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LA CaTS in the Community: West Carroll Parish Project

Released: Friday, September 12, 2014

A collaboration between Pennington Biomedical, LSU AgCenter and Southern University Ag Center is addressing "real world" health issues is a parish of great need.

Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved a pilot project to help support this effort, funded in part by the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center, for a "Community-wide Health Assessment for West Carroll Parish".  This is a collaborative project between Pennington Biomedical, the LSU AgCenter, and Southern University Ag Center.

The objective of this project is to conduct a baseline health assessment of chronic disease, risk factors, and risk factor knowledge in West Carroll Parish. The community health assessment will include two components:

  1. a population health phone survey conducted by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab (address-based sample of 2,500 households; anticipate ~400 respondents), and
  2. community health screenings (screening for CVD risk factors including obesity, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia; 200 participants) conducted at the LSU/SU Ag Center Research and Extension Site in Oak Grove, Louisiana.

The results of this pilot project will identify the most applicable risk factor reductions to target for intervention in order to develop innovative intervention components designed for effective implementation in the rural Lower Mississippi Delta.

Chelsea Shepherd helps her little brother, Jacob Martinez, 4, try some kiwifruit at one of the exhibits at the Family Fall Fest in Oak Grove, sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, Southern University and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. "He'll eat anything," she said. Photo by Linda Foster Benedict
Nearly 400 people came from throughout West Carroll Parish to participate in the first Family Fall Fest in Oak Grove during the morning of Oct. 12. Photo by Linda Foster Benedict
Bobbie Anderson, who lives in Pioneer, won the door prize offered at the session on cooking with sweet potatoes taught by Dorris Thompson, a nutrition educator with the LSU AgCenter. Photo by Linda Foster Benedict
Stephanie Allen, a nurse with West Carroll Health Systems sitting at left, said blood pressures tended to be a bit high among participants at the fest; sugar levels tended to be good. Photo by Linda Foster Benedict
Terri Crawford, extension agent seated in the center, administered a scan test of the heel of the foot to check people's bone density. If the level was below normal, she encouraged them to visit their doctor. Photo by Linda Foster Benedict


About the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center
The LA CaTS Center is comprised of three primary collaborating institutions in the state, including LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans – and also includes six research partners: LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and in New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana, Children’s Hospital, Ochsner Health System, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, and University Medical Center.  The LA CaTS Center’s vision for Louisiana encompasses the strengths and capacities unique to each member institution and represents a unified, comprehensive approach for targeting prevention, care and research of chronic diseases in the underserved population.  The scholar program is supported in part by U54 GM104940 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health which funds the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center.  For more information, please visit