American Diabetes Alert Day

American Diabetes Alert Day, observed annually on the 4th Tuesday in March, is a one-day wake-up call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes, particularly when diabetes is left undiagnosed or untreated. 

Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans or about 9 percent of the United States population. It's also estimated that one in every four persons with diabetes is unaware that they have the disease. Did you know that if you have a family history of diabetes, you have a greater chance of getting the type 2 diabetes? That means if you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of getting the disease.

Could you have diabetes and not know it? One in four Americans with diabetes has it and doesn’t know it.  Take the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Risk Test to see if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Information provided by Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  


Irma White

Community Health Worker/Patient Navigator

Plaquemines Community Care Centers

March is National Gambling Addiction Month

Gambling in moderation is socially acceptable.  Many people enjoy gambling, whether it's playing the lottery, betting on a horse, playing a football pool, or playing poker and most people who gamble don't have a problem.  However, some people become addicted and a gambling addiction, if left untreated, can destroy lives.   

Signs of problem gambling include

  • Always thinking about gambling
  • Lying about gambling
  • Spending work or family time gambling
  • Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting
  • Gambling with money you need for other things

If you have concerns about your gambling, the CARE Center can work with you to find the treatment that's best for you.  Give us a call @ 504-393-5750 to schedule an appointment.

Patient Safety Awareness Week

This week, March 12-18, 2017 is Patient Safety Awareness Week.  

Although the responsibility for safe care lies primarily with the leaders of health care organizations and the clinicians and staff who deliver care, patients and families can also play a role in preventing medical errors and reducing harm. And, although barriers to patient engagement exist, being an active partner in your health care team is well worth the effort. 

At some point in our lives, we are all patients.  It is important for each of us to be familiar with everyday practices that can help us have a positive, safe experience when we seek health care.  It is also important that we pay attention, ask questions, and speak up if something is confusing or seems not right. 

So, what should patients do to keep care safe?

Adapted from Safety Is Personal: Partnering with Patients and Families for the Safest Care (NPSF LLI 2014), available for download at

Irma White

Community Health Worker/Patient Navigator

Plaquemines Community Care Centers

Daylight Savings begins March 12, 2017 and it is a great time to reset your sleep habits.

Daylight Savings Time is a great time to reset your sleep habits, as well as your clock.

If you have trouble sleeping, try the following sleep tips: 

  • Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
  • Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
  • Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
  • Create a sleep environment that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Save your worries for the daytime.  If concerns come to mind, write them in a "worry book" so you can address those issues the next day.
  • If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
  • Exercise regularly ... at any time of the day that feels right for you.

If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or “stop breathing” episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening. 

Article courtesy of National Sleep Foundation.

March is Save Your Vision Month.

This year, The American Optometric Association (AOA) is challenging the public to prioritize not only their eye health, but also their overall health and well-being, and limit exposure to blue light.  They are promoting awareness around digital eyestrain and the importance of receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams from a doctor of optometry.

The AOA’s campaign is focusing specifically on blue light’s impact on overall health.

According to 2016 AOA Eye-Q survey data, the average American spends seven hours per day using digital devices.

Overexposure to blue light due to smartphones, tablets and other technology use for extended periods of time can cause vision damage, sleep problems and more.

Read complete article here.  

National Sleep Awareness Week

March 5th-12th, 2017 is National Sleep Awareness Week.  Why is Sleep Awareness Important?

The National Institutes of Health estimates that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. Sleep disorders are common in both men and women. The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders represent an under-recognized public health problem and have been associated with a wide range of health consequences.  

Problems sleeping include not getting enough sleep, not feeling rested and not sleeping well. This problem can lead to difficulties functioning during the daytime and have unpleasant effects on your work, social and family life. Problems sleeping can be secondary to a medical illness such as sleep apnea or a mental health condition like depression. Sleep issues can also be a sign of an impending condition such as bipolar disorder.  In addition to affecting sleep itself, many medical and mental health conditions can be worsened by sleep related problems.  

Learn more about the connection between sleep and mental health here.  

Mardi Gras Safety

Mardi Gras 2017 falls on February 28.  The most popular time to visit the New Orleans area is during the Mardi Gras season.  So, if you're planning to celebrate this "greatest free show on earth" by attending the parades and/or the other numerous festivities,  it is advisable to follow these Mardi Gras safety tips

Mardi Gras safety tips provided Courtesy of National Safety Council, South Louisiana Chapter.  

National Children's Dental Health Month

Each year, the month of February is recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) as National Children's Dental Health Month to aid in increasing awareness and promoting healthy smiles for kids.  Why is this type of celebration—and year-round attention to children’s dental health--important?  This recognition hopes to emphasize to both parents and children the importance of being proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to pediatric oral health needs.  

Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. The good news is there are safe and effective preventive measures that can protect teeth.   

Info provided by American Dental Association.

National Donor Day

Not only is February 14 Valentine's Day, it is also National Donor Day.  National Donor Day is focused on five points of life:  organs, tissues, marrow, platelets and blood.  Organ donation and transplantation save over 28,000 lives a year.  


Donation and Transplantation:  How Does it Work?


Frequently Asked Questions About Organ Donation.


Listen to Blake's story and see what you can make possible.


Sign up to be a blood donor.


Information provided by the Health Resources & Services Administration of the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services.  




Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  Plaquemines Community CARE Centers Foundation, Inc. (CARE Center) wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do as a parent to prevent teen dating violence and abuse.


More than 1 in 10 teens who have been on a date have also been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year. One of the most important things you can do is keep the lines of communication open with your kids.

Take steps to make a difference:

  • Be a role model – treat your kids and others with respect.
  • Start talking to your kids about healthy relationships early – before they start dating.
  • Get involved with efforts to prevent dating violence at your teen’s school.
  • If you are worried about your teen, call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.

You can also help keep your loved ones safe and healthy by contacting the CARE Center.  Our mission is to assist victims of abuse.  We provide Counseling, Assessment/Advocacy, Resources and Early Intervention.  

For more information, visit our website.  Or, to make an appointment, call 504-393-5750.

Article provided by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

February is Heart Health Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.  Every journey begins with one step, whether it’s climbing a mountain or preventing heart disease. This American Heart Month, CDC is offering weekly tips for better heart health. Take your first step on the road to a healthy heart with us.

Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Heart attack symptoms. The five major symptoms of a heart attack are:

~Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
~Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint.
~Chest pain or discomfort.
~Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder.
~Shortness of breath.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9–1–1 immediately.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. These conditions also are leading causes of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.  

The situation is alarming, but there is good news—heart disease is preventable and controllable. We can start by taking small steps every day to bring our loved ones and ourselves closer to heart health. CDC is providing a tip a day throughout February, but you can take these small steps all year long.

One Step at a Time. As you begin your journey to better heart health, keep these things in mind:

~Don't become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart.
~Don't go it alone. The journey is more fun when you have company. Ask friends and family to join you.
~Don't get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. 
~Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress. 

Plan for Prevention. Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.

Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI). Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure a person's body fat.

Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, at a pharmacy, or at a doctor's office.

Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.

Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one. 

Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test. 

Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Take your medicine. If you're taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don't understand something.

Together, we can prevent heart disease, one step at a time. Have a healthy February!

Article courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention --Keeping You Safe 

CDC is the nation's health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic.  CDC increases the health security of our nation.  




National Wear Red Day

Friday, February 3, 2017 is National Wear Red Day.  Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day®.  

Find out more about National Red Day here.  

January 23 to January 29, 2017 is National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner starting in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.

Why Celebrate National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM? Looking at past month drug use among high school seniors, more than 5% misuse prescription drugs, more than 20% smoke marijuana, and 35% use alcohol.  Many teens are not aware of the risks to their health, to their success in school and the dangers while driving under the influence.  When teens are given the scientific facts about drugs, they can be better prepared to make good decisions for themselves and they can share this information with others.  

For more details visit

Information provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse.

National Drug Facts Week - Shatter the Myths!

How to Talk to a Loved One About Mental Health

When a loved one has a psychiatric disorder, it’s a challenge for the whole family: parents, siblings, friends and relatives. The willingness to come together as a unit, accept the diagnosis, look for help, go beyond criticism, blame and judgment will not guarantee recovery, but it makes it far more likely.  Denial and disapproval will only worsen the situation.

Family support is vital to recovery and consequences and challenges can result when parents, relatives and friends refuse to accept the illness or worse ostracize the individual who is struggling.

One tip to support a loved one with mental is to start dialogues, not debates. If your family member doesn’t agree she or he has an illness, talk about it; find out why. Listen without trying to change them or their mind. Forget the power struggle. Focus on building trust and rapport.

Read the complete Psychology today article "How to Help a Loved One with a Mental Illness" here.