Statewide summit set to improve health policy in Louisiana on March 29

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, along with several other elected officials, policymakers, and national and state healthcare leaders, are set to convene at the 2016 Health Summit: Creating an Agenda for a Healthy Louisiana.  The first-ever statewide summit, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 at the C.B. Pennington, Jr. Building Conference Center in Baton Rouge, is designed to share vital knowledge in efforts to create a policy agenda for healthcare and to build collaborative partnerships for improving community health statewide.
The Louisiana Center for Health Equity (LCHE) and the Campaign for Healthcare for Everyone- Louisiana are hosting the summit. The daylong event will build upon regional community forums held last year by the Department of Health and Hospitals-Office of Public Health that showed health impacts on Louisiana families, businesses and workforce productivity, healthcare providers, and the wellness of residents. Through the summit, this work and the subsequent recommendations will be shared with the Statewide Healthcare Delivery Systems Study Committee (HCR 170 of 2015) to inform its work of evaluating Louisiana’s healthcare system.
The event will kick off with a ‘State of the State’ address followed by a session on the economics of health.  Gov. Edwards will speak at 11 a.m. on healthcare financing and Medicaid expansion.
The Center, founded in 2010, by President Alma C. Stewart, works to address the increasing disparities in health and health care across Louisiana. The organization also 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 charged with convening a study committee to evaluate and make recommendations concerning the state’s system of healthcare, and a task force to make recommendations related to health services delivery and financing in the Baton Rouge area. In addition, the nonprofit serves as a collaborator with several other organizations to establish baseline data on access to health care in Louisiana and make recommendations concerning the health system that emphasize prevention and wellness.
The event sponsors include the Louisiana Public Health Institute, Amerigroup Louisiana, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Community Plan-Louisiana, AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana and Pennington Biomedical Research Center. 
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