Our Mission

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

What We Do

Policy Advocacy

We engage in non-partisan advocacy on issues that align with our mission to address health disparities and promote equitable health outcomes.

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Learning and Training

We offer a number of equity-centered learning and training opportunities to expand knowledge and build capacity at the individual, organization and community levels and to facilitate collective action.

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Community Outreach and Engagement 

We inform and galvanize grassroots efforts in mobilizing around health inequities rooted in racial and social injustice. We inform and galvanize grassroots efforts in mobilizing around health inequities rooted in racial and social injustice. 

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Strategic Innovation and Impact

We assist organizations in identifying gaps and opportunities, creating plans and executing actions to realize results with a focus inclusive of determinants of health.

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Our Board

The Louisiana Center for Health Equity’s Board of Directors is comprised of 3 to 13 members. 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.

Alma C. Stewart

President, Organization Development Consultant

Baton Rouge

Anita A Harrell

Community Advocate

Baton Rouge

Diane Hargrove Jupiter

Chair, Community Advocate

Terrytown

Frederick Bell

Youth Mentor and Advocate

New Orleans

Ritney Castine Headshot

Ritney Castine

Principal and Chief Strategist, Imagine Greater and Pastor Trinity Church

Gonzales

Mark A. Perry

Instructor of Secondary Education, High School Coach

Denham Springs

I am taking a class called Social Advocacy and we are currently focusing on healthcare discrimination. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued efforts to ensure equal medical treatment for all. Healthcare discrimination is still a very prevalent issue in our nation- especially in the South. It is thanks to efforts from organizations like the Louisiana Center for Health Equity that this issue is slowly being solved, and I am grateful for those efforts.

– Jordan R., High School Student, Concord, CA

I just want to thank you for all of the hard work you all do with programs for children. Both of my children have participated in and enjoyed each program that you all offer.

– The Wheeler and Moore families

Building Respect in Community (BRIC) of Philadelphia, PA is proud to speak to the value and importance of Alma Stewart and the Louisiana Center for Health Equity. Baton Rouge is blessed to have one whose deep passion and extraordinary skills continue to uplift her community. Ms. Stewart has engaged in decades of work to make healthcare more accessible to her community and to provide programming that uplifts the spiritual and physical well being of youth. The State of Louisiana and the Greater Baton Rouge community are both greatly strengthened by the committed work of Louisiana Center for Health Equity.

– Minister Dr. Mary L. Wade, Ph.D.
Philadelphia, PA

Our Bold Vision #LA40by2030

Historically, Louisiana has struggled to improve its outcomes in education, incarceration, and health. In fact, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our state frequently ranked between 49th and 50th in annual state health outcomes. In direct response to these startling statistics, LCHE and partners launched #LA40by2030, a collaborative effort to improve Louisiana’s health ranking to 40th by the year 2030. This innovative and bold vision was first announced at the 2020 Health Summit: Advancing Health Equity for Children and Families. As an outgrowth of the summit, LCHE published a written report.

The report details four recommendations for policies to improve health outcomes for women, children, and families.

• Set a state minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage
• Implement trauma-informed approaches and services for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
• Establish a state-run entity to coordinate a systematic approach to women’s health, such as an Office on Women’s Health
• Prioritize and adopt key America’s Health Rankings’ health measures as policy

As LCHE celebrates its 10th anniversary, we are excited to build upon our longstanding commitment to championing causes that align with our mission to reduce health disparities and improve the quality of life for all Louisianans.

Policy Advocacy

Underlying every equitable system are strong, clear policies that afford all individuals the tools they need to lead healthy, productive lives. At LCHE, one of our core strategies for improving health outcomes is policy advocacy through direct actions, campaigns, legislative testimony and policy recommendations.

Currently, our policy agenda centers around supporting the behavioral health needs of youth exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and championing issues pertaining to women and children including, but not limited to maternal and infant mortality and lack of access to quality care. We are also working collaboratively with community stakeholders to strengthen our racial and economic equity agenda and craft policy recommendations to that end.

Under the commission of the Louisiana Legislature, LCHE convened regional and statewide studies to evaluate Louisiana’s healthcare system, service delivery and financing policies. These studies were authorized under the following legislation and remain unfunded:

Louisiana Statewide Healthcare Delivery System Study – House Concurrent Resolution 22 of the 2016 R.S. (HCR 22)
This study is currently pending due to lack of funding.

Health Services Delivery and Financing Capitol Region Task Force – Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 of the 2016 R.S. (SCR 4)
This study has been completed by LCHE and follow up on the findings are currently underway.

Learning and Training

We offer a number of equity-centered learning and training opportunities to expand knowledge and build capacity at the individual, organization and community levels and to facilitate collective action.

Offerings range in content, length and format for audiences including professionals, policymakers, community members and youth. Though our learning and training programs and activities are typically offered in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several have been adapted to a virtual format and are announced as they become available. Select professional learning opportunities may also include continuing education credits in accordance with credentialing requirements. LCHE’s recurring offerings include, but are not limited to, the Annual Health Summit, Women’s Health Day symposium and webinars, Youth Peace Olympics and LYFE Line Teen Summit.

In addition to our programs and events, we also offer experiential learning opportunities for students and emerging professionals in the form of internships, fellowships, service learning, pro bono opportunities and the like. LCHE has proudly hosted a wide array of learners, including medical and public health post-doctoral fellows, law students, social work interns and undergraduate students in various fields. For more information, please reach out to us via our ‘Join Our Team’ page.

Testimonials:

“I was given the opportunity to serve as a volunteer for four years and to evaluate the Louisiana Center for Health Equity’s (LCHE) Youth Peace Olympics (YPO) youth violence prevention/intervention program. By utilizing an instrument that was tested for validity and reliability, I was able to gather results based on best practice theoretical approaches to show that the program intervention provided significant change in the youth participants’ beliefs about approval of aggression based on their general beliefs as well as their beliefs of being provoked. This study was selected to be presented at the 2020 American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference. I am grateful to have been a part of this initiative and wish the YPO program many more years of success!”

– Shonta Manuel, MPH, PhD

 

“Seven years ago, I was a participant in the Youth Peace Olympics sponsored by the Louisiana Center for Health for Equity. After witnessing firsthand its commitment to community, I accepted the offer last year to join the board with glee. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of work geared toward equity and justice.”

– Frederick Bell,
LCHE Board Member

“The Louisiana Center for Health Equity is my family. It has equipped me with so many life skills and experiences. From being a youth in the Youth Peace Olympics to now working for the organization, I have discovered a sense of purpose and for that I’m forever grateful.”

– Jordan Stewart,
LCHE Youth Development Program Assistant
Southern University of Baton Rouge, Senior Social Work Major

Community Outreach and Engagement

Throughout the year LCHE hosts events and programs to encourage community members of all ages to make healthy lifestyle choices and build stronger, healthier communities. Through the loyal support of our community partners, our offerings are made available for free or at minimal cost to participants.

Youth Peace Olympics click here
Hosted annually, the Youth Peace Olympics (YPO) is a free youth enrichment program with a public health approach. The program is hosted on Saturdays and serves youth ages 10-17. Through workshops, sports, field trips and more, YPO seeks to educate and empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and curb violence. The YPO in-person program began in the Gardere/South Burbank communities and extended to Old South Baton Rouge. However, in light of COVID-19, YPO is being hosted virtually and welcomes youth from all Baton Rouge communities. For more information, and to apply, click here (link to youthpeaceolympics.org)

LYFE Line Teen Summit – The LYFE (Louisiana Youth for Excellence) Line Teen Summit is an annual leadership development program. The Teen Summit, launched in 2019, includes interactive advocacy trainings, workshops, conversations and recreational activities designed to help youth unpack important community topics, network with peers and frame their perspectives as current and future leaders.

LYFE Live – The Louisiana Center for Health Equity (LCHE) and Louisiana Youth for Excellence (L.Y.F.E.) host the L.Y.F.E. Live, Virtual Teen Dialogue Series. This series consists of interactive discussions and relatable topics for teens. L.Y.F.E. Live focuses on enhancing our youth’s knowledge and skills to help prepare them to be successful in their bright futures.

Testimonials:

Armani (Age 17): “I just want to say thank you for this experience. I am so happy that I was put into this group of amazing and wonderful people who are confident and love sharing their experiences. I hope I could do this again but in person. Thank you.”

Sadaya (Age 14): “It was a really good experience. It was very educational and fun. I learned things about financial literacy and sexual diseases. It felt like a really good environment in general, like a safe place.”

Chandler (Age 14): “This was my first time attending the summit, and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I must say it was amazing. It was so informative especially the presentation about youth advocacy, which is needed in this climate. All of the speakers were all really good and besides learning, I had a lot of fun.”

Together We Are More (TWRM):

A Holistic Approach to Adolescent Health is a collaborative initiative in Baton Rouge to create opportunities for youth to live healthier and more productive lives. LCHE convened TWRM to develop a public health approach to adolescent health. The priorities are reducing violence and homicide, reducing the high school dropout rate, increasing social supports, and increasing extra-curricular out of school activities and more recently, suicide prevention.

Strategic Innovation and Impact

At LCHE, we understand that shared goals and thoughtful collaboration are the keys to success. Accordingly, we are pleased to lend our expertise as strategic partners to organizations and businesses who share in our mission and are committed to services, programs and policies that promote equity. If you or your organization would like to learn more about our services, please complete the form below. We would love to know how you are making a difference and how we can help!