|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.”
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Citing conflicting witness accounts, the city prosecutor will not pursue Tehmi Chassion’s allegation of simple battery against Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Smoked meat, fresh sides and the best boudin around
Michael Sam focuses on making the team; Christians flee Mosul; Kerry at work in Middle East and more national and international news for Wednesdays, July 23, 2014.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Cirque du Soleil effortlessly combines circus art with beloved Michael Jackson hits.
Kelly Guidry Open House
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
The 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Symposium is new to the line up and will debut in early December.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.
How the U.S. has gotten itself into another fine mess
The Heymann Center was transformed into a culinary adventure in mid-June for the EatLafayette kick-off event, A Taste of Lafayette, and for the third consecutive year, a sellout crowd filled the Cajundome Convention Center June 19 to hear LEDA chief Gregg Gothreaux’s State of the Economy report.
A look at recent hirings, promotions and other announcements from Acadiana's business community.