|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.”
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
A ballpark snack topped with BBQ meat can be found cruising town on a food truck
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
If President Barack Obama’s poll numbers, and those for his health care law, haven’t yet bottomed out in the Bayou State, then Democrats surely don’t want to know what the statistical floor actually looks like.
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With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
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A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
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It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
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The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
As this year’s budget process slogs forward and the Lafayette Parish School Board maintains its hard-headed stance against using any of its more than $60 million reserve fund, another slate of critical programs have rolled through the chopping block, despite the ramifications for the school system.
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Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.