors with a unique approach to improving community health through service to and for the people of Louisiana.

Our Goals

  • Reach out to local communities by providing information and education.
  • Serve as a means for collaboration with other entities about health disparities.
  • Identify and distribute information about effective and proven practices.

Our Interests

Health outcomes vary across the state due to numerous factors including diet and exercise, alcohol and tobacco use, and risky behaviors. Access to quality health care and the environment also play a role. Social and economic factors such as education, employment, income, family and social support, and community safety play a significant role as well.

Louisiana is ranked 50th as the least healthy state in the United States, according to the 2015 America’s Health Rankings.


  • High prevalence of smoking
  • High prevalence of obesity
  • High percentage of children in poverty

      Many Louisiana residents are struggling financially and many (15.7 percent) are without health insurance. However, the rate of uninsured Louisianans is decreasing. Additionally, in the past 5 years, children in poverty increased 73% from 19.5% to 33.7% of children and public health funding decreased 33% from $95 to $64 per person. To view the full report click here.

      The National Institute of Health defines disparities as the difference in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those most vulnerable to health disparities include racial and ethnic minorities. Other populations may be vulnerable based on disability status, age, and risk status related to sex and gender, socio-economic status, and other social characteristics.

      Health equity is the response to health disparities. It is the opportunity for all people to attain their full health potential in spite of their social circumstances.

      Our Leadership

      The Board of Directors of the Louisiana Center for Health Equity is composed of not more than 13 members, including a Chair and the following officers: President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer. Each board member serves a two-year term which is renewable. As a public charity nonprofit organization, the members of the Board of Directors serve in a voluntary capacity and receive no remuneration for their services.

      Board Members and Officers:

      • Christopher Williams, Chair, Performance Improvement Manager, LDH Office of Public Health, Baton Rouge
      • Diane Hargrove-Roberson, Vice Chair, Community Advocate, Terrytown
      • Alma C. Stewart, President, Organization Development Consultant, Baton Rouge
      • Feamula R. Bradley, Secretary, Policy /Advocacy Manager /Healthcare Educator, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Shreveport
      • Lynda M. Batiste, Treasurer, Accounting, Southern University Ag Center, Baton Rouge
      • Tasha Bergeron, Director of Population Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Baton Rouge
      • Ritney Castine, Principal and Chief Strategist, Imagine Greater and Pastor, Trinity Church, Gonzales 
      • Juana A. Crear, Esq.,MBA, Attorney, Crear Law Firm, LLC, New Orleans
      • Thomas J. Durant, Jr., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
      • Gina E. Eubanks, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Zachary
      • Peggy A. Honore, DHA, Professor /Research, LSU Health Sciences Center, Destrehan