As Louisiana begins to reopen community organizations in a phased approach, check out the guidance for your organization type.
We’re all looking for reliable information right now, as well as good news. As a trusted member of your community, you can help to spread the word about staying healthy during COVID-19, especially for those residents who are managing chronic diseases at home. Here are a few ways you can use your voice:
Having dependable information on your website for your community is important because they know and trust you as a community member. Copy our resources onto your website, or link back to our community member web page at wellaheadla.com/Living-Well-Ahead/COVID-19 to ensure you have the information our residents need.
If your organization has a presence on social media, stay active! Local Facebook groups, community forums and discussion boards can offer support and encouragement to people who are sheltering at home alone, as well as being a good place to share information. If you need help with content, you can use these templates! Please tag Well-Ahead Louisiana at @WellAheadLA so we can see and like your posts!
Are you providing online services for your community? Religious services, exercise classes and cooking demonstrations are just a few of the services that are now being streamed digitally. Taking time to mention chronic disease self-management resources at the start or end of your videos could be critical for your participants. If possible, share the link to wellaheadla.com/living-well-ahead/covid-19 on your video
Keep in contact with your stakeholders through email! MailChimp, Sender and Benchmark Email are some of the email marketing/messaging services that offer free packages to users. Be sure to share resources to help self-manage their chronic conditions and ask your clients, members or even donors to pass the resources along to friends and family members.
In the News
Local TV and radio stations, as well as local newspapers, are looking for informational content right now around COVID-19, especially if it’s locally based. If you’re not sure how to contact your local media, you can call the news desk at the local paper or radio station, or the assignments editor at your TV station, and ask for the health reporter. You can also use this press release template and email it to a reporter, editor or assignments editor.
Here’s a list of many of the local newspapers, television stations and radio stations if you need to find one in your area.
Instead of canceling your existing programs, take them online! Try out video conferencing to continue your work in the community. This is a great alternative for offering services like health coaching, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations and more. Check out the video conferencing services below to get started! Some rules and restrictions, like time limits, do apply. Contact us at email@example.com if you need support geauxing virtual.
With limited doctor visits and emergency services available, residents with elevated blood pressure and blood sugar need to be aware and careful of food choices and serving sizes that are high in salt and sugar.
Restaurant owners and managers with curbside pick-up and delivery options can help our communities manage their diabetes and blood pressure by offering items with reduced sodium, fat and sugar. Restaurants can also:
- Consider downsizing on portions and cost, or offering healthy family-sized meal options.
- Limit items that may seem healthy but are not, such as salad dressing, cheese, bacon, and condiments. Rather than adding them to the meal, place them on the side or ask patrons if they need certain condiments.
- Offer more veggie side dishes instead of high calorie, high starch side dishes.
- Prepare and offer more baked, steamed, grilled, or broiled instead of fried entrees.
Community organizations can partner with local farmers or farmers’ markets to expand access to healthy food options. For example, Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance (BREDA) in Baton Rouge is holding a “Drive Thru Market” at Pennington Biomedical Center.
No Kid Hungry is a national organization working to end childhood hunger. To learn more about how your community can help or get help from No Kid Hungry, visit their COVID-19 specific webpage.
Residents diagnosed with high blood pressure and/or diabetes have daily supply needs to self-monitor and manage their chronic disease. When individuals do not have access or enough supplies to manage their chronic disease this can become a life-threatening situation.
Often times, health insurance providers can work with their members to provide preventive and management supplies. If someone is in need of supplies, have them call their health insurance provider and speak with their case manager or a customer service representative to review what supplies they might be eligible to receive.
If the person does not have health insurance, encourage them to sign up for Louisiana Medicaid Services. There are several ways to apply:
Did you know that many pharmacies now deliver medication? If someone with a chronic disease is worried about making regular trips to the pharmacy, they can call and check with their pharmacy to learn if delivery is an option!
For patients having trouble affording their supplies, there are some patient assistance programs available:
According to the CDC, tobacco users are more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic diseases such as, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. Residents with these chronic diseases and COVID-19 are at high-risk for complications.
Quitting tobacco results in immediate health benefits and greatly reduces tobacco-related disease, disability, and death, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many of the health problems linked to tobacco-related illness can greatly compromise a person’s overall quality of life, making it harder for a person to breathe, get around, work or play.
Help us move Louisiana’s health forward by helping your community members quit tobacco. Living tobacco-free helps to protect Louisiana families and communities every day. Below are free quit resources available to Louisiana residents.
Quit With Us, Louisiana (1-800-Quit-Now): is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at no cost to Louisiana residents. It incorporates evidence-based strategies for quitting tobacco through telephone and web-based tobacco cessation coaching. It also provides nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), text messaging support, printed materials, and referral to community resources. To learn more, visit the Quitline’s website, www.quitwithusla.org. You can also encourage community members to follow the Quitline on Facebook and Twitter for encouragement and support. You can even share the Quitline’s posts and tweets on your community organization’s Facebook or Twitter to amplify quit tobacco messaging in your community!
Smoking Cessation Trust: The Smoking Cessation Trust requires participants to meet certain criteria, and is a great resource for those who qualify. Eligibility requirements for applicants include:
- A current Louisiana resident
- To have begun smoking on or before September 1st, 1988
The Trust provides cessation medications, individual/group cessation counseling, and telephone quitline support at no cost to qualified residents. Please call (855) 259-6346 or visit www.smokingcessationtrust.org for more information.
Share Youth Quit Resources with Parents, Teachers and Schools:
Smokefree Teen: The National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree Teen is a mobile-based tobacco intervention for 13 to 17-year-old tobacco users interested in or actively trying to quit tobacco. Smokefree Teen addresses key barriers and motivators for youth to quit tobacco use of all types and provides evidence based cessation resources and interventions to help youth initiate and sustain a quit attempt. SmokeFree Teen offers a youth focused app (quitSTART), text service (SmokefreeTXT), and e-cigarette/vape specific content on its website. For more information, please visit https://teen.smokefree.gov/.
Louisiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-Quit-Now) Youth Support Program: The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline offers a youth support program for tobacco users ages 13 to 17. The program includes support tailored to the unique challenges faced by youth through telephone and web-based cessation coaching. The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline also connects youth callers to national and community based cessation resources. For more information, please call 1-800-Quit-Now or visit http://www.quitwithusla.org/.
Tobacco Cessation Resources in Your Community:
The Well-Ahead Louisiana Community Resource Guide helps you find local resources for topics like breastfeeding, diabetes, healthy eating, physical fitness, stress management and tobacco cessation. To search for local tobacco cessation resources available in your community, please visit our Community Resource Guide. If you have a tobacco cessation resource that you’d like to be added, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changing health related behaviors begins with changing the conversation around health. Now is a perfect time to begin that conversation! You can help your community prevent or manage chronic conditions taking steps like:
Becoming a WellSpot
WellSpots are workplaces in Louisiana that voluntarily implement healthy changes (wellness benchmarks) in their environment to help their employees and community live well. Places that meet certain wellness benchmarks are designated as a Level 1, 2 or 3 WellSpot. Being designated as a WellSpot is a big accomplishment! Upon designation, you will receive a recognition certificate from the Louisiana Department of Health. You will also receive an official WellSpot decal to display on the entrance of your school and a promotional toolkit to help you promote your designation on social media, to the press and more! Learn more here.
Implementing a Worksite Wellness Program
Placing value on your employees' health inspires a happier, more productive workforce – no matter how big or small your workplace is! A major goal of a worksite wellness program is to make the work environment supportive of healthy behaviors like healthy eating, being physically active, managing stress and quitting tobacco. Check out our step by step guide to implementing a worksite wellness program.
Starting a National Diabetes Prevention Program
You can help your community prevent type 2 diabetes by offering the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) at your workplace or community organization. The National DPP can cut a person’s risk of getting type 2 diabetes in half and reduce the serious conditions associated with prediabetes. Learn more about the National DPP. Email email@example.com to get started today!
Small choices towards wellness, enabled by the environments we're in every day, give us the opportunity for balance. Be a leader in making changes that that gives your community the chance to feel better and enjoy life a little longer. For more information on healthy changes you can make in your organization, check out the WellSpot benchmarks for your organization type!