Coalition learns about recent health trends

Published 4:29 am Saturday, July 29, 2017

By Gail Brigham

For The Daily News

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services recently heard a presentation from Angela Houlemard, operations manager of Washington Community Health Center and Marco Guerra, their focus group manager.

The meeting was held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25, at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church. The Focus Program detailed the trends of Hepatitis C and B, and HIV/AIDS, as well as other Washington Parish health trends.

The presentation revealed that in Washington Parish for the second quarter of 2017, there were 135 screened — 16 were hepatitis C positive and six were Hepatitis B positive.

Reports were given by member agencies, including a report from the Louisiana Partnerships for Success, where the members compared the Caring Communities 2016 survey with the 2014 survey. The survey is given to all students in Washington Parish every two years.

When asked how many times they had been high or drunk at school, 26 percent of 12th graders reported that they were drunk or high at school. When the survey questioned, “How many times have you had five or more alcoholic drinks in a row in the past two weeks?,” 13 percent of sixth graders answered in the affirmative.

A representative from Catholic Charities urged flood victims to go to to file for flood damages for March and or August floods. Another member invited the group to learn how to become a WellSpot. The Golden Pear is a Well-Ahead WellSpot. They are paving the way for healthy living in Louisiana. Well-Ahead Louisiana, the first voluntary designation program of its kind in the state, encourages organizations and individuals to make small healthy lifestyle changes to the spaces where Louisiana residents spend most of their time. Follow Well-Ahead Louisiana on Facebook and Twitter @WellAheadLA or learn more at

Also, an Office of Public Health representative reported that Region 9 has the highest rate of child drownings in Washington Parish, and talked about water safety in our area.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 9:30 a.m. at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church in Bogalusa, with a preliminary committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. Healthy refreshments will be served.

The coalition involves people who represent flood recovery, business, civic groups, health care professionals, law enforcement, media, parents, faith organizations, schools, state government agencies, substance abuse organizations, youth and youth-serving organizations. The coalition is open to all.

To find out more about the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services, visit online at or like the coalition on Facebook at WPCHS. Find and follow the coalition on Twitter at, or on Instagram at

Gail Brigham is the treasurer of the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services.