|Photo by Robin May|
|“The Living Lab Initiative will take all the existing
initiatives against obesity, add new technology and ideas,
and will give us a chance to really make a difference,” says
Geoff Daily, development director for the
Lafayette General Foundation.
The Living Lab Initiative aims to trim the fat.
Louisiana is fat. The Pelican State is perpetually ranked among the nation’s top 10 fattest — second only to Mississippi in 2012 with 33.4 percent of the population deemed obese, according to stats compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But fortunately the issue hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. It has, in fact, become the focus of an effort gaining momentum here in Lafayette called the Living Lab Initiative, which aims to turn the tide on Louisiana’s obesity epidemic.
The Living Lab Initiative was born in August 2011 through the Lafayette nonprofit FiberCorps. The idea, says FiberCorps founder Geoff Daily, is to combine existing local initiatives into a unified front against obesity.
A techie by trade, Daily says his involvement in the health care industry stems from his search for the best avenue for utilizing the full capabilities of fiber technology.
“Once an area has a fiber network, the question is what do you do with it next,” Daily says. “In Lafayette, we have the core infrastructure we need through LUS Fiber, so we decided to focus a lot of our energy on health care, because we thought that was the one area where we could really move the needle.”
Through the creation of a telemedicine clinic at Stuller Inc. and efforts like CampFiber for Healthcare — a series of community discussions focused on using fiber-powered technology to improve the area’s health care and obesity problems — Lafayette was chosen to be a pilot location for the Louisiana Health Information Exchange. Those developments eventually caught the attention of U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park.
In April, during CajunCodeFest 2012 (part of the inaugural INNOV8 Lafayette project), Park described Lafayette as “The best kept secret reservoir of innovation mojo in America.”
For Daily, one comment made by Park has stuck, primarily that Lafayette represents an area small enough to generate community participation to get the initiative going, but also big enough to have a national scale effect on the obesity epidemic.
“For us to move back the needle on childhood obesity, we have to have everyone working together,” says Daily, who recently was hired as development director for the Lafayette General Foundation, which raises funds and awareness to advance health care throughout Acadiana.
To show who will help in getting the Living Lab Initiative off the ground, Daily points to Lafayette’s Healthy Community Club, which consists of more than 20 local organizations that are already working together on the issue.
“The Living Lab Initiative will take all the existing initiatives against obesity, add new technology and ideas, and will give us a chance to really make a difference,” says Daily. “We haven’t defined yet the full scope of what this will look like, but one idea is to use venture philanthropy, or investing in companies to be created, that will help supercharge our effort to make Lafayette a hub of the health care industry.”
Co-founder Ryan Trahan goes solo to keep it local.
Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
Lafayette patio home or Port Barre waterfront cottage
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
A few of my favorite things
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.