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Opelousas General Health System Foundation Named Grant Recipient from Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center

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Opelousas, La., 03/30/21 – Opelousas General Health System Foundation (OGHSF) is the recipient of a grant from Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC) to encourage quitting tobacco and address other community needs in an effort to improve the overall health of St. Landry Parish residents.

OGHSF will receive up to $60,000 per year from now through April 2025 to develop and implement a 5-year strategic plan that incorporates policies, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes that will educate both leaders and the general public about the dangers of tobacco use and provide resources for quitting. The strategic plan is not limited only to quitting and preventing tobacco; it will be an assessment of the health needs of the parish.

“We are excited to offer this funding to Opelousas General Health System Foundation, as it continues our tradition of facilitating groups working together to prevent disease and make healthy living options accessible,” said Brian Burton, CEO of SWLAHEC.

OGHSF plans to execute the deliverables of this grant through a collaboration with Healthy St. Landry, an affiliate of the Foundation. Healthy St. Landry is comprised of a diverse group of community stakeholders who have worked since 2018 to create a healthier St. Landry for all.

“This grant is a huge step toward reaching those goals and expanding the Healthy St. Landry network of partners,” said Tracey Antee, Foundation Director. “Together we can do so much more to take care of the people in our parish,” she added.

This grant is part of a collaboration between SWLAHEC and Well-Ahead Louisiana, the chronic disease prevention and healthcare access arm of the state Department of Health.

“Well-Ahead’s vision is to reduce the burden of chronic disease for all Louisiana residents. This project is a great opportunity to partner with th St. Landry community to hear their needs and to implement healthy changes that will last well beyond the years of this project,” said Robin Rhodes, Well-Ahead’s Deputy Director.

Healthy St. Landry will be tasked with selection and execution of the culturally appropriate PSE strategies and activities aimed at decreasing tobacco related health disparities among the low socioeconomic status (SES) population, as well as sub-populations (e.g., African Americans, and those with behavioral health conditions). Additionally, they will complete an annual readiness assessment and develop a communication plan to include traditional health education, presentations, placement of brochures in clinics, and media strategies such as television, radio, social media billboards, and mailer campaigns.

For more information or questions about this grant contact Tracey Antee at 337-678-4266 or email

About Opelousas General Health System: Since 1957, Opelousas General Health System has been dedicated to the provision of quality health care through its strong commitment and high standards. Central to the success of OGHS's commitment for excellence is the presence of an outstanding and highly qualified staff of physicians, nurses, technologists and other personnel who provide professional treatment in a caring environment. Serving as the region's referral medical center, OGHS is a 197-bed, full service medical center, and the area's most comprehensive community health care facility offering a wide range of medical specialties and state-of-the-art technology. Visit us at

About Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center: SWLAHEC is an independent nonprofit organization and a member of the national network of Area Health Education Centers (AHECs). The mission of the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC) is to improve health status through access to information, education and health services. Funding for this grant comes from our collaboration with the LA Department of Health: Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Healthcare access

About Well-Ahead Louisiana: Well-Ahead Louisiana is the chronic disease prevention and healthcare access arm of the state Department of Health. Well-Ahead connects communities to tools and resources that help improve the health of Louisiana’s residents where they live, work, learn, play and pray. For more information, visit