The LSU One Health Institute
Local One Health
Few populations in the U.S. suffer from as many health problems as do residents in our region. We rank near the top of all states in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and sexually transmitted diseases, among others. According to ongoing research at LSU, much of these diseases are believed to reflect health disparities between groups within the region. Many of these problems are preventable through education on health, disease prevention, and nutrition. In addition, many of these diseases are reversible with timely treatment or lifestyle changes. To affect change for our region we must tackle the following:
1. Gather data on health problems in the state. Information will be collected through collaboration with communities, hospitals and Pennington Biomedical Research Center, or a mobile clinic that might also enable sociological research into health disparities. The effort will also involve engagement with medical schools and LSU School of Public Health. Data collected could include health history, smoking history, geographic location relative to brownfield sites, blood pressure, micro-biomedical data, body mass index, family health history, neighborhood crime rates, economic status, lead levels in blood, CBC, and blood chemistry screens.
2. Identify why such problems exist. Fresh food deserts? Sedentary lifestyles? Few home cooked meals? Poor availability of facilities? Street safety? Poor primary and secondary school education? Sociologists and education professionals will be critical in conducting and analyzing proper surveys to assess these possibilities.
3. Implement strategies to address the problems. Such strategies will depend on the cause. At the very least, these issues would likely involve educational outreach programs from LSU to affect lifestyle changes and nutritional change. Strategies could also involve engagement with corporate and government partners to help fund such change.
Global One Health
The LSU One Health Institute will address select global health and sustainability problems. Initial proposals will be invited from faculty at LSU, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and LSU Health Sciences Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport. Leveraging LSU’s broad network of faculty and researchers, the synergism would also generate new energy, ideas, and approaches to these critical problems. Disciplines in which synergies could play a role are numerous and will depend on the problem, but could include agricultural experts, agronomists, architects, biologists, biostatisticians, bio-computing professionals, climatologists, economists, engineers, entomologists, hydrologists, physicians, public health experts, public policy experts, veterinarians, wildlife, and land management professionals.
LSU would help in the initial stages of proposal development by facilitating communication between LSU faculty and faculty at sister universities in other countries to partner and implement “boots on the ground” efforts to affect strategies to deal with the specific problem. These actions will involve student (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty exchanges, a degree program in world health, fostering interactions between units through joint seminars, and joint graduate student projects.