A unique study released last week by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center uses maps to show where certain risk factors that could impede early childhood development are most prevalent across the state.
LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel and Epidemiologist Lina Brou said their study found that 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have at least one high-risk factor that could impede childhood development such as high unemployment, high teen birth rate and high percentage of uninsured children. The nature of that risk was also found to differ from parish-to-parish.
Goidel said the initial step to addressing the needs of the children across Louisiana is to first understand the nature of the risk in each parish.
When the federal government reduced its funding of Medicaid in Louisiana, the LSU charity hospital system took the brunt of the $152 million in cuts. LSU’s medical students, for whom the charity hospitals are a training ground, have been caught in the tumult.