Louisiana: The Well-Ahead Project Helps Keep Residents Healthy
In 2015, Louisiana led the nation in rates of several chronic conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. These health conditions typically change the quality of a person’s life, are expensive to manage, and can make working difficult. By making smarter choices, Louisianans can potentially live longer and enjoy for many years what makes their region unique, such as great music, food, and festivals. Wellness programs are ideal for teaching people how to make healthy lifestyle choices and how to practice healthy behaviors. The Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals used Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant funds to create Well-Ahead Louisiana—a wellness program that teaches residents how to make smart choices about their health.
Well-Ahead Louisiana partners with local restaurants, schools, hospitals, and businesses to help teach the community how to choose healthy foods, exercise every day, and stop tobacco use. Well-Ahead Louisiana also helped 93 organizations design employee health programs and taught health and wellness to more than 10,000 employees at 163 worksites.
By participating in the Well-Ahead program, businesses and worksites can earn the designation of “WellSpots” by building healthy activities into employees’ daily activities. From June 2014 to June 2016, more than 1,200 WellSpots across the state were recognized for addressing health concerns like offering healthy food options in businesses and restaurants, promoting worksite wellness, and improving air quality. Louisianans are enjoying healthier lunches at work, more opportunities to exercise at work or school, and smoke-free air.
Well-Ahead is about Louisiana’s people, leaders, businesses, and organizations taking action to make healthy living part of Louisiana’s celebrated culture
Story year: 2015