|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.”
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Two bedroom Acadian condo or three bedroom ranch style home
The political tilt of the Senate during President Barack Obama's final two years in office is likely to hinge on a handful of female contenders in tight and costly races.
A former BP executive will be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom later this month while he awaits trial on charges relating to an investigation of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
“Byzantine” is the word members of the nominating committee for the local flood protection authority often use to describe the complicated, multi-layered matrix of qualifications that must be met to fill a vacancy on that board.
South Koreans defend ramen; special forces had failed to find James Foley; Vegas lures LGBT tourists and more national and international news for Thursday, August 21, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Corned beef, melty cheese and rye bread ready for your lunchtime breakaway
Friends and family will celebrate Spider's life in September.
Saints safety Jairus Byrd has rarely been so eager to hit and be hit, if only to reassure himself that his surgically repaired back is as healed as doctors believe.
Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her main Republican challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, verbally sparred as they officially signed up on the opening day of qualifying for Louisiana's November election.
Superintendent tells crowd he'd just emerged from a four-hour meeting with the attorney hired to investigate him.
A hint of game day glam
The start of the three-day qualifying period for November’s elections has so far yielded 10 official bids and one new announcement from candidates seeking a seat on the school board.
The eagerness shown earlier this week by Lafayette Parish School Board president Hunter Beasley upon receiving a findings report from the special attorney investigating Superintendent Pat Cooper quickly faded once his fellow board members started asking for copies.
It’s been just over four months since attorney Barry Domingue committed suicide the morning before he was to stand trial for a second day in the federal Curious Goods case, leaving his fellow attorney/co-defendant Daniel Stanford with a temporary mistrial and awaiting his day in court.
Candidates for Louisiana's Nov. 4 election must officially sign up for the ballot this week.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's effort to derail Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards was halted Tuesday by a state judge who said the governor's actions were harmful to parents, teachers and students.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram isn't letting a humbling start to his pro career lower his opinion of what he can still accomplish in the NFL.
A vegan and gluten-free bakery tasty enough for any skeptic
In the Pelican State, Benjamin Franklin buys you about $109 worth of stuff.
Visualize Lafayette’s next great thing from 3,000 feet.
A Baton Rouge judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against enforcing a law that prohibits anyone 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.
Gov. Bobby Jindal believes the last-minute passage of a pension hike for his state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, was improperly handled, according to the governor's office.
Four bedroom colonial or three bedroom traditional home
Brittan Bush joins Liskow & Lewis, Blake David installed as the Third District Member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s board of governors, and Simien & Miniex announces 2014 scholarship winners.
“In some cases, we’ve found that these parts are nothing more than used junk yard parts. In others, we’ve found them to be foreign knock-off parts of questionable quality.”
The relaxed fan
Acadiana's nightlife guide.