State group honors White

Published 4:01 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Louisiana Rural Health Association is proud to announce that State Rep. Malinda White has been awarded the LRHA 2018 Legislator of the Year Award for her passionate, caring, dedicated leader and unwavering desire to advocate for her district’s residents to improve their holistic health and quality of life.

White was awarded this award for being an outspoken voice for quality healthcare as well as for behavioral and emotional health needs, especially associated with the unprecedented drug epidemic in her district. During the legislative session, when rural hospital funding was threatened, she met with legislatures and spoke boldly and openly on the house floor to save the Washington Parish rural hospitals.

Rene Ragas, Our Lady of Angels Hospital CEO, stated, “Rep. White is a tireless advocate for funding of safety net care in the rural community of Washington Parish.”

As is her nature, she has provided hands-on advocacy in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Health, Governor’s Office and Our Lady of Angels Hospital for opening the parish’s only drug detox and rehab center which is currently in the state contractual phase. She has been un-daunting on drawing attention to the dire need for comprehensive substance abuse treatment for her district. She actively supports the Bogalusa Strong Healthy Community Movement that addresses barriers to good health (physical, environmental, behavioral) providing crucial input on community needs during meetings and serves as a member of the Bogalusa Mayor’s Wellness Council.

Her leadership by example is evident through her active participation in the community. Resident Paul Farmer said it best, “Rep. White is a ‘doer’ not just a ‘talker. She is heavily involved in community affairs and has done a great job for our district. I give her the ‘highest marks’ for all endeavors.”

White’s tireless support for the overall health and well-being of her rural district is truly making a difference.

Thank you, Representative White, for your passionate dedication to your community and residents. White was honored for her amazing work at the Louisiana Rural Health Association Annual Awards Banquet on Monday, Oct. 29, in Baton Rouge.

This article was written by Taffy Morrison, who is the Healthy Communities/Well-Ahead Coordinator for Region 9, which includes Washington Parish. The program is part of the Bureau of Chronic Disease Office of Public Health, with the Louisiana Dept. of Health.