Healthy BR identifies city's top health priorities

Healthy BR identifies city's top health priorities

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Healthy BR has established a "Bold Goal" to make Baton Rouge healthier by 2021. Healthy BR teamed up with Humana's Bold Goal Health Advisory Board to come up with the vision for a healthier Baton Rouge.

A workshop and seminar held Monday at BREC brought together several members who represent different areas, faith-based, non-profits, business communities, as well as health communities, to assess the community health needs. Speakers from LSU and Pennington Biomedical Research Center addressed health issues such as childhood obesity, food access, and social determinants of health.

"I believe that what we are moving toward is recognizing that there are social determinates to healthcare, to quality health in our community. We're taking Mayor's Healthy City Initiative to another level by looking at social determinates to health," said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, who leads the board of directors for Healthy BR.


  • Circumstances in which people are kept from achieving their best health and are often conditions outside of their control
  • Barriers or roadblocks that prevent good health

"Focusing on social determinates of health, on food insecurities like food deserts, we will be able to address the issues affecting our disinvested communities" said Mayor Broome.

Six hundred people from every zip code across the parish participated in a major community survey in 2017 to rank the top 10 health issues in the Baton Rouge area. Healthy BR was able to identify the top four health priorities based on that ranking.


  • Access to care (how people are getting to care & making sure there’s an equitable distribution of care)
  • Behavioral health (mental health, substance abuse)
  • Healthy living (eating well, being active, not smoking)
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV

"I certainly have a heightened commitment as it relates to addressing the incidents of HIV and AIDS in our community to make sure that we lower those numbers," said Mayor Broome.

Humana's "Bold Goal" for Baton Rouge is to become 20 percent healthier by 2021. They'll measure success by tracking "Healthy Days."

Part of Humana's strategy includes working with community and physician partners to connect people with care and community resources. Those are similar to the goals of Healthy BR, making it the perfect partnership to move forward with the next step in the Mayor's Healthy City Initiative.

"We are putting together a Community Health Needs Assessment, a road map of what we are going to do to address the health needs in our community. There's going to be an implementation plan. We are going to track the initiatives and programs to address those four health outcomes," said Jared Hymowitz, Director of Mayor's Healthy City Initiative.


  • Form advisory group
  • Collect data
  • Analyze data
  • Develop report
  • Disseminate findings

Along with addressing the city's top priorities, the Community Health Needs Assessment aims to identify gaps in programs and resources for people of Baton Rouge and how to address the disparities in different communities.

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