Plaquemines Parish is the largest parish long the Gulf Coast area with a uniqueness similar to the neighborhoods in Greater New Orleans. What makes the parish unique is its culture and diversity. Most importantly, the community’s ability to live off the land by fishing and hunting is a great natural economic resource. However, the community is quite vulnerable to natural disasters as well as commercial devastation. These events have upset the health and well-beings of the residents; nonetheless, their resiliency is shown in their strength and dignity. As stated by Prevention Institute, “People’s health is strongly influenced by the overall life odds of the neighborhood where they live…indeed Place Matters. Therefore, it was most appropriate that a discussion of where one lives, works, and worships is a true determination of one’s health and well-being take place with the parish residents who constantly face disasters; once again, Place Matters.
Health is affected by education, self-management and resiliency. Well-being is affected by housing, transportation, air, soil, and water. One can think of Place Matters as the social determinants of health. Are living conditions acceptable, are resources available, and if there are issues, are the problems properly addressed?
The Plaquemines Community C.A.R.E. Centers and Plaquemines Medical Center address Place Matters. The facilities assess the conditions of the community, disseminates resources and acknowledges the problems of health inequities. Medical and nursing personnel, clinical behavioral specialists and community health workers share roles in providing the community with health education, self-management of life styles and resiliency.
By: Patricia A. Davis, Client Health Worker