A grant awarded to the Opelousas General Health System Foundation will work towards improving the overall health of St. Landry Parish by tackling tobacco use and other community needs.
The grant was awarded by the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC).
OGHSF says they will receive up to $60,000 per year from now through April 2025 to develop and implement a 5-year strategic plan that incorporates policies, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes that will educate both leaders and the general public about the dangers of tobacco use and provide resources for quitting.
They say the strategic plan is not limited to quitting and preventing tobacco, but will be an assessment of the health needs of the parish.
"We are excited to offer this funding to Opelousas General Health System Foundation, as it continues our tradition of facilitating groups working together to prevent disease and make healthy living options accessible," said Brian Burton, CEO of SWLAHEC.
OGHSF plans to execute the grant through a collaboration with Healthy St. Landry who will be tasked with selecting and developing strategies aimed at decreasing tobacco related health disparities in low socioeconomic status populations, according to a release.
"This grant is a huge step toward reaching those goals and expanding the Healthy St. Landry network of partners," said Tracey Antee, Foundation Director. "Together we can do so much more to take care of the people in our parish."
The grant is part of a collaboration between SWLAHEC and Well-Ahead Louisiana, the chronic disease prevention and healthcare access arm of the state Department of Health.
"Well-Ahead's vision is to reduce the burden of chronic disease for all Louisiana residents. This project is a great opportunity to partner with the St. Landry community to hear their needs and to implement healthy changes that will last well beyond the years of this project," said Robin Rhodes, Well-Ahead's Deputy Director.
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