Bureau of Family Health
The Bureau of Family Health is the section of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals that administers several programs that work to assure that pregnant women, women of childbearing age, infants, children, and youth in Louisiana have access to high quality primary and preventive healthcare.
Project LAUNCH is designed to impact and serve children aged 0-8. In Louisiana, the project is currently being implemented in Lafayette, Acadia, and Vermilion parishes.
Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is a national initiative that is being piloted in Louisiana. It is coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals by the Bureau of Family Health of the Office of Public Health in conjunction with the Office of Behavioral Health, and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The aim of Project LAUNCH Louisiana is for all children ages 0-8 to reach social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive milestones. In addition to providing direct care services, Project LAUNCH states and communities increase knowledge about healthy child development through public education campaigns and cross-disciplinary workforce development activities. Read more here.
Visit LouisianaLAUNCH.org to find out more.
Resources for Parents:
- 5 Tips that help parents figure out the best way to respond to their children's feelings
- Vroom: The Vroom website and app turn shared moments into brain building moments. Whether it's mealtime, bath time, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture children's growing minds.
- Tulane Early Child Collaborative: Includes tools to respond to children's feelings and behaviors, tips and tools for common issues, and resources on child development for parents with children ages 0 - 5.
Resources for Providers:
The Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC) program helps Louisiana Child Care Centers meet annual licensure requirements for education and training on health and safety topics.
- Class A and B Child Care facilities must receive a total of 15 hours of education and training annually and three (3) of the requirement 15 training hours come from the CCHC program.
- Information on childcare facility licensing is provided by the Department of Education.
- Topics on health and safety must be provided by a CCHC Consultant.
Steps to Set Up Training
- Select training topic(s) (suggested, not inclusive list):
Medication Administration Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect Emergency Preparedness Food Safety Infectious Diseases Nutrition/Childhood Obesity Prevention Health of Child Care Staff Food Allergies Care for the Sick Child Safe Sleep/SIDS Immunizations Injury Prevention Environmental Health Child Passenger/Car Seat Safety Emotional/Behavioral Health Playground Safety Oral Health
- Contact a consultant in your area to arrange a date and time for your training.
- Training fees range from $5-$10 per participant per hour.
- At the end of training, the facility will receive a certificate of attendance for their records.
For more information on CCHC programs, or if you are interested in becoming a CCHC consultant, click here.
The Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV program) of the Bureau of Family Health implements
the evidence-based home visitation models of Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and
Parents as Teachers (PAT) for eligible Louisiana mothers and their families.
The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based home visitation model for Medicaid eligible first-time mothers and their families. The Louisiana NFP model implementation began in 1999, and the program's goals are to improve pregnancy outcomes, improve child health and development, and improve families' economic self-sufficiency.
The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP): For enrolled clients, nurse visits begin in the first or second trimester of pregnancy, and continue until the child turns 2 years old. Nurses provide education, support and guidance to help women have a healthy pregnancy and care for their baby.
NFP services are available in all 9 administrative regions in Louisiana.
To be eligible for NFP services, a woman must be:
- Pregnant with her first child
- Less than 29 weeks along in her pregnancy
- Medicaid eligible
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an evidence-based home visitation model for Medicaid eligible pregnant women or families with Medicaid-eligible children up to 12 months of age (priority given to children under 4 months). The Louisiana PAT model implementation began in October 2013. The families enrolled in the program are supported from pregnancy through to kindergarten with the goals to improve parenting practices, provide early detection or developmental delays and health issues, and increase school readiness and success.
Parents as Teachers (PAT): For enrolled clients, parent educators incorporate personal visits in the home, group meetings for PAT-enrolled parents, health and developmental screenings for PAT-enrolled children, and a resource network to help PAT-enrolled families reach their goals and address their needs.
PAT services are available in administrative regions 7 (Shreveport-area) and 8 (Monroe-area) in Louisiana.
To be eligible for PAT services, the client must be:
- A Medicaid-eligible pregnant woman OR
- A Medicaid-eligible child 12 months or younger (priority given to children under 4 months) OR
- A Nurse-Family Partnership graduate family
- Find Regional Contacts for the Home Visiting Program
- To refer a potential client to the NFP program by calling the regional contact from the list above.
- For more information about the Louisiana NFP program and the Louisiana PAT program, contact the Bureau of Family Health at (504) 568-3504.
- For more information about the National Nurse-Family Partnership Program, visit their website.
Regional Maternal and Child Health Coordinators
The Bureau of Family Health manages a network of nine Regional Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Coordinators who work towards improving maternal, infant, and child mortality and morbidity. The Regional MCH Coordinators provide leadership in their respective regions and develop prevention measures for the leading causes of fetal, infant, and child deaths through collaboration with key community and state partners.. This team is responsible for managing Louisiana’s Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR), Child Death Review (CDR), and Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review (PAMR).
Regional MCH Coordinators are responsible for convening regional teams that, after periodic review and analysis of abstracted regional fetal, infant and child deaths, identify health system interventions for improvement. Targeted systems include prenatal care, social support services, education, home visitation, and community-based outreach
Fetal-Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and Child Death Review (CDR)
The Fetal-Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and Child Death Review (CDR) programs are action-oriented community processes that continually assess, monitor, and work to improve service systems and community resources for women, infants, children and families.
How FIMR and CDR programs work:
FIMR and CDR both review deaths, but focus on different age groups.
- FIMR anonymously reviews fetal (stillbirth) and infant deaths between 28-36 6/7 weeks gestation.
anonymously reviews sleep-related infant deaths and unexpected deaths of
children 0-14 years of age.
A summary of the reviews are presented to the community to improve services and resources and potentially reduce future deaths. The review process is anonymous and protected under HIPAA.
FIMR and CDR networks are present in each of the nine administrative regions of the state. Each network involves 2 teams:
- Case Review Team (CRT): Medical and healthcare professionals volunteer to review local death cases and to investigate needs, gaps, and opportunities to develop strategies to improve health.
- Community Action Team (CAT): a broad-based team of community members who hear recommendations from the CRT and work to prioritize needs, identify, coordinate and plan interventions to improve community health.
The Louisiana FIMR is sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health and is a key part of the state’s Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative.
The Louisiana FIMR is modeled after the National FIMR initiative, which is is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review (PAMR)
Louisiana has reviewed maternal deaths in some capacity since 1992, and in 2010 the Bureau of Family Health began the Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review under the authorization of the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and the Prevention of Infant Mortality.
Louisiana ranks 44th in the nation for maternal mortality, with 17.9 moms dying for every 100,000 live births. Maternal mortality surveillance is needed to identify and address the factors contributing to poor pregnancy outcomes for women. Though it requires an investment of time and resources, a structured death review process can be a powerful facilitator of state systems change to improve the health of women before, during and after pregnancy.
Lydia Plante, MPH
Robin Gruenfeld, MPH
Amy Zapata, MPH
Region 1: New Orleans Area
Rosa Bustamante-Forest, APRN, MPH
Regional MCH Coordinator
1450 Poydras Street, Suite 2032
New Orleans, LA 70112
504-568-3504 | Rosa.Bustamante-Forest@la.gov
Region 2: Baton Rouge Area
Contact Robin Gruenfeld, State MCH Coordinator
504-568-3504 | Robin.Gruenfeld@la.gov
Region 3: Thibodaux Area
Nicole Soudelier, RN, BSN
Regional MCH Coordinator
1434 Tiger Drive
Thibodaux, LA 70301
985-447-0916 | Nicole.Soudelier@la.gov
Region 4: Lafayette Area
Christine Cornell, RN
Regional MCH Coordinator
825 Kaliste Saloom Road
Brandywine III, Suite 100
Lafayette, LA 70508
337-262-5644 | Christine.Cornell@la.gov
Region 5: Lake Charles Area
Linda Pickett, RN, BSN
Regional MCH Coordinator
707A East Prien Lake Road
Lake Charles, LA 70601
337-475-3224 | Linda.Pickett@la.gov
Region 6: Alexandria Area
Lisa Norman, RN, BSN
Regional MCH Coordinator
5604B Coliseum Boulevard
Alexandria, LA 71303
318-729-6881 | Lisa.Norman@la.gov
Region 7: Shreveport Area
Shelley Ryan Gray, BN, RN
Regional MCH Coordinator
1525 Fairfield Avenue, Room 569
Shreveport, LA 71101
318-676-5000 | Shelley.RyanGray@la.gov
Region 8: Monroe Area
Sara Dickerson, RN, BSN
Regional MCH Coordinator
1650 Desiard Street
Monroe, LA 71201
318-361-7218 | Sara.Dickerson@la.gov
Region 9: Northshore Area
Marty Hennegan, RN, BSN
Regional MCH Coordinator
15481 West Club Deluxe Road
Hammond, LA 70403
985-543-4880 | Martha.Hennegan@la.gov
The Louisiana Office of Public Health Nutrition Program works closely with the Bureau of Family Health to provide nutrition information and supplementation, breastfeeding support, and obesity prevention for children.
WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) is a Federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program designed to provide assistance to:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding children up to one year of age
- Post-partum women
- Children age five and under
Click to view the WIC eligibility guide
Click to view WIC clinic locations
Click to learn more about the National WIC program
For more information about WIC in Louisiana, including how to receive benefits and eligibility requirements, click here or call Partners for Healthy Babies at 1-800-251-BABY (2229).
NAP SACC (Nutrition And Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care)
NAP SACC (Nutrition And Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care) is a provider-based program implemented in childcare centers. The program promotes healthy weight development in preschool children by improving:
- the quality of food served
- the amount and quality of physical activity
- staff-child interactions
- facility nutrition and physical activity policies and practices
- related environmental characteristics
For more information about NAP SACC, contact the Bureau of Family Health at (504) 568-3504.
The data are in and NAP SACC works to improve physical activity. Read the article from Childhood Obesity to learn more.
If you are a NAP SACC childcare center you may qualify to become a Well-Spot as part of Well-Ahead Louisiana.
Reproductive Health Program
The Reproductive Health Program provides reproductive health resources and services for men and women. Through a network of clinics, the program provides disease screening, health education, counseling and contraceptive methods.
- Physical exam, including Pap test and clinical breast exam
- Family planning counseling and education
- Provision of medications and/or supplies as needed
- Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and HIV/AIDS
- Pregnancy testing
- Sterilization counseling, education and referral
- Tubal ligation and vasectomy
- Preconception counseling ("Planning Your Pregnancy")
- Reproductive health education and information
- Consultations and referrals for infertility
- Community outreach, tracking and maintenance of high-risk patients
- Education and information targeting adolescents
The Directory of Family Planning Clinics and Schedules can be found here. Update: As of July 7, 2016, the
East Baton Rouge Parish Health Unit (PHU) is temporarily closed. Clients of the health unit
should call 225-342-6933 for more information. Clients may still receive
services at any other PHU. Nearby health units include: Livingston, Port Allen, New Roads, Gonzales, and Clinton. This website will be updated as more information about locations and services in the Baton Rouge area become available.
The Reproductive Health Program's consumer website has information on their services as well as tools for reproductive life planning, contraceptive method selection, and Louisiana resources for reproductive health.
The Bureau of Family Health’s Epidemiology Program, known as the Data to Action Team, collects, links, analyzes, and interprets data related to women, children, and families. The team provides epidemiologic leadership and support to:
- Monitor health and well-being among Louisiana's women, children, and families
- Guide program planning and evaluation
- Inform health and other public policy initiatives
- Evaluate the effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of health services
- Support public health research
- Translate objective data to inform actions
Epidemiologists analyze statewide, regional, and local-level data. Common MCH indicators are analyzed and posted to the website. These public indicators are available for use without the need to obtain permission.
- Additional statistical reports based on Vital Records and PRAMS data are available via written request to the team.
- To request statistics from the Data to Action Team, please complete and submit the Request for Statistics Form .
The Epidemiology Program consists of several projects:
- Louisiana Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (Louisiana PRAMS) - Louisiana PRAMS is an ongoing, population-based risk factor surveillance system designed to describe selected maternal behaviors and experiences that occur before and during pregnancy, as well as during a child's early infancy.
- Louisiana Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (LaPAMR) - LaPAMR determines the causes of maternal mortality and makes recommendations concerning quality improvement opportunities in maternity care and public health strategies to prevent maternal deaths in Louisiana.
- Louisiana Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Network - FIMR is an anonymous review process of stillbirths and infant deaths. A summary of these reviews are presented to community members in order to 1) understand the modifiable circumstances associated with infant deaths, 2) improve services and resources for women, infants and families, and 3) potentially reduce the occurrence of future deaths, ultimately reducing infant mortality in the state of Louisiana.
- Louisiana Child Death Review Program - The statewide child death review panel and local Child Death Review teams review reports of all unexpected deaths among children 14 years and younger to better understand how and why children die. Based on their reviews, local teams are responsible for making and implementing recommendations for child safety and injury prevention in their respective regions.
For additional information about these projects visit online, or contact the Bureau of Family Health at (504) 568-3504.
The Gift is an evidence-based program for Louisiana birthing facilities designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of their maternity services and enhancing patient-centered care.
The Gift offers the hospital recognition in the form of a Gift designation. The program is designed to facilitate the pathway to Baby-Friendly designation.
Currently, 29 birthing facilities are GIFT designated in Louisiana.
Click here to apply to be a Gift designated facility and for more information.
If you are a Gift designated facility, you may qualify to become a Well-Spot as part of Well-Ahead Louisiana
Louisiana Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring (PRAMS) System
Louisiana PRAMS is an ongoing, population-based risk factor surveillance system to describe select maternal behaviors and experiences that occur before and during pregnancy, as well as during a child’s early infancy. Louisiana PRAMS is a cooperative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and provides information on:
- Prenatal maternal behaviors and experiences: pregnancy intention, contraceptive use, alcohol use, tobacco use, physical abuse, life stress, counseling.
- Complications of pregnancy: hypertension, diabetes, hospitalization
- Postpartum maternal behaviors and experiences: depression, breastfeeding, contraceptive use, safety, infant sleep position
- For Louisiana PRAMS reports, click here.
- For special data requests, submit at Request for Statistics.
- Check out our Louisiana PRAMS one-pagers for more information or contact the Bureau of Family Health at (504) 568-3504.
Partners for Healthy Babies (PHB) is a statewide project that links women to the medical, financial and social services they need to be healthy and have healthy babies. PHB’s toll-free helpline (1-800-251-BABY (2229)) and this website are available 24/7 and provide information and referrals to medical and social services statewide. The project develops multi-media messages to promote healthy behaviors before and during pregnancy.
PHB Project Activities
Multi-media messages including radio, TV, bus signage, billboards, posters, fliers, brochures related to promoting healthy behaviors before and during pregnancy.
For women and providers. Provides information and links to important health-related information and resources.
For Spanish-speaking women, parents and families. Provides information, tips, and links to health-related information and resources.
1-800-251-BABY (2229) Toll-free helpline, 24/7. Links women and their families to services and resources in their region.
Press Releases and Media Kits get news into news media.
Participate at select community events, develop partnerships with local community organizations and businesses that help PHB distribute messages and information.
PHB Program Background
Partners for Healthy Babies launched in 1993 in an effort to address Louisiana’s high infant mortality rate and the large percentage of low birthweight babies (babies born weighing less than 5.5 lbs). The program is administered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health in partnership with the Louisiana WIC program.
PHB Annual Report
The annual Partners for Healthy Babies campaign data report is a compilation of trends, quality indicators and usage data for the helpline, website, and social media. It helps identify changes over time in how target audiences interact with various components of Partners for Healthy Babies, and helps guide the future directions of the project.
The 2015 PHB Annual Report is available here.
The Louisiana ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Educator Program was created
through a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals’ Bureau of Family Health and the Tulane Institute of Infant and Early
Childhood Mental Health, with the support of the Louisiana ACE Initiative. The
Louisiana ACE Initiative is a network of child-focused organizations dedicated
to create common understanding of ACEs within Louisiana
communities and child- and family-serving workforces.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is the term given to describe all types of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic childhood experiences. Experiencing one or more ACEs is linked to many lifelong health and social problems. The ACE Educator Program seeks to build community awareness around ACEs, trauma, and resilience science across the state via a robust and well-informed network of trained educators. This work is part of a larger effort to develop policies and practices that are informed by an understanding of the lifelong impact of childhood adversity and trauma.
How Does it Work?
We provide training for small cohorts of ACE Educators.
We use the ACE Interface strategic training approach developed by Dr. Robert Anda, co-principal researcher of the ACE study, and Laura Porter, the Director of ACE Partnerships in Washington State.
Our trained ACE Educators provide presentations to communities.
Our presentation materials have been vetted by experts in the field and are designed to effectively teach audiences across the state about the impact of childhood trauma and promote open, ongoing conversation about these issues.
Who are the Educators?
first cohort of ACE Educators includes 28 Louisiana professionals from a range
of sectors including juvenile justice, education, social work, child welfare,
and health. They are available for presentations in every region of the state.
What is LAPEN?
The Louisiana Parenting Education Network (LAPEN) is a program administered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Bureau of Family Health. It is a professional association for parenting educators in Louisiana, and is composed of professionals from various backgrounds and training who share a common interest in providing high quality parenting education.
The mission of LAPEN is to guide and empower educators to provide effective parenting education and support services throughout the state.
What do Parenting Educators do?
Parenting educators support parents and caregivers, and help them gain the knowledge and skills they need to nurture the healthy physical, cognitive and emotional development of their children.
Resources for Parenting Educators
LAPEN develops and promotes trainings and continuing education for parenting educators across the state. In collaboration with the LSU School of Social Work, LAPEN administers the Certificate in Parenting Education program, which provides foundational knowledge in the delivery of parenting education services. LAPEN also sponsors an annual one-day Summit for Parenting Educators throughout the state.
Nine competency areas for parenting educators adopted by LAPEN help standardize professional development goals, set assessment and evaluation measures, and communicate the goals of parenting education to caregivers and partner programs.
An online tool helps educators keep track of their training and professional development experiences related to the core competencies.
A searchable online database facilitates communication among parenting educators, links parent education programs, and provides a means to identify parenting educators by their location, training and areas of expertise.
Regular emails provide information and updates on national and local trainings for parenting educators, parenting education resources and the field of parenting education. To join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website hosts the Professional Development
Portfolio and Parenting Educator Registry. It also links educators to
resources including summits, regional trainings, webinars, articles and assessment and
For more information about LAPEN, contact Lenell Young, LAPEN Director, at Lenell.Young@LA.GOV or 225-218-5657.
Our support staff is standing by 24/7 to answer questions and to link you to resources in your area.