Louisiana is home for nearly 4.5 million people rich in diversity. Louisiana is known for its food and music, subtropical climate, and historical landmarks. Our state is unique and like none other. During its early history, fertile land made many Louisiana planters among the wealthiest men in America. The state later became a major producer of oil and natural gas. Today, Louisiana remains vital to petroleum refining and petrochemicals manufacturing.
While the state has a wealth of natural resources, there are Louisiana residents that attend school, live and work in conditions leaving them prone to poor health. They are forced to give up basic necessities such as nutritious food and safe housing. Too many working families are struggling, and health care is the easiest necessity to eliminate.
Furthermore, Louisiana residents experience unhealthy circumstances, including premature deaths from preventable diseases and infants that do not survive, at higher rates than most of our fellow Americans across this country. This reality led me to create the Louisiana Center for Health Equity (LCHE). As LCHE’s president and founder, I envision a different scenario allowing everyone the option of choosing to live a healthy life, where health is viewed as a measure of wealth. LCHE’s goal is to raise awareness of opportunities to become a healthy Louisiana.
I am certain this is a massive initiative to undertake! Yet, it’s one that must be addressed in our homes, schools, and communities. Join me in this journey, and we will make a difference along the way. When the residents of Louisiana are healthier, we will all reap the benefits as a society.
Alma C. Stewart, RN, MS, CCHC, Founder and President
Louisiana Center for Health Equity